There's something to be said about having a great screen resolution. I use a 16:10 monitor at 1680x1050 with my PC. Not exactly the enthusiast golden standard of 1920x1080 but it serves me well and looks great to boot. That's why all the more distressing that most people in the world don't really care about resolution as much as I do.
For the longest time, people have been content with a paltry 1024x768 resolution. For the first time in three years, 1024x768 has finally fallen behind a competing resolution. The new most popular resolution worldwide is now a better, but still really small, 1366x768. This information comes from StatCounter who has been keeping track of global screen resolution trends since 2009. Surely this isn't that important though, right? Wrong!
"The data reflects a continuing trend of users moving to larger screen resolution sizes," commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter. "The screen resolution size people are using is a critical factor for developers when it comes to web design, particularly in the case of fixed width web pages."
How do the actual numbers work out though? 1024x768 has decreased in global use to only 18.6 percent, while 1366x768 has risen above it to 19.28 percent. It's not a big difference, but it's significant for the Web development ecosystem.
On a similar note, the move from 1024x768 to 1366x768 shows a change in aspect ratio as well. The new standard is a resolution at 16:9. This means that more and more people are switching over to widescreen. Hmm... I wonder, what popular social media service drew the ire of users when it switched its design to a non-widescreen friendly version full of whitespace? Companies like Google need this kind of information the most so they can take advantage of that whitespace for the increased amount of people using wide-screen monitors.
I was curious to see if this trend was being influenced by the types of PCs being sold. I highly doubt that many desktop monitors are being sold at that size, so the main culprit must be the all powerful laptop. Tablets don't really come into question since the iPad 2 is at a 1024x768 resolution and the new iPad has a 4:3 aspect ratio.
Looking at Newegg, the selection of laptops with a 1024x768 resolution is all but dried out. While there are other resolutions to choose from, the most bountiful selection is, you guessed it, 1366x768 with 378 laptops to choose from. It seems that hardware manufacturers have been pushing this as the new standard in entry level cheap laptops and it's working.
To recap, Web developers need to start building their applications with these resolutions in mind. While most will build their Web applications to take advantage of a large variety of resolutions, it's good to keep the standard in mind.
Are you still a 1024x768 diehard? Have you upgraded to 1366x768? Or are you like me and have an HD resolution? Let us know in the comments.[Lead Image: StatCounter]