Archive for 'Resolutions'

Display Units in android

Android is an Operating System with high degree of diversity. It has many dives in many forms and sizes. Coding for them is simple if the following units are clearly understood.

px - Pixels – corresponds to actual pixels on the screen.

in - Inches – based on the physical size of the screen.

mm - Millimeters – based on the physical size of the screen.

pt - Points – 1/72 of an inch based on the physical size of the screen.

dp - Density-independent Pixels – an abstract unit that is based on the physical density of the screen. These units are relative to a 160 dpi screen, so one dp is one pixel on a 160 dpi screen. The ratio of dp-to-pixel will change with the screen density, but not necessarily in direct proportion. Note: The compiler accepts both “dip” and “dp”, though “dp” is more consistent with “sp”.

sp - Scale-independent Pixels – this is like the dp unit, but it is also scaled by the user’s font size preference. It is recommend you use this unit when specifying font sizes, so they will be adjusted for both the screen density and user’s preference.

To make it absolutely clear – never use any of the above but sp or dp unless you absolutely have to. Using sp / dp will make your Android applications compatible with multiple screen densities and resolutions.


High resolution display is one of the important feature in iPhone 4.It’s resolution is double than that of the standard iPhone resolution.To implement this you don’t need to change any line of code in your project, the only thing you have to do to create two resolutions of resource images i.e the standard and high resolution and append @2x to the name of the high resolution image name and iOS 4 will automatically use the high resolution version if on an iPhone 4 and the low resolution version on the 3G .

Optimize Layouts in Android with layoutopt tool

The layoutopt tool is a command-line utility which helps you to analyze and optimize the XML files that define your application’s UI. It also helps to find inefficiencies in the view hierarchy. This tool is included along with the SDK.

usage: layoutopt

To run the tool, open a terminal or command-prompt and type layoutopt followed by the from your SDK tools/ directory. The argument is a space- delimited list of resources you want to analyze, either non-compiled resource xml files or directories of such files.

The tool loads the specified XML files and analyzes their definitions and hierarchies according to a set of predefined rules. For every issue it detects, it displays the following information:
The filename in which the issue was detected.
The line number for the issue.
A description of the issue, and for some types of issues it also suggest resolutions.


See some sample optimization testing screen shots below:

Supporting Multiple display resolutions in Android

Android is designed to run on a variety of devices that offer a range of screen sizes and resolutions. For applications, the platform provides a consistent environment across devices and handles much of the complexity of adapting an application’s UI to the screen on which it is being displayed. At the same time, the platform exposes APIs that give application developers precise control over their application’s UI when displayed on specific screen sizes and resolutions.

One way of attaining screen interdependency is by using Density Independent Pixels(dp or dip)
Based on the screen resolution, the spread of pixels across the physical width and height of the screen.

A screen with lower density has fewer available pixels spread across the screen , while a screen with higher density has more — sometimes significantly more — pixels spread across the same area. The density of a screen is important because, other things being equal, a UI element (such as a button) whose height and width are defined in terms of screen pixels will appear larger on the lower density screen and smaller on the higher density screen. Uniqueness of the GUI gets disturbed.

Instead of Using Pixels within an app, dp can be used. using dp makes the android system automatically adjust the screen by scaling and resizing. The android system also selects the best fit possible for the application automatically.

The density-independent pixel is equivalent to one physical pixel on a 160 dpi screen, the baseline density assumed by the platform (as described later in this document). At run time, the platform transparently handles any scaling of the dp units needed, based on the actual density of the screen in use. The conversion of dp units to screen pixels is simple: pixels = dps * (density / 160).

For example, consider a 240 dpi screen, 1 dp would equal 1.5 physical pixels. Using dp units to define your application’s UI is highly recommended, as a way of ensuring proper display of your UI on different screens.

Lower resolution screen Higher resolution, same size
Physical Width 1.5 inches 1.5 inches
Dots Per Inch (“dpi”) 160 240
Pixels (=width*dpi) 240 360
Density (factor of baseline 160) 1.0 1.5
Density-independent Pixels (“dip” or “dp” or “dps”) 240 240
Scale-independent pixels (“sip” or “sp”) Depends on user font size settings same
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<LinearLayout xmlns:android=""
<TextView id="@+id/objLbl1"
android:text="Label 1"
<EditText id="@+id/objTxt1"
<Button id="@+id/objBtn1"
android:text="Btn 1"

Always do remember the following:

You can easily ensure that your application will display properly on different screens.

  1. Use wrap_content, fill_parent, or the dp unit (instead of px), when specifying dimensions in an XML layout file
  2. Do not use AbsoluteLayout
  3. Do not use hard coded pixel values in your code
  4. Use density and/or resolution specific resource (ldpi, hdpi mdpi and xhdpi or small, medium, large and xlarge)

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