Screen resolution by ratio

Daniel Davis posted a simple survey of screen sizes, which jogged my memory for something I had been looking into as well. I looked at the Google Analytics (GA) for a site I have access to with traffic in the low millions per month, and took a sample of that for December.

Bubble chart showing popular screen resolutions, with lines drawn highlighting the screen ratios.

What I noticed (given my recent experience) is how the screen ratios are starting to line up. You have:

  • Apple devices lining up in the 3:4 (virtually¬†all were used in portrait mode unless GA mis-reports that?)
  • Traditional desktops at 4:3.
  • Laptops (and probably some desktops) with 16:10 or 16:9 ratios in the 1280-1920 width range.
  • Televisions or other monitors at HD size (1920×1080), this was mostly Windows (67%), some OSX (30%).
  • iMacs at 2560×1440 (not an assumption – 98% of visits at that resolution were OSX).

The site in question had about 20% mobile device usage that month (as defined by GA), and is not technology focused. It is also worth noting that this is reported screen resolution, not viewport size (i.e. it doesn’t account for browser chrome or browser windows that are not full-screen).

I can’t help thinking that we should account for screen ratios in media queries in some way, but I’m not sure how yet.