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Screen Size: Bigger Isn't Always Better

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Screen Size: Bigger Isn't Always Better

When you're designing your mobile app, screen size is a big factor. Although 4-inch screens may not seem like it, they are still insanely popular in several big countries.

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There are so many factors to consider when you are designing your mobile app. One of the big ones is what screen sizes should my app support?

According to the latest results from DeviceAtlas, the most popular screen size is in the 5- to 5.2-inch range. However, we all know that not all phones fall into that category, so we have to consider other sizes as well. One size you may be ignoring is the 4-inch screen. Let's find out why you should consider it during development.

Popularity

Even though the iPhone 4 is seemingly behind us, the iPhone SE is still fairly new. The obvious reason to make sure your app supports the 4-inch size is because newer iPhones are always popular with the masses — whether or not we like it. Aside from Apple, Samsung is about to release their 4-inch device in India called the Samsung Z2. Ergo, smaller devices are still being released and produced.

Another great reason is because 4-inch phones rank second in popularity in major countries such as France, Italy, Japan, and even the UK. It may come as a surprise, but according to the report, it is the top screen size in Canada, with over 25% of users still clinging to their 4-inch devices. And in India, France, Italy, and Mexico, the iPhone 4 is in the top 5 most used devices.

Let's be honest, if you want to maximize the market your app is in, ignoring smaller screen sizes is clearly a bad idea.

Customer Satisfaction

Aside from the report's data, you're bound to personally know people who are still using smaller devices. For example, I gave my mom my iPhone 4 after the 5 came out, and she's still using it. She doesn't want to buy a new phone just yet, but she still currently buys and uses apps from the marketplace. More recently, I had her download an app I recommended for travel purposes but she couldn't really use it. Despite the app saying it was compatible with her OS at the time, it did not work well with her smaller device and she ended up deleting it. The kicker? This particular app provided a paid service that she would have spent money with but was unable to. I checked recently and the app is no longer supported on her OS or device at all now. Essentially, the company lost money by not providing support for her smaller device.

Conclusion

As a developer, you don't want to alienate your audience. You will not only lose out on potential profit, but you will be discouraging people from possibly using your other apps in the future. Let's face it, it can be infuriating when an app you use consistently no longer works on your device. Your customers will feel the same way if your app doesn't work on theirs.

Keep up with the latest DevTest Jargon with the latest Mobile DevTest Dictionary. Brought to you in partnership with Perfecto.

Topics:
mobile development ,app development ,iphone ,samsung ,device ,screen size

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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