How Apple should display iPhone apps on iPad

See the icons for Tweetie, Birdbrain, Flight Control, Compression.


Those apps are all iPhone apps, and when run on an iPad they run small in the center of the screen with black surrounds (or at an ugly 2x scaled).


On the home screen, these iPhone apps are currently represented much the same as iPad apps, except their 57x57 pixel icons are blown up to be an ugly blurry 72x72 next to the higher res iPad icons.


In this mockup, with the black borders they could keep their sharp 57x57 pixel size, and have the added benefit of being easily recognizable as iPhone apps to the user.

mike, Eric Eggert and 63 more people faved this
  • stevemost 5y

    Do it
    Also do something in the Apps Tab in iTunes to distinguish iPhone/iPad apps.
  • ExitToShell 5y

    Interesting idea, but with the iPad being brand new, of course there are going to be more iPhone-size apps than iPad apps. Eventually I think we will see most popular iPhone apps reworked into iPad apps, and eventually any lingering or special purpose iPhone apps run in a discrete window (waiting for iPhone OS 4.0 and newer for multitasking maybe).

    Apple always starts off with the bare minimum and then iterates over and over to add new features. Be patient. Unlike many Android devices the iPhone and iPad are not locked into only one OS version (okay except for original iPhones and OS 4.0, but really they are obsolete now).
  • Bill O'Donnell 5y

  • Christopher Mackay 5y

    This is so obvious that no one else thought of it first. I love it.
  • Zach Tirrell 5y

    Simple, brilliant, and Apple is unlikely to actually make this happen...
  • melgross 5y

    I don't totally agree with this. At first glance, it seems great, but I've got a number of my iPhone apps that, even though they're not universal, look and work just great on my iPad at 2x.

    This would be much better if we could choose the border ourselves. That way, we would know which apps work well and which ones don't, whether or not they're iPad apps or not.
  • Daniel M. Gattermann 5y

    Wow, fantastic! Send an email to Steve :)
  • ken fager 5y

    If there are any Apple software engineers reading these comments: Yes, this is fantastic idea.
  • Andrew Crow 5y

    Agreed. Make it so.
  • Greg76 5y

    works for me!
  • jeffreynoldz 5y

    A simple, elegant idea, very well executed. Nice job. Funny how people are art directing you in this thread while clearly not knowing what they're talking about - please don't take any of their advice ;)
  • David Frampton 5y

    Thanks all for the comments, I'm kind of surprised at the strong reaction, was a simple little idea I thought I'd try out while procrastinating level design work!

    Rock on, anyway, glad the general consensus is positive. Hears hoping Apple do it!
  • Calvin Ho 5y

    There are bordered icons to many apps already. Most EA games for example.
  • Oisin Prendiville 5y

    @juandesant says:
    I would make that border dynamic (slowly, really slowly pulsating, perhaps?) instead of static, because it is difficult to see that border is not actually part of the icon design...

    That's a benefit, not a problem.

    Different icon sizes would look awful.

    @pigs on a blanket says:
    would Apple really want apps to look inferior to others

    The point is they do look inferior at the moment (pixelated and blurry) and this is a proposed solution to that problem.

    probably the biggest letdown for me was not realizing that all these apps they said were 'compatible' ran iphone size. not something they ever made known/advertised.

    Apple have demonstrated since the initial launch exactly how iPhone apps are displayed on the iPad.
  • arcank77 5y

    Really nice.
  • Nick Burwell 5y

    Great idea, would love to see it implemented!
  • Roger Price 5y

    yes - good idea!
  • Karen 5y

    excellent idea!
  • sulcalibur 5y

    This is one of those so simple yet so effective ideas that it makes perfect sense.

    Mr. Jobs, buy this man a gift and do as he says! ;)
  • Aaron und Ruth Meder 5y

    Good idea! That would make a much clearer difference between the iPad and iPhone apps.
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