Apple iBooks app indicates iPad 2 will quadruple resolution to 2048x1536

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Recent rumors have suggested Apple will give the second generation iPad a much higher resolution screen, although short of the ppi density of the Retina Display of iPhone 4. New graphics discovered within Apple's iBook app suggest this is true.



Last summer, iPhone 4 doubled its screen resolution in both directions (from 320x480 to 640x960), resulting in four times the pixels and an industry-leading pixel per inch density of 326. Apple called the new screen the "Retina Display," because it exceeded the typical resolution of the human eye, making individual dots all but impossible to discern.



The original iPad offered a 1024x768 resolution (at 132 ppi), leading many to guess that the next version might also get a similar Retina Display. However, a 300+ ppi display covering a 9.7 inch screen would require a fantastically high resolution.



Instead of aiming for a specific pixel density, it appears Apple will instead simply quadruple the iPad's native resolution as it did when it introduced iPhone 4, resulting in a very high resolution display with a pixel density of around 260 ppi, short of "Retina" status but still higher than most high end smartphones.



Evenly quadrupling the resolution makes it easy for developers to ship apps that take full advantage of both existing and new screen resolutions by simply including two versions of graphic assets, one labeled (by Apple convention) file.png and and a higher resolution version named [email protected]



Apple has reportedly slipped multiple examples of "@2" graphics in versions of its iBooks app, one targeted at iPhone 4 and another at a high resolution future iPad, according to tweets and a separate developer report. This includes "[email protected]" and a "Wood [email protected]" background image that covers 1536x800, rather than the standard 768x400 image used on iPad.



In order to handle that massive jump in resolution, iPad 2 would likely need a big boost in processing power, particularly its GPU. Recent rumors have suggested that Apple will address that need with a new version of its custom A4 ARM application processor, possibly named either the A5 as suggested by Engadget or A8, as postulated by a source in Hong Kong.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 187
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    I think this is great. I love beautiful text and that is helped a lot by extra pixels. However, has anyone seen the new 120Hz LCD monitors that are coming out in the PC world now? These just look fantastic and are getting rave reviews. In some ways a higher refresh rate can blow your socks off just as much as more pixels.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/3842/a...-look-at-120hz
  • Reply 2 of 187
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,270member
    Maybe I don't fully understand the meaning of quadruple...!?!?
  • Reply 3 of 187
    sure... and then quadruple the current price.
  • Reply 4 of 187
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,271member
    Awesome if true!

    Next, quadruple Macs and Mac OSX
  • Reply 5 of 187
    Really??? If true, this is going to be big. I want one.
  • Reply 6 of 187
    Typo: When making an app with both low- and high-res images, the naming convention is file.png and [email protected], respectively. Devices with Retina displays will automatically pick the @2x version to display.
  • Reply 7 of 187
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Recent rumors have suggested Apple will give the second generation iPad a much higher resolution screen, although short of the ppi density of the Retina Display of iPhone 4. New graphics discovered within Apple's iBook app suggest this is true.



    . . . resulting in a very high resolution display with a pixel density of around 260 ppi, short of "Retina" status but still higher than most high end smartphones.



    Just a minor point: Apple may also (justifiably) brand this as a retina display.



    The technical starting point for retina display branding is that any higher resolution is not worth it because of the eye's inability to distinguish individual pixels. <geek>That means the *angle* subtended by a pixel when held at a certain distance is less than a certain threshold, not a specific pixels per inch threshold. Hence, If the typical viewing distance for the ipad is greater than the typical viewing distance of the ipod or iphone by > 326ppi/260ppi (which certainly seems to be the case) then it is also a retina (limited) display. </geek>
  • Reply 8 of 187
    kre62kre62 Posts: 10member
    "Retina" does not mean >300ppi, it means when holding the device at a normal viewing distance (12' on the iphone) the eye can not discern individual pixels.



    Since the iPad is held at a greater distance, like 18-20", I'm sure this resolution could be considered retina.



    Insanely high res if true, in any case.
  • Reply 9 of 187
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Pointless, silly speculation. Not going to happen.
  • Reply 10 of 187
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    I’m still not sold on this, then again I wasn’t on the iPhone 4 display until we had some proof coming out of China.



    1) The biggest issue with sourcing components came from the display.



    2) The resolution isn’t bad and it already pushes more pixels than those other 7” tablets. Sure, they have a higher ppi, but in regards to the GPU you need more RAM and a more powerful system to push it. Is the PowerVR SGX453 rumoured to be coming up to that task?



    Before you say yes, note these simple stats.
    • iPhone 3GS: 480x320 = 153,600 pixels

    • iPhone 4: 960x640 = 614,400 pixels

    • iPad 1: 1024x768 = 786,432 pixels

    • iPad 2: 2048x1536 = 3,145,728 pixels

    That’s a huge jump. How will game play be affected? How with UI performance be affected? How will battery life be affected? Personally, I don’t want to lose a second of battery life for a higher resolution display.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Postulant View Post


    Maybe I don't fully understand the meaning of quadruple...!?!?



    Yeah, they got it wrong. It’s quadruple the number of pixels, but it’s only double the resolution, since resolution is resolved by perpendicular axes.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kre62 View Post


    "Retina" does not mean >300ppi, it means when holding the device at a normal viewing distance (12' on the iphone) the eye can not discern individual pixels.



    Since the iPad is held at a greater distance, like 18-20", I'm sure this resolution could be considered retina.



    Insanely high res if true, in any case.



    The equation is: 3438 * (1/n ppi) = number of inches you’ll need to hold it from your face.



    or: 3438 * (1/n”) = the pixels per inch along one axis the display much have.



    These are based on 20/20 vision.
  • Reply 11 of 187
    pokepoke Posts: 506member
    If this is true, it's going to blow the top off my skull. I seriously don't think they could put a display of that quality in such a low cost product. Especially when you look at what the competition are offering for the same price. It'd need a beefier CPU/GPU and more RAM. They'd still have to get a 10 hour battery life. It'd still need something like IPS for view angle. Can they do this? It sure looks like they plan to.
  • Reply 12 of 187
    More fragmentation. 480x320, 960x640, 1024x768, and possibly 2048x1536. Everything will look horrible upscaled.
  • Reply 13 of 187
    eaieai Posts: 417member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    That?s a huge jump. How will game play be affected? How with UI performance be affected? How will battery life be affected? Personally, I don?t want to lose a second of battery life for a higher resolution display.



    My guess is that most of the cost of the screen comes from the backlight rather than actually the pixels themselves, so maybe 4x the pixels won't affect the battery life _that_ much...



    That said, I'd still expect iPad 2 to have as good battery life as iPad 1...
  • Reply 14 of 187
    pokepoke Posts: 506member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Before you say yes, not these simple stats.
    • iPhone 3GS: 480x320 = 153,600 pixels

    • iPhone 4: 960x640 = 614,400 pixels

    • iPad 1: 1024x768 = 786,432 pixels

    • iPad 2: 2048x1536 = 3,145,728 pixels




    Yeah, that's insane. That's why I'm sceptical. On the other hand, there are images of the x2 assets they've found in the beta. Maybe it's just something Apple is testing but it'd be unusual for something like that to wind up in a public beta.
  • Reply 15 of 187
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LouisTheXIV View Post


    sure... and then quadruple the current price.



    You need to brush up on your Accounting skills.
  • Reply 16 of 187
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    More fragmentation. 480x320, 960x640, 1024x768, and possibly 2048x1536. Everything will look horrible upscaled.



    :sigh:





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eAi View Post


    My guess is that most of the cost of the screen comes from the backlight rather than actually the pixels themselves, so maybe 4x the pixels won't affect the battery life _that_ much...



    That said, I'd still expect iPad 2 to have as good battery life as iPad 1...



    This is where I trust Apple. I don?t expect the battery to be worse than before and actually expect it to be better.



    Add to that Job?s statement during the October MBA event that they have altered their battery tests to be even more stringent. Since they already had the more realistic and stringent testing in CE it?s possible they made some breakthroughs that make this move a viable marketing option.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by poke View Post


    Yeah, that's insane. That's why I'm sceptical. On the other hand, there are images of the x2 assets they've found in the beta. Maybe it's just something Apple is testing but it'd be unusual for something like that to wind up in a public beta.



    There are also images from iOS 4.3b1 that show 1024x768 images for a camera shutter and video, something that the current iPad doesn?t have.



    Could Apple continue this current display size for iPad 2 for the cheaper models and have the premium models be fitted with this double resolution display, better GPU and more RAM? They haven?t done this in the past, but the iPad may also be a unique device that sells a lot more in high end than other CE product I?ve seen (following Amazon.com?s best seller lists), thus warranting the extra cost. I?d likely buy the expensive model just to get this display.
  • Reply 17 of 187
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by poke View Post


    Yeah, that's insane. That's why I'm sceptical. On the other hand, there are images of the x2 assets they've found in the beta. Maybe it's just something Apple is testing but it'd be unusual for something like that to wind up in a public beta.



    As a developer of iheadache, I can speak to this issue.



    Since the number of pixel density is doubled in each direction, the current apps will simply use 4 identical pixels, instead of 1, and the app (whether iphone or ipad) will appear the same. Once developers load 2x graphics, then the 2x graphics will automatically be substituted. Apps will be larger but that is the only significant difference for most apps out there.



    There could be issues related to speed of game play if the graphics processor cannot keep up with the work of the extra pixels but I don't Apple would release a display with 4 x the number of pixels if the processors could not handle it.
  • Reply 18 of 187
    The iPad2 resolution is 1920 x 1440.
  • Reply 19 of 187
    macslutmacslut Posts: 514member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    More fragmentation. 480x320, 960x640, 1024x768, and possibly 2048x1536. Everything will look horrible upscaled.



    No it won't. You missed the whole @2x.png part of the post. Since they're going to 2048x1536, but retaining the same size, an original .png file will look the same as it does on the first iPad, just like .png images on the iPhone 4 look the same as they do on the iPhones <4. They look *better* when there's a @2x.png resource that's used.



    The confusion is when an iPhone image is scaled up to an iPad. It either needs to only use the same size on the screen of the iPad and look good, but small or be scaled up with the "2X", which makes it look big, but doesn't look good.



    This is why people are speculating that Apple won't increase the resolution of the iPad unless it can go all the way to 2048x1536. However, this is just an insane number of pixels. I would be shocked to see this in the iPad 2...but very happy.
  • Reply 20 of 187
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    If you remember the iPhone 4 introduction, the justification for Retina Display was defined as 20/20 vision when held 10-12” from the eyes. To feasibly maintain this marketing term Apple only needs to justify that same 20/20 vision and a minimum distance you are expected to hold a tablet from your eyes.



    They can make this up as they see fit, but they do have to be able to justify it or risk irrevocably weakening said marketing term. I’d say about 16-22” seems about right for a tablet. Based on that criteria the PPI would need to be 156 to 215. Very doable since even 7” tablets are exceeding that lower measure.
    • 3438 * (1/16") = 215 ppi

    • 3438 * (1/18") = 191 ppi

    • 3438 * (1/20") = 172 ppi

    • 3438 * (1/22") = 156 ppi

    (Where 3438 is the scaling factor derived from a 1 arc minute visual acuity for 20/20 vision.)





    Now that we have that squared away we can easily use a PPI calculator to see what difference displays would be. Here’s a simple site I like to use: http://thirdculture.com/joel/shumi/c...e/ppicalc.html
    • XGA: 1024 x 768 = 786,432 pixels = 132 ppi*

    • SXGA: 1280 x 960 = 1,228,800 pixels = 165 ppi*

    • SXGA+: 1400 × 1050 = 1,470,000 pixels = 180 ppi*

    • UXGA: 1600 × 1200 = 1,920,000 pixels = 206 ppi*

    • QXGA: 2048 x 1536 = 3,145,728 pixels = 264 ppi*

    That’s a lot more pixels to render even going the minimum Retina Disaply classification outlined above based on about 22” away from eyes. Still, I think the SXGA+ is actually doable on the newer Imagination Tech GPUs. It’s almost 2x as many pixels of the current iPad, but Apple isn’t close to using the most powerful GPU they offer. Whether that is viable for power efficiency reasons, if they can even source these displays when the current IPS displays seem to be holding the iPad production up already, or if they need to wait a year (or more) for other reasons is obviously unknown.





    PS: For comparison, the iPhone 4’s GPU is only pushing a 614,400 pixels.





    * Assuming a 9.7” display.
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