Everything Email Marketers Need to Know about Apple’s New iPhones and iOS 12

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With 28% of all emails read on Apple’s iPhones, changes to Apple’s phones, the mobile operating system, and its email rendering can make a big difference to the email marketing world. So it’s no surprise that email geeks have monitored the release of Apple’s new phones. We did too, and we’re breaking down everything you must know about the new iPhones and iOS 12.

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So let’s start with the most important note: Email marketers can breathe a sigh of relief. iOS 12 didn’t come with any major surprises, and even though Apple introduced new screen sizes, the impact on email design remains minimal.

Screen Sizes and Resolutions for the New iPhones

Apple’s September release introduced three new iPhones: the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR.

With a screen size of 5.8 inches, the iPhone XS shows the same dimensions as its predecessor. Resolution, pixel density, and pixel density ratio are identical as well.  

iPhone X

iPhone XS

Screen sizes

5.8 inches

5.8 inches

Resolution

2436 x 1125

2436 x 1125

Pixel Density

458ppi

458ppi

Pixel Density Ratio

3

3

 

The iPhone XS Max and the iPhone XR, on the other hand, come with larger screens. The iPhone XS Max is the largest iPhone in the market, with a 6.5 inch screen and a resolution of 2,688 x 1,242 pixels. The iPhone XR comes with a 6.1 inch display, but a lower pixel density:

iPhone XS Max

iPhone XR

Screen sizes

6.5 inches

6.1 inches

Resolution

2688 x 1242

1792 x 828

Pixel Density

458ppi

326ppi

Pixel Density Ratio

3

2

 

Targeting iOS Devices with Media Queries

When it comes to targeting the new iOS devices with media queries, email developers are in luck. Although you can target the specific device sizes of each new iPhone—as one user on Stack Overflow pointed out—using such specific media queries is problematic, as those sizes are likely to change in the future.

A better method is to use a “breakpoint” for triggering responsive styles. And that breakpoint is the same as with previous iPhone models: 414px. Setting the media query to target max-device-width: 414px will make sure that responsive styles are shown on all three of the new iPhone models.

@media screen and (max-device-width: 414px) { /* Insert styles here*/ } 

Optimize your imagery for large screens—and high pixel density

Larger screens means that there’s more room to display your email content.And that’s great news—especially for brands that rely on powerful imagery to get their message across.

You’ll want to make sure that you’re optimizing your email’s images for high-DPI screens. With the release of the iPhone XS and the XS Max, three of Apple’s phone models now come with high-resolution displays with a pixel density of 459ppi. If you don’t optimize your images for these high-DPI displays, your images might look blurry and pixelated, and can cause your imagery to lose its power.

Poster Attribute Required to Display HTML5 Videos

Apple’s back and forth on HTML5 video support for its mobile email client has caused confusion among email marketers for years. Apple supported HTML5 video in iOS 7, then removed video support with the launch of iOS 8 back in 2014, only to reintroduce it with the release of iOS 10 in 2016.

The good news is that HTML5 video is still supported with Apple’s most recent iOS release, but we also still see a bug that we already know from iOS 11: A preview image of your video will only display if you add a poster attribute. Without a poster image defined, your video will appear as blank.

HTML5 video in iOS 12 with and without a poster attribute defined

Start testing your emails in iOS 12 today

Litmus Email Previews for the iPhone XS are available in your Litmus account, so you can start testing right away. Not a Litmus customer yet? Get started with Litmus today.