As early reviews for the iPhone X start to roll out — seemingly with most of the press having had less than 24 hours with the new device — it is hopefully becoming more apparent to the general population just how much work developers will need to do to support the new form factor.
I have recently been spending some time updating my own apps for the "eared" screen of the X, and while Apple’s related APIs are very good there are significant challenges not just in dealing with the notch but also the very rounded corners and – I think most significantly – the home indicator at the bottom, which replaces the iconic home button of iPhones past. As easy as it is to move lower controls out of the way of this small, constant line, doing so while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing design can be far from simple, depending on the app.
Many very popular apps have yet to be updated, the result being either that run floating, banded by black at the top and bottom in a familiar-sized centre rectangle or – perhaps of more concern to early-adopters – fill the screen in unintended ways that look broken and in some cases are.
The updates coming in the next weeks will understandably focus on basic compatibility with iPhone X; ensuring apps fill the screen inoffensively and behave as intended. While the potential innovative uses for the new found real-estate won't be realised for months to come, the X certainly has injected a healthy dose of enthusiasm back in to the iOS community and I'm looking forward to seeing what my fellow developers and I can come up with.
If you're looking for a good iPhone X review try Matthew Panzarino's one over at TechCrunch, he's had his review unit longer than most.