The Case For iPhone Plus Optimization

The iPhone Plus models are perhaps the best iPhone models.The extra screen real estate and extra camera features more than make up for the premium you’ll pay for the normal sized iPhones.

But if you have one of the iPhone Plus models (6/6S/7+), you would know how frustrating it is to use the device in landscape orientation.

When the iPhone 6 Plus was first released, it seemed like a mess. The device can rotate its screen in different orientations like the iPad, including an upside portrait mode. But the main problem was when you would take out your device, the screen would default to whatever position your phone was when you took it out and it annoyed a lot of people.

An issue that bugs me with the home screen rotation is how they designed the home screen app layout. Usually people will remember where their apps are by remembering neighboring apps. But when you rotate your phone into landscape, your home screen layout becomes totally different and people are left to wonder where their apps are.

Another issue I have is how the screen rotates into landscape. Usually when your phones goes into landscape mode, the dock will shift to the right side of the phone like this:

While that might not seem like a problem, the real issue is Apple’s laziness in copying this design even when you rotate the screen to the left. It’s not a problem when the home button is on the right, but when the screen is rotated to the left, the home button is on the other side of the device giving this unsatisfying look.

While Apple has since fixed that issue and removed the upside down orientation, there still is one huge flaw.

While I constantly use my 6S+ in landscape, I usually find myself reverting back to the normal portrait mode because so many apps are not optimized for landscape or don’t take full advantage of the screen real estate.

The only apps that are truly optimized for the Plus models are Apple’s own apps. Apps such as Mail or Messages can be used in landscape mode with an optimized UI to take advantage of it, while only about a dozen of my 3rd party apps (out of the 50 on my phone) can even be rotated at least into landscape, let alone optimized.

As with the case of the iPad when it was first released, Apple should make it a requirement to optimize their apps for the Plus model phones, or else there would be no reason to buy a Plus model.

A good number of people did not buy the first iPad because there wasn’t a lot of optimized apps to use and take advantage of the big canvas of its screen. But as the iPad slowly started to grow in popularity, Apple realized in order to make their devices great, they must have great optimized apps.

Apps are at the core of our mobile lives, and in order to call our devices great, they must have great software optimization.