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Apple.com upgrading to high-resolution images ahead of Retina iPad launch

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Apple has begun upgrading portions of its website, such as the iPad section, with high-resolution images that are large enough to fit on the third-generation iPad's Retina Display.

AppleInsider reader "dglow" noticed recently that Apple has quietly begun adding double-resolution images to its website tailored to HiDPI screens and the new Retina Display found on the third-generation iPad.

At present, the Apple.com homepage and the iPad portion of the site are the only sections found to have been upgraded to the higher-resolution images. However, Apple has been gradually replacing images on its site, as not all graphics on those pages have received the double-resolution treatment.

For instance, the U.S. flag button at the bottom of the homepage remains blurry when viewed in either HiDPI mode, similar to scaled-up screenshots of the normal-resolution version. There is, however, a noticeable difference between the "Choose your country or region" text on the two versions. Apple hid HiDPI mode within OS X Lion last year and enabled the feature with the release of OS X 10.7.3.


Left: HiDPI version Right: Normal version (2x scale).


Elsewhere, a "Made for iPad. Ready for Anything" header graphic from the "From the App Store" tab of the iPad section of Apple's site was not as clear in HiDPI mode as the text below it when viewed on the page.


Left: HiDPI version Right: Normal version (2x scale).


According to the tipster, when in HiDPI mode, Safari first loads the normal-resolution versions of the site before then rendering the double-resolution versions. As a result, the images look slightly pixelated and jaggy at first before being resolved.

Apple is reportedly using a 2x tag to differentiate between normal- and double-resolution files on its site. For example, the high-resolution version of "hero_title.png" is named "hero_title_2x.png." The system resembles Apple's naming conventions for Retina Display files in iOS, though some of those files are tagged with @2x. Some developers have also taken to the 2x scheme and use it for filenames of their own graphics.


Top: HiDPI screenshot of Apple.com Bottom: Normal version (2x scale).


As expected, Apple unveiled a Retina Display iPad last week with a 2,048-by-1,536-pixel resolution screen and a pixel density of 264ppi. Speculation has also arisen that Apple will begin drastically increasing the resolutions of its Mac line. Rumors have suggested that the company is planning a 2,880-by-1,800-pixel resolution MacBook Pro for release later this year.

Though Apple has built some technologies into its operating systems to compensate for the move to Retina Displays, but third-party applications and websites will need to make adjustments in order to take advantage of the new display. Apple has updated its own applications in preparation for the Retina Display iPad, while some developers have begun updating their apps in anticipation of Friday's launch.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 30
Looks great!

Can't wait to get my hands on one this Friday...
post #3 of 30
Wow!! What a difference! <not>
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #4 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

Wow!! What a difference! <not>

Kind of defeats the purpose of showing the difference when your own viewport is low resolution ppi.
post #5 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

Wow!! What a difference! <not>

I hear ya! I watched the steam of the new iPad event. That Retina Display didn't look any clearer than the first one. In fact, it looked worse.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

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post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Kind of defeats the purpose of showing the difference when your own viewport is low resolution ppi.

The difference is in fact exaggerated when displayed on a low-ppi device, since the images appear larger.
post #7 of 30
So we are on the move. High resolution mobile devices with high resolution images, cloud storage and streaming of all you videos, music and file syncronisation.

Doesn't matter if you are an apple, android of windows fan, this is the way we are moving.

Only problem is we are moving in this direction at the same time that providers are restricting data limits and throtteling back speed above certain data usage thresholds.

Unless things change, I will be buying my next phone and tablet myself so I can stay on my current data plan, otherwise I will be upgrading my devices and downgrading my user experience when not on wifi.
post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I hear ya! I watched the steam of the new iPad event. That Retina Display didn't look any clearer than the first one. In fact, it looked worse.

WHAT?!! How could it possibly look worse? Everything is clearer and better defined. Ever compared an iPhone 3G/S to an iPhone 4/S? The difference is quite clear and obvious. The retina display is a massive improvement over the previous screen. 4x the number of pixels. You can't judge it on a video which is displayed in lower resolution than the screen itself.
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nairb View Post

Unless things change, I will be buying my next phone and tablet myself so I can stay on my current data plan, otherwise I will be upgrading my devices and downgrading my user experience when not on wifi.

That might not be enough. When you're out of contract you have no obligation to stay with the carrier and the carrier has no obligation to maintain your month-to-month plan.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kfury77 View Post

WHAT?!! How could it possibly look worse? Everything is clearer and better defined. Ever compared an iPhone 3G/S to an iPhone 4/S? The difference is quite clear and obvious. The retina display is a massive improvement over the previous screen. 4x the number of pixels. You can't judge it on a video which is displayed in lower resolution than the screen itself.

I was being sarcastic.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #10 of 30
FYI: Josh Ong @ Appleinsider - The first image you displayed with the USA flag and text. The text is plain text (styled with CSS), it will scale to any size with no loss of quality. Take a look now and zoom in with any web browser (CTRL and +), the USA flag still appears pixelly but the text never appears pixelly.
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I was being sarcastic
.

Nice save .... not!
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See, in the record business, you can show someone your song, and they don’t copy it. In the tech business, you show somebody your idea, and they steal it. (Jimmy Iovine)
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post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by kfury77 View Post

FYI: Josh Ong @ Appleinsider - The first image you displayed with the USA flag and text. The text is plain text (styled with CSS), it will scale to any size with no loss of quality. Take a look now and zoom in with any web browser (CTRL and +), the USA flag still appears pixelly but the text never appears pixelly.

I agree that those are poorly manipulated images, and even misleading in the first example.
post #13 of 30
So how will current sites look on the retina display? Will it be tiny, or will it blow up to fit... thus looking low res..??
2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post

So how will current sites look on the retina display? Will it be tiny, or will it blow up to fit... thus looking low res..??

If the browser automatically doubles the linear pixel count of images then they will look the same (or better, with smarter rescaling techniques) on high-res display as they look without resolution doubling on a low res display. It remains to be seen how exactly the browser will treat individual web pages.
post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I hear ya! I watched the steam of the new iPad event. That Retina Display didn't look any clearer than the first one. In fact, it looked worse.

your glasses must have steamed up...
post #16 of 30
I'm so glad this revolution is finally happening. Display density is one feature in consumer computers that has not improved greatly in the last several decades.
post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by know1here View Post

your glasses must have steamed up...

A product introduction is Apple-porn to a fan. Did you notice how the presenters played with the crowd and teased them along... it was like a strip tease.

< for those on this board who are totally lacking in sarcasm, humor, or understand what a slimily might be, please disregard this post >
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by terrycox View Post

I hope this isn't seen as plugging of our website, but our site has been upgraded to HiDPI ever since we knew the retina iPad was coming.

I won't link to it in, I just want to show the massive difference a double resolution display will have on the typical web page (once they have been refactored with 2x images of course). The level of detail is breathtaking.

It is misleading to try to judge the difference on a lower resolution display. The perceived difference in quality does not increase linearly with resolution, and while going from 100 to 200 ppi is an obvious improvement to most people, few will notice a change from 200 to 400 ppi.

Your example simply illustrates how much worse it would look for us if our screen (the one we view AI on) had half the resolution it has now. Unless we're viewing it on a new iPad, we wouldn't know how much better the new iPad was...
post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by terrycox View Post

What a sensible reply. "perceived difference" - because I am developing in HiDPI mode on my 27" display, I can clearly "perceive" a huge difference in quality. But I guess I can't truly say how much better the new screen will be without seeing it, and nor will we be able to explain how much better it is, and witness how much better it is, until we are all on HiDPI screens ourselves.

Well, in a way you can, if you have a large enough screen -- just stand further away from it. If your normal viewing distance is 15 inch, and your screen's ppi is 110, then you just need to go 3 feet away from the screen and you'll get a good idea how the new iPad would look.
post #20 of 30
That it AI! Keep bringing these little stories on. I haven't yet worked myself up into the frenzy to get the new iPad at all costs, but these things help!

Of course, the moment they announce its launch date in India, I'll be like a small kid on the night of the 24th of December!
post #21 of 30
If it looks like the MBP or/and the MBA will be going to 2880x900 with HiDPI, in just a few months, why would anyone buy something now?
post #22 of 30
Just like the iPhone Retina Display, you probably need to handle the device to really appreciate the difference. Alternatively, you can make a print at 150dpi and 300dpi and tell us if you don't think the difference is worthwhile. Basically, you turn from a computer display where one can count the pixels of text, to a crisp print.

I've been waiting for high dpi displays in computers, and resolution independence to go with it, it's nice to see some progress being made.
post #23 of 30
@ Terrycox

I can't believe how much you are scamming vulnerable non techies with your unlocking site. £59.99 for an O2 unlock (which is free - £20) with O2.

Nice work.

Also reported to Apple, for the breach of copyright/trademark etc
post #24 of 30
Watch your data quota fly by quicker now.....
post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by icoco3 View Post

Watch your data quota fly by quicker now.....

Because of web pages? How is this not a troll? People blow by their quotas by playing video, constantly streaming audio for lots of hours of running the Maps program while on the go. Web pages are a spit in a bucket compared to these uses. A HiDPI web page is roughly two to four spits in the bucket in comparison.
post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nairb View Post

Only problem is we are moving in this direction at the same time that providers are restricting data limits and throtteling back speed above certain data usage thresholds.

What happens if/when ISP's are going to charge us for the amount of data usage, as opposed to current and simple monthly fee? Perhaps some folks will curse at Apple for letting this HiRes into the wild, people wanting to return their iPad since the ISP is now charging more¡
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Because of web pages? How is this not a troll? People blow by their quotas by playing video, constantly streaming audio for lots of hours of running the Maps program while on the go. Web pages are a spit in a bucket compared to these uses. A HiDPI web page is roughly two to four spits in the bucket in comparison.

I believe history will show no troll. The comment does not infer you will use up your quota just by viewing web pages...long term, it is the little things here and there that can add up over the long term especially for those who use the iPad as their main computer. By your comparison, it is the leaky faucet in the kitchen. It does add up over time when you are trying to budget your data (for those that need to).
post #28 of 30
I don’t feel like digging into the code, but if anyone does—how is this being handled? Is it some JavaScript/CSS logic? Or purely something the new iPad Safari does on its own? In other words, is “_2x” a naming convention that web designers have to obey now?

EDIT: inferring from the preview process outlined in the other article, it sounds like this is a “standard” web designers will have to obey, but one that’s not REALLY a standard. On the one hand, this lets the future arrive NOW instead of in two years when committees get done with it, and the system is certainly easy for developers, compared to CSS/JavaScript. On the other hand, it means more useless hits to servers (when the _2x is missing), maybe new meta tags coming to control this further, and a major new aspect of web development that as far as I know, Apple alone is putting out—much like the apple_touch_icon. So, as a web developer I have mixed feelings, but I’ll await more details/confirmation.

The results may matter the most in the end.

EDIT2: it’s kind of a hybrid solution, apparently. That article explains what’s going on, which does involve custom markup... but not on the image itself so I didn’t notice at first. Then, within that custom attribute, JavaScript makes Safari handle things automatically, including checking whether a 2x version exists or not. That means there need not be double-hits on the server for every image on every site, but there WILL be extra hits (and extra data downloaded) for retina images. And they’ll need JavaScript. So... I intend to use them sparingly.
post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by icoco3 View Post

I believe history will show no troll. The comment does not infer you will use up your quota just by viewing web pages...long term, it is the little things here and there that can add up over the long term especially for those who use the iPad as their main computer. By your comparison, it is the leaky faucet in the kitchen. It does add up over time when you are trying to budget your data (for those that need to).

Yeah, sorry about that.

I buy the 250MB plan when I travel, and I only went over because I heavily use the Maps program, maybe 10-20 hours of driving. I probably could have just bought an app to prevent an overage, but I still haven't found one I liked.

Compared to that, web images are negligible in my opinion.
post #30 of 30
Don't desktop web browsers cache data and images?
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