The commercial model for software on devices is for Apps. That works great when an app matches the task you have, but falls down when you have to cross one or more apps. Android has made some progress in getting around this (intents); iOS is starting to create corrals of apps (e.g. passbook); and Facebook has created the people-centric ‘Home’. Have we passed the peak of importance for apps?
Taking my arguments about pixels being relative another step, the CSS pixel sizes that device makers use actually tell us the distance away from your eye that they think you should hold a device. Applying a bit of maths lets us work out what that distance is.
Daniel Davis posted a simple survey of screen sizes which jogged my memory and I thought I would add some more data. I looked at the Google Analytics (GA) for a site I have access to with traffic in the low millions per month, and took a sample of that for December.
The recent ‘vexing viewports‘ article on Alistapart is a call on device manufacturers to choose a reasonable CSS-pixel resolution for each device so that responsive design works. This is something I totally agree with and support, but I’m not sure the iPad mini example they use is as clear it seems.
I keep reading recommendations for using EMs or other typographical units for layout, which I still don’t understand. At best it is an extra layer of abstraction, at worst it is misleading and likely to cause more issues than it solves. I will try to demonstrate why pixels are the best relative unit.
Layout methods in web design have gone through a transition in the last few years, unfortunately we’re still using floats a lot, but flexible layouts have made a comeback in the form of responsive design – which is great. Recently though, I have been puzzled by people suggesting that we should use EMs for layout…
I just had an interesting day at the Open Rights GroupConference (#ORGcon). As someone that doesn’t identify with any political party, it’s the only (mildly) activistic group I’m involved in. That’s probably due to the close connection with the tools I use everyday at work, like the Internet.
A few things I learned from the day…
In a rare non-web related post, I had a thought on HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography I wanted to share. Some people seem anti-HDR, I’ve just been trying it out.
I’ve noticed a bug in Webkit browsers that impacts accessibility: Zooming in does not trigger media queries. Responsive design techniques can really help people who zoom in with their browser, but not in Chrome or Safari at the moment.