I think most of the iPhone X, XS, XS Max, XR have the aspect ratio of roughly 19.5 : 9. Is it possible to change the phone to use 16 : 9 aspect ratio?

Essentially, I think this means chopping off the top and bottom region, even just for an hour or two, and make it behave just like an iPhone 8 or 7.

One reason that is needed is for some apps, such as Pokemon Go, which are not "tweaked" so perfectly for phones that have different aspect ratio other than 16:9. So when you catch a Pokemon Gastly or Kyogre, they are really hard to catch on the iPhone X, while they are not as difficult to catch on the iPhone 8 or 7. The reason is that the 19.5:9 ratio make the screen taller, and the Pokeball becomes very hard to reach the Pokemon, so the Pokeball will land an "air ball" and hitting just air. The Pokemon Gastly usually is not so important, but if you watch your friends catching the legendary Pokemon Kyogre fairly easily, and you throw and throw and get air balls or cannot hit the ring to get a Great or Excellent throw, and therefore your catch rate might not be even 50% of your friends, just because you are using a more advanced phone, that is kind of bad.

  • 2
    Please edit or remove your elaborate, yet essentially meaningless, description of how the iPhone’s aspect ratio interferes with the playing of a video-game. Your initial question has more than enough information to provide an answer.
    – IconDaemon
    Sep 21, 2018 at 10:35
  • If there is no such reason, there can be users posting, "well, you see more, so just pretend the extra content doesn't exist. Why does showing more bother you?" Sep 21, 2018 at 19:43

2 Answers 2


No, it is not possible to generally change the aspect ratio of the screen for any third party app.

You'll have to contact the app developers and let them know that their app has difficulties working correctly on these phones.

  • being able to change the aspect ratio is a once-and-for-all solution. It is the same with iPad. On the iPad, you cannot see how many Premier balls are left to catch a Raid Boss. And this problem and the iPhone X problem has been addressed to Niantic for over a year. You can say, "contact the developer", but what about the 3000 potential games I may play out there? I cannot play one game and then contact the developer and wait for 1 or 2 years. It actually could be quite useful if the iPhone and iPad can both provide a 16:9 compatible screen mode so all users can get the same experience Oct 8, 2018 at 8:18
  • It is just fine that you have this wish, but it is not possible to do so with a iPhone XS even though you think it is very useful. You can contact Apple to propose the new feature, but from my experience I doubt that Apple would want to implement a feature that degrades the general iPhone experience in order to fix bugs in third party apps.
    – jksoegaard
    Oct 8, 2018 at 8:31

There is not a way to change the aspect ratio.

However, iOS will automatically do what you're positing should happen for games or other apps that have not declared that they are compatible with iPhone X's taller screen. In this scenario, the app will display black bars above and below the app.

Your example of Pokemon Go is a design decision by Niantic- if you don't like how they've handled the taller aspect ratio, your best bet is to contact them and try to get them to change it. If you can get a large number of other iPhone X owners behind you they may be more apt to listen.

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