RIM standardizing screen resolutions for BlackBerry 10

BlackBerry 10
By Bla1ze on 15 Aug 2012 04:47 pm EDT

In the past, one gripe BlackBerry developers have had was the fact that RIM had too many devices with too many different screen sizes making it harder to develop apps for. That will end with the release of BlackBerry 10 as they will be standardizing the screen resolutions across the board. Now, instead of having to create different builds of an app for a large range of devices, developers can concentrate on the two outlined today however, as confirmed in the post the first BlackBerry 10 full touch device will be 1280 x 768 just like the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha is right now:

  • Full touch devices: 1280 x 720 (16:9)
  • Keyboard devices: 720 x720 (1:1)

Of course, any developer who has been following BlackBerry 10 info knew this was coming but it's great to see it laid out for developers ahead of schedule allowing for any possible changes to be made in the evelopment process well ahead of time. Tim Neil has outlined the whole situation on the Blackberry Developers blog should you need more details and as noted, Developer tools will be updated whenever and however it is possiblle to do so.

Source: BlackBerry Dev Blog

Reader comments

RIM standardizing screen resolutions for BlackBerry 10


"720 is the new normal"

So is the 'limited edition' device that devs will receive be 1280x768? Most likely!

This also means that BlackBerry 10 will have four resolutions:

L-Series 768x1280
N-Series 720x720
M-Series 720x1280
PlayBook 1024x600

With the first full touch being 1280 x 768, it would certainly seem the limited edition one would be as well. Can't see them making a change now for that device alone.

I would like to see
•Full touch devices: 1280 x 720 (16:9)
•Keyboard devices: 768 x 720 (16:15)
•BB10 PlayBook: 1820 x 1024 (16:9)

I fail to see how this works from a future proofing point of view. What happens when screens get even higher DPIs and when competitors run away with higher resolutions? Don't get me wrong, it's a good idea, but I can't see how it'll stand up in mid-2013.

How big are you expecting displays to get? I mean, right now displays are at such a high resolution the eyes can't even decipher the differences any more.

True, I suppose I didn't think about it too well. One thing I'm intrigued in is screen brightness. I don't find the Dev Alpha bright enough and think brightness is a huge plus on a mobile device. Any thoughts?

I don't think brightness will be an issue on actual devices, the Dev Alphas aren't exactly well put together really.

Eactly and I wouldn't expect an alpha device thrown together for the solo reason to help boost developer relations for the development of apps on a platform that is starting from scratch, to be a finished product or anything close to what will actually be released.

I'm not so sure about that - the developer alpha looks pretty similar to the colt and we now know that the touch device looks pretty much the same as the developer alpha (from people who have seen it in the last few days).

I am guessing that the released phone will be roughtly the same spec as the dev alpha simply because the timescale of the supply chain means that if RIM thought that they were launching earlier in the year, they would have locked down the components - components they now need to use.

No offence Bla1ze, but that's the exact attitude that got RIM into the situation right now. By saying something is good enough, and not being open to things changing, you're setting up for failure.

Remember when the 9700 launched, and many of us (myself included) vocally stated that 256mb was never going to be enough ram to run apps in 6 months time? The response we got: Its good enough because apps are at most 200kb.

I can easily see the screen getting bigger, better in time. Just because there's no use case *now* doesn't mean there won't be one in 6 months from now (when this will actually be available mind you!)

Do you mind explaining this rubbish? Its people like you who always come here and ruin it for the people who actually love BB. No offense actually means I'm about to offend you but you cannot get mad at least make sense when you do it.

The next step up in resolution will be to 1080p displays and in those cases, apps would scale quite readily.

Also since the first BB10 phone hardware has already been worked on and is basically complete with a 1280x768 resolution, but all future touchscreen devices will be 1280x720...does that mean applications made for the very first BB10 touchscreen phone will be different from those for the other resolution phones? I want to get the first BB10 device, but if all developers are developing applications for a 1280x720 resolution then wouldnt that make the application look weird or not fit properly in the first BB10 touchscreen device? This makes me now feel unsure if I want to get the first released touchscreen BB10 phone

no it would just have a black boarder above and below.

i personally see this a good thing and i don't see resolution getting higher unless phones get bigger. the DPI of this is already beyond what the human eye can render so why go for more and have it just burn up the battery and heat up the device more, i just can't see the point

Okay thats what I was wondering...I dont mind it at all, just was wondering if developers develop for the other resolution if it will be noticeable and not pleasing to look at...would the black boarders be big, or just fairly small?

Also, does that mean native applications built by RIM will have the black boarder as well? or will they utilize the full resolution?

24 pixels on the top and bottom of a 2" wide phone that is already packing 768 pixels wont really be noticed maybe like a 1/64" on each side

Yeah Me Too! I currently have the Bold 9930 and love the qwerty keyboard but hate the tiny 1/2 screen. So I too am holding out for a slider.

I personally think this is a must have for BlackBerry. I think the majority of people out there that either have or have had a BB, love BB because of the physical qwerty keyboard. But for everyone who left BB, the only phone to bring them back with is a phone that has both the full screen and qwerty keybaord, via a slider phone.

BlackBerry is making a grave mistake if they do not come out with one...

Bla1ze on fire with the articles lol

but yea this is kinda cool one thing that annoyed me before about BlackBerry was the insane differences between each device between software/screen size/parts/capabilities this is nice that something will finally be unified the way other things work.

Kinda disappointed this wasn't ironed out earlier but I don't think it'll be a big problem. The screen will auto scale and most developers can easily modify their app so nothing that'll stop me from picking up a BB10!

I'm a bit disapointed with the 720x720 QWERTY phones. I was hoping that they would be slightly rectangular. A taller screen would be nicer for browsing....guess they descided that it would make the phone too tall.....though from what I hear the QWERTY phone is shorter then the Full Touch phone....

Is possible that the bottom part of that squared screen will be used for navigation keys? The upper part of the screen would then be more rectangular.

For those of us not interested in pixel sizes, what will the actual dimensions be? The 9900 and the 9810 have the same numbers (just reversed) but one is 2.8 inches and the other is 3.2 inches.

This isn't the days of tube TV's when pixels meant something. I want sizes in real world talk.....INCHES or cm's for us canucks.

In the end, SIZE DOESN'T MATTER, just give me a damned BB10 already.

why is DevAlpha not the same resolution as playbook? Devs dont spend time coding new apps, they spend time adapting apps to continuously changing resolution...

A 10inch tablet would need an even higher resolution to be competivive nowdays. Glad to see RIM is NOT ahead of the curve on this one. Or simply no 10inch tablet.

How do you figure. Look at the playbooks under 200ppi screen and tell me that you can see the pixels on it. I've never once said I need a higher resolution on my playbook

yes but your PB is a 7incher, right? At 10inch, the images would look rough and unpolished, unless you go with a pixel 'double' resolution (2x X 2x the current res.

+1 bingo. Thought I was the only one that caught onto that one. This will come back to bite them.

If 720x1280 is the new standard, I don't see how the 1024x600 PlayBook fits into this long term.

Is that the reason why PBOS 2.1 is still expected to be released even with BB10 around the corner?

same aspect ratio and can just be used and adjusted to fit the current playbook, an already existing piece

If the qwerty device is going to have a square screen isn't that going to interfere with the "flow" ui?
("glance and peek"). I really thought they were going to go with a slider in order to get away from the small screens, which was costing them customers.

Going for a slider when their customers that want a physical qwerty mostly want a new Bold would be how they would lose customers, a slider is more of a niche product than either of the models they are doing first.

If they design a "new Bold" that is only going to appeal to present customers, how does that attract new customers (which they need to survive)? I believe that if a slider was the only qwerty available, it would satisfy those who want a keyboard(where else would they go) AND attract new customers because of the full screen.
I guess what I'm saying is that I think their best bet would be to release three new models, full touchscreen, slider, and keyboard, this would cover all the bases. Seems to work for Android!

Iphone 4s is retina screen at 326 ppi, S3 is 306 ppi, alpha dev and full touch bb10 are 356. Bummer?

Exactly what I was going to say. As far as ppi goes as of right now the dev alpha will be the highest. Who knows what the iPhone5 will be but I don't see it getting much better out of a mobile device but who knows apple takes pride on its retina displays.

On a side note even the new nore that will be in the M series will have the same resolution as the galaxy S3 so it really isn't even close to a bummer. Its still pushing 720p HD on a little 4.2 inch or in the GS3s case 4.8 inch screen. WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT???????

I can't see having a 4.2" device with 1280x768 resolution, while the 7" PlayBook remains at 1024x600. That would be stupid. BlackBerry brags about how good their browser is (and I agree with them), but leaves us to suffer with the bare minimum for screen resolution at 1024x600. I went to look at the Nexus 7, for one reason only, to see how well it functioned as a browser in a 7" form factor with a 1280x800 display. It was great, far better then trying to work with the PlayBooks current 1024x600. My main gripe with the PlayBook is the screen resolution and I can't see any reason for it not to be improved.

you're right the resolution on the playbook sucks big time and yes im a blackberry user blackberry needs to step up their game with bb10 not only from a software perspective but also DESIGN and i really do hope their design looks better that some of the mock designs that ive seen those designs were crazy/sweet

RIM still delivering BlackBerry10 to the Playbook? That's what I would like to know.

If so, will it be a fully featured BlackBerry10 os? Will I be able to flow and peak on my PlayBook? I need clarification before I drop a chunk on the 4G please.

I'm quite sure they said that BB10 will be pushed out to the Playbook, however it is unknown what BB10 will look like on the Playbook. I suspect it will be similar to Apple, where IOS 5.1 on the IPad is slightly different to IOS 5.1 on the IPhone. Then there is the question of apps. BB10 apps. Needing to run on 3 different size/resolution screens. But, if they can do it for Android.....
Edit: Actually it will be 4 different screen sizes since the first BB10 device is going to be different than subsequent units, What's up with that btw?

i like it.bigger resolution makes my eyes comfortable and happy to see the new blackberry.hope rim will release it as soon as possible

As a developer myself I find that a standard aspect ratio is far more important than the resolution itself. Allow developers to set the width and height of controls on an application using an explicit value, auto, and/or weighted (% based). Often times you'll find developers using the auto/weighted so that their application can grow/shrink as needed, as long as it maintains the ratio. I do this all the time with Microsoft WPF applications. Very rarely do I find myself needing to set an explicit height/width.

In this technology environment, I wouldn't build an app that didn't scale to the available screen resolution and dimensions. Ideally, design an HTML5 app properly that scales to fit appropriately to the display. (Question: do user agents report their screen physical size AND horizontal / vertical resolution, and / or do they report DPI?)

Nowadays, if you're designing an app that doesn't consider screen DPI and resolution, and adjust to fit, you're cutting corners (which may or may not be justified). Apps I design scale to fit the screen and ideally assets should scale depending on the DPI... that is, just because a 16 x 16 pixel button is identifyable on a desktop computer screen doesn't mean it's adequate on a 300+ dpi smartphone screen, which means that 16 x 16 icon would only be 1 / 19th of an inch square.

Hopefully this standerd will bring more developers into the fold to start building on a dynamic ecosystem.

What standard? They are going to have 3 devices with three different screen sizes/resolutions, 4 if you count the first new device!

4.2, 4.3 in today's standard is too small. The sweet spot is now 4.7, 4.8. I will not be buying a BB10 as the screen size will be too small for me. Maybe the next generation BB10 will finally catch up. BB10 is not released yet and it's already behind. Screen res on phones will naturally grow. People argued a 1GH processor was more than enough. They were and are still right, yet why will anybody who is paying premium money choose a 1ghz over multicores?

and when it does grow and your eyes cant tell the difference its simply just hardware specs to make a sale and will likely just kill your battery faster. bottom line is when you get to the 200ish ppi range on a smartphone the only way youll get pixels showingnis if you're right up against the screen. and considering the dev alpha is pumping out a higher resolution then the power house GS3 and iphone with its retina display, i would think RIM is doing a fine job.

samsung is all about how powerful they can make their stuff and usability is thrown outt he window to say "i have better hardware then you do"

All the new Android phones are all about who has the best hardware and nothing else. Once a phone gets past a certain size, of say 4.2 to 4.3 inches it is no longer convenient to carry and becomes useless, unless of course you have a purse to lug it around in. Even Apple realizes this and won't even try to keep up with all the Android silliness. Try to tell me you need a Quad Core processor to run all those tiny Apps and I'll try to sell you some really nice beach front property in Greenland. Honestly, these Android fans are as brain dead as iSheep.

I dont get how apps made for the wide screen touch device will work on the square screen keyboard device, has RIM explained this to developers anywhere?

diddycarter ..yea I have a playbook..and a bold 9900 and a torch 9800..but guess what..I use my torch more..I prefer a slider with good touchscreen and a sweet physical keyboard..the 9900 is good but am not a fan of the tiny screen..If bb10 has a slider..I think people will want it more