EA, You're Doin' It Wrong! (HD is for the iPad, Silly.)

Posted by Bonnie Eisenman on June 25th, 2010
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

When the iPad first launched, there was some muddle on the App Store about how to distinguish regular iPhone-sized apps from iPad apps. After some experimentation (XL was floated for a while), most developers settled on using "HD" to denote iPad-specific apps. For example, "Angry Birds HD" is Angry Birds...for iPad.

Now EA Games has to go and mess things up with NCAA® Football by EA SPORTS HD. Guess what? It's an iPhone 4-exclusive title.

Does your head hurt yet?

Look, EA, we get it. Your football game has fancy graphics that take advantage (nay, require!) the iPhone 4's Retina display. And I know that you're a gigantic company, but big companies have to follow the rules, too. And the rules of the App Store, informal though they are, state that the "HD" moniker is reserved for iPad titles.

This does bring up an interesting point, though—how do we differentiate between all of these platforms? We have apps for iPad, for all iPhones, for iPhone 4's; and then we have universal apps, some of which are optimized for the iPhone 4's Retina display and some which aren't. And what about the next iPhone and iPad? My guess: other than "HD" for iPad, we'll have to rely on app descriptions, unless Apple steps in.

Still, EA, as it stands now "HD" signifies an iPad release. You're doing it wrong!