Organizing iPhone App Icons on Your iPad: A Guide

David Frampton proposes an intriguing method for presenting non-universal iPhone applications on the iPad: by encircling them with a black border, similar to the default display of iPhone apps when they are not enlarged.

This concept is quite clever. It allows the apps to stand out without being too conspicuous.

Currently, when viewing iPhone apps on an iPad, one can notice the difference in icon sizes: 57×57 pixels for iPhone apps compared to 72×72 for native or universal iPad apps.

It’s uncertain whether Apple would adopt such a strategy. Initially, Apple emphasized the compatibility of iPhone apps with the iPad, although many users report that the upscaled iPhone apps provide a less than optimal experience on the iPad.

With the upcoming release of iPhone OS 4 on the iPad this fall, Apple might encourage developers to create either universal apps or specific iPad versions by adjusting how icons are scaled.

This reminds me of how System Preferences in Snow Leopard deals with 32-bit Preference Panes by requiring a restart of the interface. It’s a minor inconvenience, but it might be just enough to push developers to avoid creating apps that give users a negative impression.

The main advantage of implementing this idea is that it has minimal drawbacks.


Patricia is a well-respected author and tech enthusiast who has made significant contributions to the Apple community. Writing for TUAW, Patricia brings a wealth of knowledge about Apple products, including the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook. Her insightful articles and guides help readers navigate the ever-evolving world of Apple technology. With a knack for breaking down complex topics into easy-to-understand content, Patricia has become a trusted voice for Apple fans everywhere.