Netflix today released an update for iOS app that adds full support for Apple's latest iPad Pro tablets. In a lot of press reviews: "You can expect to see many apps with black bars surrounding them", "which detracts from the new" all-screen " but definitely not edge-to-edge) design of these iPads.
The issue is more pronounced on the 11-inch iPad Pro because it features a different screen aspect ratio than the 10.5 inch model it replaces. If you're planning to purchase one of the new models, it's worth knowing.
The 12.9-inch model maintains the same aspect ratio of its two predecessors, but its corners and the new virtual bars are many. Even with the apps that stretch the full width of the iPad screen (like YouTube and Google Docs), there's a black bar behind the virtual home bar. With its latest update, Netflix avoids all this and looks quite optimized for the new iPad Pros.
It's likely that essential, hugely popular apps will be updated fairly quickly – as Netflix demonstrated today. But there's no telling when some games or more niche apps wants to do their best on the new screens. Developers tend to treat their iPad apps with less than iPhone apps. Take Facebook for example: the company never even updates its 10.5-inch screen on the previous Pro. For now, the black bezels of the iPad pros help read the issue a bit.
In recent years, Apple has been encouraging developers to build apps in a way that they dynamically scale to a variety of display sizes without being hard-coded for a certain display. It's the flexibility that will make you look bad on the 11-inch iPad Pro – at least until they're updated. Apple has set a March 2019 deadline for all apps (and app updates) to be built using the iOS 12 SDK. So while early adopters want to put up with the bars, hopefully the March cutoff should encourage them to optimize their software for Apple's latest iPhone and iPad screens.
It seems that awhile, though. None of the demonstration iPad Pros at the company's retail stores have third-party apps loaded onto them.