Mr. Abhinav Girdhar, Founder, Appy Pie

A stalwart in the field of mobile app development, Abhinav Girdhar received his bachelor’s degree in Information Systems from the University of Westminster, London. His expertise lies in Search Engine Optimization, Mobile Applications, Web Analytics, Ecommerce, Entrepreneurship, and all things related to the DIY app building process.

  • How FPS of an app differs from refresh rate of a screen?

It is crucial for smooth functioning of apps on smartphones that the FPS remains in sync with the refresh rate of a screen. While the standard rate at which the refresh of a smartphone’s display is locked is 60Hz and 60 fps, it is gradually being increased to 90Hz and 120Hz for display screens. However, to ensure that android smartphones face no trouble in running all apps provided by Google Play Store, most applications are still locked to 60 frames per second. It is done because many apps fail to function smoothly if the rate is higher than 60fps.

  • Are developers working on ways to keep FPS and refresh rates in sync?

When apps are developed, the parameters are set in accordance with the standards prescribed for smartphone screens. App development is done taking into account a consistent refresh rate and FPS. There are, however, times when a few android applications fail to run at 60fps on a 60Hz screen. For such situations, the developers usually program apps to drop to 30fps. This ensures that the user gets a smooth experience. The developers will, however, soon be left with no option but to resort to APIs to keep the apps in tandem with the shift towards screens with larger refresh rate. A manifestation of the transition happening in a smooth manner is that there already are built-in APIs for android.

  • If there is any FPS or refresh rate parameter in development of an app?

As mentioned earlier, app development is done taking into consideration a consistent FPS and refresh rate. The parameter is same as the display of a smartphone. The norm is 60Hz at which they are usually locked, as against 30Hz which was done for older displays. When the refresh rate is higher, the apps function in a smooth and stutter-free manner. Now with the refresh rate for smartphone screens growing from 60Hz to 90Hz and even 120Hz, the app developers can also equip them with APIs to achieve higher rates.

  • How much FPS or refresh rate is good enough for smoother app experience?

The optimal fps or refresh rate for an application to function in a smooth manner is 60Hz. If we take into consideration the requirements in the current scenario, 90Hz and 120Hz may not be very useful as they are more about high end tech. The minimum parameter is 30Hz.

  •  Should buyers give in to FPS and screen refresh rate hype? Who should and who should not.

Only those users who are more into gaming or watching video content on smartphones require higher refresh rate.There is no need for most of the buyers to bother about the hype around FPS and screen refresh rate. The app making industry still has a long way to go in this regard. The situation will, however, not remain the same in the coming years. The buyers will have to bother about the refresh rate almost five years from now as refresh rate will become a very important factor with regard to app usage on smartphones. Despite the display of smartphones having more capacity, most apps as of now are locked at 60Hz.

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