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How big is the iPad Pro display resolution? The iPhone 3G screen fits between the app icons

ipad-pro-vs-original-iphoneJust how big is that 12.9-inch iPad Pro’s Retina display pixel-wise? Dennis Moore pointed out on Twitter that the gaps between app icons on the iPad Pro is actually larger than the entire width of an original iPhone or iPhone 3G screenshot. What you see above is a 1:1 comparison of the iPhone pixels overlaid on top of the iPad Pro home screen. The 2732×2048 screen resolution of the iPad Pro dwarfs the 320×480 iPhone display, which was actually considered a high-resolution just five years ago.

Admittedly, this is only possible because Apple didn’t add extra rows or columns to the Home Screen on the Pro compared to normal iPads. Many people who have iPad Pro’s have complained that the view is too spacious, and would prefer more icons per line.

You can actually fit over 30 original iPhone displays, in terms of pixel area, on an iPad Pro screen canvas. Obviously, in terms of actual physical size, the measurements are very different due to the massive discrepancy Retina displays have on pixel density. Below you can check out one more comparison, which fits an iPhone 3G screenshot, an iPhone 4 screenshot, an iPhone 5 screenshot and a first-generation iPad all in the same row. Funny to think that the original Mac was 512 × 342 — one app icon is bigger than that today.

If you are interested in a comparison of physical dimensions, then the difference is still striking. Here’s the original iPhone (3.5 inch screen) versus the iPad Pro (12.9 inch screen) … you can probably fit about nine in total.

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  1. shareef777 - 7 years ago

    To me, that’s just indicative of how bad the Pro is, or more specifically iOS. Different hardware, but nothing changed to the interface to leverage that. I bet that Apple just did this so that when they actually make software changes they can up sell the Pro2.

    • yuniverse7 - 7 years ago

      “I bet…” And you would be wrong.

      • shareef777 - 7 years ago

        “To me.” I’m pretty sure I’m NOT wrong about what MY own opinion is! If YOU disagree with YOUR own opinion then you should see a psychiatrist!

      • yuniverse7 - 6 years ago

        Shareef777 – “I bet” means you’re pretty sure what the intention of Apple was. I was disagreeing with your conjecture.

    • Joe - 7 years ago

      So because a phone’s resolution from 2009 can fit between icons on a screen from 2015 on a 13″ device means it’s bad? Also when you start a sentence with “I bet” you aren’t giving an opinion you are guessing at something someone did. That also doesn’t make sense because Apple supports devices longer than anyone. The iPad Pro will be getting software updates for 4 maybe 5 years. Any change to the UI won’t require new hardware. This is Apple, they don’t need to do gimmicks to upsell a product.

      • shareef777 - 7 years ago

        Means the device is not using the screen real estate to the best of its ability. My 2012 rMBP has a standard retina resolution of 1440×900, but I’m able to expand that to 1900×1200 to fit more components on the screen.

      • Joe - 7 years ago

        Those are two different things. You have a dock that is either hidden or on the bottom part of the screen. The rest of the desktop is either a wallpaper or you have tons of folders. The apps use the whole screen. In my opinion you use more of the screen on an iPad than a computer. If the home-screen is the equivalent of the desktop than most people have a blank desktop with their dock hidden. How is that better than icons on the screen?

    • Brandon Trout - 7 years ago


  2. Robert Stukenbroeker - 7 years ago

    This just means that icons are spaced far too apart on the iPad. i hate that my iPhone can have more apps on a screen than the iPad can.

  3. golfersal - 7 years ago

    I will say this, it’s getting very dangerous on this thinking that a Ipad can replace a true mac. The trend seems to be switching the Mac to a IOS mentality which in some parts are ok, but then makes a Mac a close machine. I hate that I can’t attach a hard drive or flash drive to transfer information. I also think that this change is not good for developers who have switched to making software that is a lot cheaper.
    How can a program like BBedit or the company survive. Right now they get $49.99 for BB edit, a price they wouldn’t be able to sell for as an IOS. So what incentive does that company have to develope a program at even the $9.99 price tag, which is expensive for IOS app’s.

    With IOS you are cutting out some of these really good makers of programs and telling people that it’s not worth developing a great program like BBEdit, because you won’t get paid that much to do it.
    So you can see, this is a very dangerous slope going to a IOS mentality. That is why BBedit and Scrivener, another great program, aren’t in and may not be in the IOS world.

    • Joe - 7 years ago

      The Omni team charges $40 per app with no sales ever and they do great. Square Enix charges $15 per game and sells very well.

      I think that teams might have to rethink their pricing strategies, but a good app can do well. Should a great text editing app be $50 or should they try for $30 or $20? All revenue on Mac is usually dwarfed by iOS sales for a good app.

      People will buy good apps on iOS. There ARE devs that do just fine with pricey apps. The right people will still buy their app. It’s even MORE dangerous to say that they will NOT make an iOS app in my opinion. It’s like directors saying that they can’t put a female in a major role because it “probably wouldn’t sell as well”. At some point someone has to stop speculating and just jump.

      It can work, but it won’t if you don’t try.

  4. Brandon Trout - 7 years ago

    How does one come to have 1400+ unread emails in his/her inbox?

    • kevicosuave - 7 years ago

      I have a lot more. It’s easy. We simply don’t delete email. When spam or other email we don’t read comes in, we don’t open it or delete it.

      • Brandon Trout - 7 years ago

        How does that not drive you mad?! 😄 Inbox zero!!!

    • kevicosuave - 7 years ago

      It doesn’t drive me mad because I have so much email coming in. If I had to delete it all, *that* would drive me mad. Instead, email is like a stream of incoming messages. I have filters for pulling the important ones out, and manually select some that I have to follow up on, but if I spent even a split second interacting with each email I received, I wouldn’t be able to do anything else in life.

      • Brandon Trout - 7 years ago

        Well that makes sense. Perhaps it’s easier in my line of work to keep email a very tailored channel of communication. I get very few messages from people or companies I don’t know, and even then I’m only getting 5-10 a day.

  5. Sandra Kees - 7 years ago

    Wow the iPad are just super big on productivity now. I say the Apple iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and the Lumiy Lightline 1250 LED desk lamp is the ultimate setup if you are in the market now.

  6. PhilBoogie - 7 years ago

    Instead of twittering, I think Dennis really ought to catch up on his email¡

  7. jmiko2015 - 7 years ago

    I don’t like the way iOS looks on the iPad Pro. I mean, there’s a lot of unused space due to having a Home Screen instead of a Desktop or something similar to it. In case of having a Mac-like desktop, one can imagine having it deeply connected with the Apple Pencil and it’s ForceTouch-like nature. Maybe i’ll change my mind in next few days but for now, I stick with my 13″ Air and keep my fingers crossed for iOS 10 (or iOS X?)

  8. Akshit Zaveri - 7 years ago

    @shareef777, bro you use Android and Windows. They are great together, more better than iOS and MacBook are. So, if you think you are not wrong, no one can do anything. But, for sake of the Apple products and everything that has hyped the company reputation, please do not use them. Every Apple device within your 10 mile radius is experiencing a shame.

    P.S – Everything is sarcasm.


Avatar for Benjamin Mayo Benjamin Mayo

Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.