iOS Quick Tip: How to build your App at native resolutions for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+

Stephen Zaharuk / Monday, September 29, 2014

I was one of apparently many people that waited up till 3am(i'm on the East coast) to pre-order the new iPhone 6+. I had trouble deciding which size to go with, but being a developer, i decided to go with the 6+ because it would offer me more opportunities to take advantage of the new screen size. 

So after a long week of waiting, my new iPhone was delivered by the UPS guy. And of course, after i got it all setup, the first thing i did was open up the Applications i've developed to see how they look on the new screen. 

Now, if you didn't know, by default, if your application is explicitly optimized for the new screen sizes, the phone will just upscale the app, which basically just magnify's everything in the app from its native iPhone 5 size. 

For the most part, they looked pretty good. Maybe a little blurry in some instances. However, I knew with the new screen resolution, it could look a LOT better, and really take advantage of the new size. 

So, i plugged my new device to my macbook, updated my developer account to know about the new device, and build the app on it. Silly me, for thinking that it would automatically know to use the new resolution...

For some reason, i don't know why, the way you tell your application that it supports the new screen size, is to include a new launch image with the specific resolution. It worked this way for the iPhone 5/5s as well. 

Back then, you would add an image named: "Default-568h@2x.png" 

Simply adding an image with that exact name to your project would get rid of those black bars and you'd instantly have more space to work with. 

So... whats the magic file name for the 6/6+? Apparently there isn't one...

Apple added a new concept of Image Assets, where you can specify your Launch Images. 

If you selection your project, and go to the General tab, under App Icons and Launch Images, you'll see a label that says Launch Image Source  and a button thats Use Asset Catalog. Press that button:

Now click the button, and then hit Migrate:

You should now see the following screen:

See the 2 slots at the Top Left? Thats for the iPhone 6+ (Retina HD 5.5) and the iPhone 6(Retina HD 4.7)

The required image sizes are:

6 Plus: 1242x2208 Click here to Download a blank 6+ image

6 :750x1334 Click here to Download a blank 6 image

And thats it. Run your app, and you should now be running at the device's native resolution. 

Happy coding!