Greg Pierce of Agile Tortoise--the company behind apps like Drafts and Terminology--agrees with Ovemar's contention that adapting his apps for the new screen size isn't overly burdensome: "I could choose to be grumpy about a new piece of hardware making work for me, or I can just be excited about the new capabilities the update creates," Pierce said. "I choose the latter."
Luckily, he says, rejiggering his apps for the larger screen doesn't necessitate tons of work: "Most of my applications are productivity apps that rely more on standard iOS controls that can adapt to the different screen sizes without requiring a significant number of additional graphics."
That's the same situation Paul Haddad of Tapbots--the maker of Tweetbot--describes: "For 'tableview' style apps like Tweetbot ... the iPhone 5 shouldn't require a ton of new assets." Haddad pointed out that apps that use a lot of custom graphics, like games, "could be a lot harder" to adapt.
David Barnard of App Cubby--which makes LaunchCenter Pro among other apps--told Macworld that adapting to the iPhone 5's screen size "seems to be pretty easy" for his company's apps, but added: "I'm most concerned about ... shipping software optimized for a device I've never touched." Just like developers who wanted to have iPad apps available in the App Store on day one of that device's arrival, those who are aiming to have iPhone 5-optimized apps available by the phone's September 21 launch date can only guess about how their apps will truly look and feel on the taller iPhone in practice.
"We're making some pretty big assumptions about usability without having actually used the device," Barnard said. "Over time, I think the iPhone 5 may completely change UI paradigms... It's certainly a lot more pixels than we're used to." Once Barnard and his team have the iPhone 5 in hand, he said, "we'll reevaluate and start thinking about the long term implications."
What you'll find in your letterbox tomorrow
Not every app will be ready for the iPhone 5's larger screen right away. Those apps will run on the iPhone 5 in letterboxed mode, with black bars providing padding on the top and bottom in portrait mode, and on the sides in landscape.