I took some screenshots and found that the deforming doesn’t happen when you take screenshots. I guess I was a bit too quick with judging the other screenshots around the forum and even started doubting myself, but looking at the screen again it was still clear to me.
Seeing this difference actually makes me think that the whole UI resolution is in fact 1024x600 (like the screenshots are, and what all the software uses for rendering) but that the resolution of the screen itself might actually be different, which could explain the stretching over the screen.
To try and proof my point I took some photos of screen details in both landscape and portrait. Granted, it’s not a pixel perfect way of testing things but I tried to take the pictures as level as possible and then measured the pixels of the width and height of the screen details inside these pictures to see if there was a significant difference in ratio between landscape and portrait and apart from my eyes the pictures also say there is.
I put some measurements with it to compare and used both an app icon (Quickpedia) in the default launcher and a square picture in a website on the browser. I get what you mean with the patch 9 smart resizing btw, but I’m actually seeing stretching of pixels happening here.
So: landscape seems to be stretched, portrait seems to be squashed. This kind of makes sense if you take into account that the “native” orientation of the Archos screen is landscape. And that portrait is basically landscape but with the UI element reorganized and the icons rotated 90 degrees. So in landscape the 1024x600 screen content (icons and websites alike) is stretched out a bit to match a slightly wider screen, and in portrait you’re looking at a landscape screen as well only you’re looking at it with a 90 degrees rotation (which makes it looks squashed but is actually stretched as well if you pitch your head 90 degrees to the side).
It’s like turning your widescreen laptop to an 800x600 resolution. Everything renders to 800x600 but it’s all stretched out over your screen because the native resolution of your display is actually different. And when you take a screenshot of the stretched out interface and look back at it in your normal widescreen resolution you’ll see a fine unstretched 1:1 800x600 screenshot. So the screenshots of the Archos show that there’s nothing wrong with the rendering, so it’s not the framework or softkeys but that in fact the native resolution of the screen might be different from 1024x600 and is actually wider. Maybe Archos decided to configure Android to 1024x600 instead of the native screen resolution because 1024x600 plays better with general apps, or maybe with video. No idea. I would still love to see the whole UI in an unstreched, screen fitting resolution though. I even think the whole screen experience might look a lot crisper and nicer without the stretching since this generally blurs things (think of the 800x600 example), even if the difference is just a few pixels (like it seems to be on the Archos).
Nokia 3650 - Nokia 7710 - HTC Touch Cruise (P3650) (Polaris) - HTC HD2 (Leo) - Samsung Galaxy Note (GT-N7000) - HTC One