App Upgrades to iPhone 5 Breaking iPhone 4s (or older) Usability

Here comes my rant, so get your riot shields ready while I prop up this soap box.

I have noticed a disturbing trend with a few apps I am using – once the app has been updated, areas within the app are modified to take advantage of the extra real estate that the iPhone 5 has. This puts some tools, controls, and navigation out of “reach” when using these apps on my iPhone 4s. Is it a problem: Yep!

I have become a huge fan of Pocket Justice, for example. This app should be a requirement for anyone studying law, or anyone with a curiosity about the landmark cases that have been presented before the Supreme Court of the United States. In this app, I can do things like read transcripts of oral arguments, read the final issued conclusions, and listen to the audio from many cases. The issue I encounter is that when I try to scroll through the list of cases, I cannot select any of the last 3 or 4 cases because they fall below the bottom of the iPhone 4s screen. If I try to scroll them up so I can access them, the snap back nature of the iOS list box prevents me from scrolling and pressing on the item at the same time. Result, I will never be able to access those cases.

I know, folks will assume that this is simply an isolated case and that I am just whining. The short answer is no. It just occurred again when I decided to give GymPact a try. When you finish a workout, you are presented an opportunity to select the exercises you performed, however, with no ability to select those last few activities, I just decided to leave them off.

I am only stating all this because I see a disturbing trend here and wonder whether this is sloppy coding, or an inherent flaw with the iPhone screen size adjustment. In the meantime, I’ll keep flicking the box, hoping for a magical workaround. I always seem to find one.

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