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Double-resolution icons in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion hint at Retina Macs

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 
More evidence that high-resolution Retina display Macs are in Apple's near future has been discovered in an early developer build of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

Double-resolution icons were found in "unexpected places" of Mountain Lion by a source who spoke with Ars Technica. Their inclusion was interpreted to suggest Apple could release Retina display MacBooks as soon as this summer.

One double-resolution icon was found in the new Messages application. In the second developer preview of Mountain Lion, released a week ago, some icons are incorrectly displaying at twice their normal size.

Their appearance in the latest build of Mountain Lion led the source to suggest that new MacBooks equipped with Retina displays could appear as soon as this summer, to coincide with the release of OS X 10.8.

Evidence of Retina display Macs cropped up in February when Apple released OS X 10.7.3 with new high-DPI user interface elements. Specifically, a number of cursors in the operating system were updated to scale to larger sizes on higher resolution screens.

Apple added HiDPI modes to OS X Lion last year, but they were previously only accessible by installing Xcode. HiDPI is modeled after the UI resolution doubling that Apple does with its Retina display iPhones, the iPod touch and the new iPad.




Rumors began to crop up late last year that Apple is preparing new versions of its MacBook Pro lineup with double-resolution displays. The resulting display for a 15-inch MacBook Pro would be 2,880 by 1,800 pixels.

Support for higher resolution Macs will come with Intel's next-generation Ivy Bridge processors. Those chips will support up to the 4K resolution, which allows 4,096-by-4,096 pixels per monitor.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 59
Wait for the "Not for me unless they come with matte option" comments
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
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From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
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post #3 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Wait for the "Not for me unless they come with matte option" comments

Waiting for the "The current screen is pretty much perfect in every way" comments.
post #4 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Waiting for the "The current screen is pretty much perfect in every way" comments.

In all honesty- as I sit in front of my 27" iMac- I don't know how it could be any better or how colors and print could be any higher quality. But- I'm happy to find out.

But as the article doesn't mention iMacs- I would be inclined to say they agree. But ya- MacBooks could easily see a bump.

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #5 of 59
... and let me guess, they halve the size of the fonts on the screen again!
post #6 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

In all honesty- as I sit in front of my 27" iMac- I don't know how it could be any better or how colors and print could be any higher quality.

Thank you!
post #7 of 59
I'm trying to wrap my brain around how this would play out for someone with a second monitor. If the new MacBooks actually come with "retina" displays, what happens if you drag, say, a Finder window from your MacBook's monitor to the second monitor? Wouldn't the window become huge because of the resolution difference between the two monitors? Would the OS somehow know to use the old "low-res" UI objects that are displayed on a "non-retina" monitor? Or is that even something that would be desirable?
post #8 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

In all honesty- as I sit in front of my 27" iMac- I don't know how it could be any better or how colors and print could be any higher quality. But- I'm happy to find out.

But as the article doesn't mention iMacs- I would be inclined to say they agree. But ya- MacBooks could easily see a bump.

I think there is a good possibility that when it comes out the Apple TV (can they call it iTV? - I don't think so because of copyright issues) will have an Ultra-High-Definiton screen with over 3 million pixels like the new iPad, rather than everybody else's boring 2 million pixel HDTV.

That way we can project wirelessly Ultra-Hight-Definition movies, videos and games to our Apple TV from our new iPads. Although the Apple TV will also have internet connection, we can download and store media to our iPads if the internet connection is not good enough to stream.
.
post #9 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamrin View Post

I'm trying to wrap my brain around how this would play out for someone with a second monitor. If the new MacBooks actually come with "retina" displays, what happens if you drag, say, a Finder window from your MacBook's monitor to the second monitor? Wouldn't the window become huge because of the resolution difference between the two monitors? Would the OS somehow know to use the old "low-res" UI objects that are displayed on a "non-retina" monitor? Or is that even something that would be desirable?

It strikes me that a macbook air or mac pro with a retina display that could project its screen to a full hd tv using an apple tv using mountain lion would be the objective. The idea is that you have the advantages of portablility of a air or macbook when on the road but the ability to put the display on a full hd screen when at home. Using the laptop with a second monitor is not the main game.
Given the cost of large sreen full hd TVs is plumeting but the cost of monitors is not falling as fast this is not a bad option. Mount the TV on the wall, use apple TV to project on to the big screen and when you get home you have all the screen real estate you want without having to squint to read the small screen.
I am 53 and my eyes are not what they used to be. I like my 11 inch macbook air but have to wear specs to read the screen. At home i use a mac mini plugged into a 50 inch plasma because i can put the screen far enough away that i can focus without specs. With a retina screen and mountain lion the air would solve both problems withoutt the need for extra cables etc
post #10 of 59
So i guess this is how Apple wants to differentiate themselves from PC world. I really don't understand the retina on a mac, though. You're sitting far away that you don't see pixels. Isn't it retina already?
Apple had me at scrolling
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Apple had me at scrolling
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post #11 of 59
Cool, man, cool.

Credit card ready.
post #12 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

In all honesty- as I sit in front of my 27" iMac- I don't know how it could be any better or how colors and print could be any higher quality. But- I'm happy to find out.

But as the article doesn't mention iMacs- I would be inclined to say they agree. But ya- MacBooks could easily see a bump.

We have calculated the average PPI for an 27" iMac screen to be considered retina, and it's along the lines of 160 ppi if you are sitting approximately 20 inches away from the screen.

The current iMac screen is 109 ppi. Hence if the iMac screen was made retina, then it'd have approximately 2k vertical resolution instead of 1.6k.

High res laptop screens Apple ships are 130 ppi. So they are closer to retina than desktop screens atm if they are being used at the same distance.

But that's as much as they can go. So they can't ever produce a 27" display which has 4k vertical resolution. Because at that point if the viewer stands exactly at the retina limit, he/she cannot see the entire screen due to the limits of the vision. So 2k seems to be around what we can ever hope to see on a desktop screen.

Oh but, they'll go 4k when they want to give 2k 3D.
post #13 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamrin View Post

I'm trying to wrap my brain around how this would play out for someone with a second monitor. If the new MacBooks actually come with "retina" displays, what happens if you drag, say, a Finder window from your MacBook's monitor to the second monitor? Wouldn't the window become huge because of the resolution difference between the two monitors? Would the OS somehow know to use the old "low-res" UI objects that are displayed on a "non-retina" monitor? Or is that even something that would be desirable?

They've already worked that out. It'll work the same way as "AirDisplay" for the new iPad:

http://www.macrumors.com/2012/03/21/...-for-your-mac/
post #14 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

So i guess this is how Apple wants to differentiate themselves from PC world. I really don't understand the retina on a mac, though. You're sitting far away that you don't see pixels. Isn't it retina already?

You are seeing the pixels unless you are sitting quite far away from your screen.
post #15 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Thank you!

You're welcome

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tails View Post

We have calculated the average PPI for an 27" iMac screen to be considered retina, and it's along the lines of 160 ppi if you are sitting approximately 20 inches away from the screen.

The current iMac screen is 109 ppi. Hence if the iMac screen was made retina, then it'd have approximately 2k vertical resolution instead of 1.6k.

High res laptop screens Apple ships are 130 ppi. So they are closer to retina than desktop screens atm if they are being used at the same distance.

But that's as much as they can go. So they can't ever produce a 27" display which has 4k vertical resolution. Because at that point if the viewer stands exactly at the retina limit, he/she cannot see the entire screen due to the limits of the vision. So 2k seems to be around what we can ever hope to see on a desktop screen.

Oh but, they'll go 4k when they want to give 2k 3D.

Sounds good to me. Thanks for the info. I will absolutely look forward to it.

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #16 of 59
Win 8, iPad, macs are going retina which means HD content. With 4g being now faster than wired connections the cap issue has to be resolve. All content is about to get huge, streaming/web pages/apps/programs and caps on mobile need to represent that reality with real monthly plans that will last a month not days like the current 2-5g ones...
post #17 of 59
I'm starting to think a Retina display is how Apple plans to 'resolutionize' the TV market.
Although I'm not sure how they would get the jump on Sharp and LG with that, since those companies are also Apple's screen suppliers.
post #18 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

In all honesty- as I sit in front of my 27" iMac- I don't know how it could be any better or how colors and print could be any higher quality. But- I'm happy to find out.

But as the article doesn't mention iMacs- I would be inclined to say they agree. But ya- MacBooks could easily see a bump.

Thats because the Macbook Pros 13 & 15 stock displays are terrible awful
Groupthink is bad, mkay. Think Different is the motto.
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Groupthink is bad, mkay. Think Different is the motto.
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post #19 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodGrief View Post

They've already worked that out. It'll work the same way as "AirDisplay" for the new iPad:

http://www.macrumors.com/2012/03/21/...-for-your-mac/

Yeah, I saw that article the other day, too. We'll see if Apple can make it work out as magically as that article implies.
post #20 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Secular Investor View Post

I think there is a good possibility that when it comes out the Apple TV (can they call it iTV? - I don't think so because of copyright issues) will have an Ultra-High-Definiton screen with over 3 million pixels like the new iPad, rather than everybody else's boring 2 million pixel HDTV...

As I recall, there was some difficulty with the ability to manufacture the retina display as "large" as the ipad screen. That's probably why iPad 2 didn't have it, even after all the speculation that it would. I can imagine that high a resolution built by replicating that small a pixel perfectly over a large area is difficult to extrapolate to the format of, say, an iMac and maintain the necessary uniformity and quality control across the entire screen.

Now imagine if perfecting a mass manufacturing process to move the retina screen from the iPhone to the size of an iPad was difficult, how much more difficult it will be to duplicate that process for a 24"-27" screen of an iMac.

Then imagine the leap of difficulty in creating a mass manufacturing process to create a 42 or 50 inch retina display for a typically sized large screen TV that people are now use to. I can imagine that would make for a TV with a whopping big price-tag until the process is perfected.
post #21 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamrin View Post

Yeah, I saw that article the other day, too. We'll see if Apple can make it work out as magically as that article implies.

Little doubt there; for me the question is whether Adobe, Microsoft, can produce quality software for the mac anymore When does the mac app store & Xcode kill £100+ apps?
post #22 of 59
How can Apple double the resolution of Mac displays unless they also figure out how to rasterize screen text independent of the screen resolution? With current rasterization technology, a Mac with twice the resolution would render all interface elements at half their current size. In other words, many interface elements would be too small to read. This would be an unmitigated disaster.
post #23 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tails View Post

You are seeing the pixels unless you are sitting quite far away from your screen.

Not really.
At current MBP resolution (133 ppi for the 17 inch) and at a 20 inch viewing distance, it is very nearly a retina display already (about like having an iPhone with a resolution of 266 ppi at 10 inches.) A 25% increase over current MBP resolution (rather than the article's proposed 100% increase) would easily move them into the "retina display" category.

The news is — OS X may be finally making the move to a "resolution independent interface."
The "Retina Macs" conclusion shows little understanding of what's what.
post #24 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post

Not really.
At current MBP resolution (133 ppi for the 17 inch) and at a 20 inch viewing distance, it is very nearly a retina display already (about like having an iPhone with a resolution of 266 ppi at 10 inches.) A 25% increase over current MBP resolution (rather than the article's proposed 100% increase) would easily move them into the "retina display" category.

The news is OS X may be finally making the move to a "resolution independent interface."
The "Retina Macs" conclusion shows little understanding of what's what.

Yeah, but like I said, that's only for laptops. iMac is 109 ppi, which can go up to 160+ ppi for becoming retina, so it's nowhere near retina.
post #25 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by c4rlob View Post

I'm starting to think a Retina display is how Apple plans to 'resolutionize' the TV market.
Although I'm not sure how they would get the jump on Sharp and LG with that, since those companies are also Apple's screen suppliers.

TVs already have "Retina" displays. You could not see the pixels of a full-HD 32'' screen from 6-7 feet away.

I'm starting to think that all it takes to be impressed with new technology is poor imagination and limited understanding of how current technology works.
post #26 of 59
This would surely require a 2X button to be implemented at the OS level? If not, those little icons in the likes of Maya and Photoshop are going to become awfully tricky to click on...
post #27 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by fulldecent View Post

... and let me guess, they halve the size of the fonts on the screen again!

You're missing the point. The probelm with the HiRes displays they offer is that they shrink the size of the elements.This gets around that limitation that has kept PC displays so low for so many years.

Notice that the image in the article isn't smaller, but larger because it's trying to render 4x the number of pixels. The solution is to make everything more clear while keeping all the elements the same size... just like with the iPhone 3GS to iPhone 4 and iPad 2 to iPad (3).

Of course, they won't be doing the same double resolution scaling because it's not a requirement for a windowed so the elements could be slightly bigger or smaller depending on the resolution used, but the effect will be the same either way.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tails View Post

We have calculated the average PPI for an 27" iMac screen to be considered retina, and it's along the lines of 160 ppi if you are sitting approximately 20 inches away from the screen.

The current iMac screen is 109 ppi. Hence if the iMac screen was made retina, then it'd have approximately 2k vertical resolution instead of 1.6k.

High res laptop screens Apple ships are 130 ppi. So they are closer to retina than desktop screens atm if they are being used at the same distance.

But that's as much as they can go. So they can't ever produce a 27" display which has 4k vertical resolution. Because at that point if the viewer stands exactly at the retina limit, he/she cannot see the entire screen due to the limits of the vision. So 2k seems to be around what we can ever hope to see on a desktop screen.

Oh but, they'll go 4k when they want to give 2k 3D.

This!


Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

TVs already have "Retina" displays. You could not see the pixels of a full-HD 32'' screen from 6-7 feet away.

I'm starting to think that all it takes to be impressed with new technology is poor imagination and limited understanding of how current technology works.

The equation for 20/20 vision is: 3438 * (1/x) = y, where x is the minimum distance away from your eyes it has to be placed and y is the number of pixels per inch.

For example, if you have a 46" 1080p HDTV that is 48 PPI so the equation is: 3438 * (1/x) = 48, which means you need to sit over 6" away for the pixels to become indistinguishable. Of course, there are other factors involved but that is the basis of the definition.

(Please check my math)

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post #28 of 59
Getting to the point that they have to upgrade all the other iMac pieces to make it worthwhile. Would you upgrade your iMac just for a display? "Web surfing" is clearly adequate with any model, and the parts are all just great. How many of us have external HDs and all they really need is a thunderbolt/usb3/esata, and a retina display? ("need" being relative, of course..)
post #29 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tails View Post

We have calculated the average PPI for an 27" iMac screen to be considered retina, and it's along the lines of 160 ppi if you are sitting approximately 20 inches away from the screen.

The current iMac screen is 109 ppi. Hence if the iMac screen was made retina, then it'd have approximately 2k vertical resolution instead of 1.6k.

High res laptop screens Apple ships are 130 ppi. So they are closer to retina than desktop screens atm if they are being used at the same distance.

But that's as much as they can go. So they can't ever produce a 27" display which has 4k vertical resolution. Because at that point if the viewer stands exactly at the retina limit, he/she cannot see the entire screen due to the limits of the vision. So 2k seems to be around what we can ever hope to see on a desktop screen.

Oh but, they'll go 4k when they want to give 2k 3D.

I never thought of this before - the whole maximum resolution for an eye thing - it's really interesting. I'm kind of confused by your logic though. You're basically saying that 27" is the biggest monitor you could use at a 20" distance? Experimenting with my monitors, I can focus on any point on a 114 deg horizontal range and 104 deg vertical range without moving my neck - remarkably close to Wikipedia's 120 and 100 respectively. At 20" distance that works out to a monitor that's 69.3" wide and 47.7" tall. Obviously that's a bit ridiculous but you could definitely go larger than 27".

Also interesting is that the human field of vision has a 16:11 aspect ratio, not 16:9. I wonder if at some point in the distant future we'll see a shift in monitor aspect ratio...

Slightly off topic but again interesting, the resolution of the average human eye is 7200x6000, but this doesn't map directly to a monitor because the eye is spherical and a monitor is planar. The difference is really important as you start to get into peripheral vision.
post #30 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Secular Investor View Post

I think there is a good possibility that when it comes out the Apple TV (can they call it iTV? - I don't think so because of copyright issues) will have an Ultra-High-Definiton screen with over 3 million pixels like the new iPad, rather than everybody else's boring 2 million pixel HDTV.

boring 2 million pixel HDTV?

Hardly anyone thinks Apple are likely to produce a TV set for several reasons, mainly financial... So why would they want to produce a TV with more pixels than is humanly possible to see, unless the entry-level screen is something like 200 inches?!
post #31 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by jowie74 View Post

boring 2 million pixel HDTV?

Hardly anyone thinks Apple are likely to produce a TV set for several reasons, mainly financial... So why would they want to produce a TV with more pixels than is humanly possible to see, unless the entry-level screen is something like 200 inches?!

This is just me thinking out loud, but it seems to me the point of a retina display was to make pixels indistinguishable (and whatever is being viewed on them subsequently sharper) on devices with screens that are viewed up-close. So, to agree with you, putting a retina display on a "large" screen like a TV would definitely be pointless unless the viewer is sitting that close to it.
post #32 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

This is just me thinking out loud, but it seems to me the point of a retina display was to make pixels indistinguishable (and whatever is being viewed on them subsequently sharper) on devices with screens that are viewed up-close. So, to agree with you, putting a retina display on a "large" screen like a TV would definitely be pointless unless the viewer is sitting that close to it.

And if the definition of Retina now is some formula of DPI / distance from screen, then technically speaking most HD TVs are already "Retina". Any more pixels would be a pointless exercise.
post #33 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

This is just me thinking out loud, but it seems to me the point of a retina display was to make pixels indistinguishable (and whatever is being viewed on them subsequently sharper) on devices with screens that are viewed up-close. So, to agree with you, putting a retina display on a "large" screen like a TV would definitely be pointless unless the viewer is sitting that close to it.

Yes and no. If we're just talking about pixels that the human eye can discern (assuming 20/20 or 6/6 vision) and ignoring everything else then going far past Retina Display quality is pointless. However, it's my understanding there are more factors to consider than just that one metric, especially when it comes to video. As we know video is just a series of still photos that trick the eye into perceiving motion.

There is also the issue of size. Today's HDTVs are getting large enough that at a normal viewing distance they are no longer considered Retina Display. 46" at 6' just makes the cut but how many who are thinking about buying a new HDTV are considering sizes much larger than that? How about in a couple years?

A 3840x2160p (2k) HDTV at 56" has a PPI of 79. That would mean it would be Retina Display quality at 3.6'. In 5 years will 56" be somewhat small? If that's an 80" HDTV then the PPI is only 55. That means you've have to sit more than 5' away to be considered Retina Display quality.

I've seen 70" HDTVs already on the market that are only 1080p which means you have to sit over 9.2' away to get the Retina Display affect so we're already getting to a point where we need a higher resolution in our HDTVs.


Equation: 1 ÷ (x ÷ 3438) = y, where x is the PPI and y is the minimum distance in inches you have to be from the display.

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post #34 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

There is also the issue of size. Today's HDTVs are getting large enough that at a normal viewing distance they are no longer considered Retina Display. 46" at 6" jut makes the cut but how many who are thinking about buying a new HDTV are considering sizes much larger than that? How about in a couple years?

So let me get this straight, you're saying that at 6" (6 inches) a 46" 1080p flat-panel display is considered retina. Don't you mean 6' (6 feet / 1.82 meters) or am I missing something? The chart below suggest the latter.

post #35 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

So let me get this straight, you're saying that at 6" (6 inches) a 46" 1080p flat-panel display is considered retina. Don't you mean 6' (6 feet / 1.82 meters) or am I missing something?

It's a typo as the equations in my post will verify.

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post #36 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

It's a typo as the equations in my post will verify.

That's what I thought, but you did it for every example and it had me scratching my head.
post #37 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Cool, man, cool.

Credit card ready.

Me too!

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post #38 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

So i guess this is how Apple wants to differentiate themselves from PC world. I really don't understand the retina on a mac, though. You're sitting far away that you don't see pixels. Isn't it retina already?

Meg Whitman and the rest of HP can watch as Apple changes the game again.

And I'm sure some Microsoft VP will blog bitterly about how Windows has had retina display since the days of Vista, but whine about how Apple is better at marketing someone else's innovation and how Microsoft needs to get better at that.

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post #39 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

This would surely require a 2X button to be implemented at the OS level? If not, those little icons in the likes of Maya and Photoshop are going to become awfully tricky to click on...

Why? Can't any graphics files that not digitally signed as "retina ready" just be automatically upscaled like they are in iOS.
post #40 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

That's what I thought, but you did it for every example and it had me scratching my head.

Edited my post. I think I got all typos. In my defense I was typing that while trying to watch all the trailers before The Hunger Games started. FYI: was sitting in the very back with the brightness all the way down so no one was disturbed by phone use. Gotta stay connected!

Bottom line: Only the smaller HDTVs are likely to still qualify as Retina Display quality until you sitting very close to your set so 2k is definitely needed to maintain this effect as we increase our display sizes.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunks View Post

Why? Can't any graphics files that not digitally signed as "retina ready" just be automatically upscaled like they are in iOS.

Assuming the app was coded to Apple's guidelines bitmap image pixels will be represented by a 2x2 instead of 1x1, but they aren't really taking advantage of the Retina Display, they are merely being formatted correctly by the OS and app.

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