With the iPad Pro, there are some key things that companies need to be aware of when developing apps, or optimising existing apps. As of Xcode 7.1, released on the 9th November, 2015, any apps that support iPad, will now run in native resolution for the iPad Pro. As a result, any apps that haven’t been optimised for the larger screen will have the appearance of being blown up and deliver a poor user experience.
Anyone who has used an iPhone 6 Plus, with apps designed for the iPhone 5, will remember how this appears and how it is detrimental to the user experience. Any apps that get created from now on, that are designed for iPad, should be optimised for the iPad Pro to ensure that any users who own the device have the right user experience.
Developing apps using Apple best practice with iOS 9 should help to cover apps on the larger iPad Pro screen. Apps shouldn’t be thought of in isolation, but instead developers and companies should consider creating universal apps that run from the iPhone up to the iPad Pro.
With the Pro, Apple advises against designing apps specifically for the iPad Pro. This is due to apps should support Slide Over and Split View, which mean that the design needs to respond to different resolutions. With these modes, apps need to be able to scale to different screen sizes. Whilst it is possible to build enterprise apps that don’t embrace this, it isn’t recommended by Apple for App Store apps.
With Slide Over in particular, apps will appear similar to how they appear on the iPhone. This makes it easier from a design and development perspective to create apps that work across all iOS devices, especially if the starting point is the iPad.
Apple advises that, from a customer perspective, an iOS 9 app that doesn’t adopt Slide Over and Split View feels out of place.
Consider opting out only if your app falls into one of these narrow categories:
- Camera-centric apps, where using the entire screen for preview and capturing a moment quickly is your primary feature
- Full-device apps, such as games that use iPad sensors as part of their core gameplay
Ansible would advise that companies build using Slide Over and Split View, to ensure that end users can benefit from the features and enhanced productivity’
Developing or optimising apps requires companies to use best practise and think about how people will use apps across different devices. This will cover as many of your users as possible and ensure that they receive the experience they expect on any device they use. With iOS 9, Apple has introduced new ways to turn the iPad into a true productivity machine.
Yet, to get the full benefit out of iOS 9, companies need to ensure that their users are using the iPad Air 2 or iPad Pro. If companies have deployed older iPads and aren’t planning on upgrading them anytime soon, this is potentially not going to be an issue. If, however, apps are customer facing, or employees are able to bring their own devices into work, it is important to think about embracing the new technologies.