Apple's latest Lion update continues preparations for Retina display Macs

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Apple continues to make behind-the-scenes improvements to OS X that will allow future Macs with high-resolution Retina displays to show higher quality images, AppleInsider has learned.

Hidden within the OS X 10.7.4 update issued on Wednesday is a Retina-display-caliber icon for Apple's built-in TextEdit application. In OS X 10.7.3, the highest-quality version of the application's icon was 512-by-512 pixels, but after updating to 10.7.4, its resolution has been doubled.

With the quality of the TextEdit icon increased greatly to 1,024-by-1,024 pixels, the file size of the icon also grew from just 209 kilobytes in OS X 10.7.3 to 1.7 megabytes in 10.7.4.

Other applications also saw their icon file sizes grow, such as the Address Book, from 279 kilobytes to 484 kilobytes, and Dashboard, from 130 kilobytes to 226 kilobytes. However, those applications do not feature Retina display 1,024-by-1,024-pixel icons.

The doubling of pixels in application icons suggest that Apple is planning to introduce new Macs with ultra-high-resolution screens, much like the Retina displays currently found on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch lineup. Apple's new iPad, released in March, packs 3.1 million pixels onto its 9.7-inch display, giving it a higher resolution than a high-definition 1080p television.



Apple has been making behind-the-scenes improvements to OS X to prepare for anticipated Retina display Macs for some time. Some application icons, like the App Store and LaunchPad, have included 1,024-by-1,024-pixel icons since OS X 10.7 Lion was in beta.

In February, it was discovered that Apple's OS X 10.7.3 update for Lion added more high-DPI user interface elements. Various cursors were upgraded to higher-resolution versions, like the pointing-finger cursor for browsers, the "grabby hand," and the camera cursor for taking screenshots.



Apple added HiDPI modes to OS X Lion last year, but those were only accessible by installing Xcode. HiDPI is modeled after the user interface resolution doubling that Apple has done with Retina displays on the iPhone and iPad.

Double-resolution icons can also be found in various applications in the developer preview of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, Apple's next-generation Mac operating system set to arrive this summer.

Icons 3


One report from last year claimed that Apple is planning to launch a new MacBook Pro with a 2,880-by-1,800-pixel Retina display this year. That would be exactly twice the resolution of the 1,440-by-900-pixel display currently found on the 15-inch MacBook Pro.

Apple's next-generation Macs are expected to be powered by Intel's latest Ivy Bridge processors. Intel announced last September that Ivy Bridge chips would include support for screens with a 4K resolution, providing up to 4,096-by-4,096 pixels per monitor.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 71


    I wonder where the disproportionate file-size increase comes from? Are they using different/less compression in addition to increased resolution?


     


    Continued HiDPI work on Lion would seem to indicate the Mountain Lion isn't shipping next month as one recent report suggested. If Apple were to release new Retina Macs soon and Mountain Lion were coming next month, you'd think they'd just launch them on 10.8. Further HiDPI work in Lion suggests Mountain Lion is still a ways off and Retina Macs will have to ship with Lion.

  • Reply 2 of 71
    kkqd1337kkqd1337 Posts: 359member


    getting a bit tired waiting for news on the new Ivy Bridge mac books. actually quite tempted by the Samsung 9 series +/- ivy bridge

  • Reply 3 of 71
    webfrassewebfrasse Posts: 147member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kkqd1337 View Post


    getting a bit tired waiting for news on the new Ivy Bridge mac books. actually quite tempted by the Samsung 9 series +/- ivy bridge



     


    That makes sense so go ahead...

  • Reply 4 of 71
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ltcommander.data View Post

    Continued HiDPI work on Lion would seem to indicate the Mountain Lion isn't shipping next month as one recent report suggested.


     


    I don't know anyone that would've thought that except extreme optimists. We'll see a near-final dev preview at WWDC, but then they need time to get that up and running. I don't figure any sooner than LATE July.


     


    Quote:


    If Apple were to release new Retina Macs soon…



     


    But that really can't happen, can it? Panels like that don't even exist! It'll be years before an appropriate 17" display exists, much less 27".


     


    Quote:


    Originally Posted by kkqd1337 View Post

    getting a bit tired waiting for news on the new Ivy Bridge mac books. actually quite tempted by the Samsung 9 series +/- ivy bridge


     


    Go ahead: enjoy the past!

  • Reply 5 of 71
    kkqd1337kkqd1337 Posts: 359member


    Quote:


    Originally Posted by kkqd1337 View Post

    getting a bit tired waiting for news on the new Ivy Bridge mac books. actually quite tempted by the Samsung 9 series +/- ivy bridge


    Go ahead: enjoy the past!


     


     


     


    lol i do love a good Apple #Fanboy


     


    tumblr_m3sgd0tFeP1qghsqpo1_500.jpg

  • Reply 6 of 71
    crunchcrunch Posts: 180member


    Mmmmhhh..........Anticipation is great fun. Can we have a Retina 27" iMac and/or Cinema Display please? [/END Salivate]

  • Reply 7 of 71
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kkqd1337 View Post


     


    tumblr_m3sgd0tFeP1qghsqpo1_500.jpg



     


    Gosh dang, where can I get that visor? It's huge, impractical, and it's the only visor I've ever seen with that design. I love it.

  • Reply 8 of 71
    gustavgustav Posts: 826member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    But that really can't happen, can it? Panels like that don't even exist! It'll be years before an appropriate 17" display exists, much less 27".



    My prediction: Apple will start with the 15" MacBook Pro.

  • Reply 9 of 71
    macbook promacbook pro Posts: 1,605member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kkqd1337 View Post


     


     


     


    lol i do love a good Apple #Fanboy


     


    tumblr_m3sgd0tFeP1qghsqpo1_500.jpg



    Gosh, how I do love a hypocrite!

  • Reply 10 of 71
    unotherunother Posts: 40member
    That's not a "design" per se. It's just a home-made visor with one of those stickers Apple has always enclosed with its products affixed to it. Being as this is 1983ish it's the pre-Garamond Narrow font on it.
  • Reply 11 of 71


    Can someone tell me why I need "retina" resolution in a display I'm viewing from 30" away?  At this distance I certainly can't resolve individual pixels at a .25mm dot pitch, and I wouldn't be that happy burning the additional GPU cycles to push 4x pixels around.

  • Reply 12 of 71
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

    My prediction: Apple will start with the 15" MacBook Pro.


     


    I don't figure they'll do it until they can do an entire family simultaneously. And if I'm right about the next laptop update, that means they'll have to wait for appropriate 11", 13", 15", and 17" panels.


     


    I don't think they SHOULD do it unless they can do it across an entire line of products at once, but that's me.


     



    Quote:

    Originally Posted by unother View Post

    That's not a "design" per se. It's just a home-made visor with one of those stickers Apple has always enclosed with its products affixed to it. Being as this is 1983ish it's the pre-Garamond Narrow font on it.


     



    Those are WAY bigger than product stickers. These are made visors.

  • Reply 13 of 71
    unotherunother Posts: 40member
    Gosh, how I do love a hypocrite!

    Ya know — it is possible to like something without being a fanboi...
  • Reply 14 of 71
    unotherunother Posts: 40member

    Those are WAY bigger than product stickers. These are made visors.

    *rolleyes*

    Yes, and Apple //es were way bigger then iPhones, Mr.
  • Reply 15 of 71
    karskkarsk Posts: 3member


    Am I the only one wondering why there's a need for a 1,024 x 1,024 pixel icon? With a 2,880-by-1,800-pixel Retina display you'd get two of them on your screen.

  • Reply 16 of 71
    8corewhore8corewhore Posts: 833member


    This makes me horny. Bring it on Apple, take my damn money!

  • Reply 17 of 71
    8corewhore8corewhore Posts: 833member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kkqd1337 View Post


    getting a bit tired waiting for news on the new Ivy Bridge mac books. actually quite tempted by the Samsung 9 series +/- ivy bridge



    This CPU is more important to you than the OS?

  • Reply 18 of 71
    macbook promacbook pro Posts: 1,605member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by unother View Post





    Ya know — it is possible to like something without being a fanboi...


    So, you are telling me that kkqd1337 came to an Apple fan site to discussion his impending purchase of a competitor's product then responded to someone's comment about the purchase by posting an image he had to conjure from the depths of the Internet isn't a hypocrite for referring to someone else as a "fanboy?"

  • Reply 19 of 71

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Karsk View Post


    Am I the only one wondering why there's a need for a 1,024 x 1,024 pixel icon? With a 2,880-by-1,800-pixel Retina display you'd get two of them on your screen.



     






    The 27" iMac has a resolution of 2560 x 1440, a retina 27" iMac would be 5120 x 2880. With some things like coverflow you will need bigger than 512x512 (or 256x256 on non retina macs), that's why right now the standard maximum resolution for icons on OSX is 512x512

  • Reply 20 of 71
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by unother View Post

    *rolleyes*

    Yes, and Apple //es were way bigger then iPhones, Mr.


     


    Having what to do with anything? I still HAVE some rainbow Apple stickers, and they're far smaller than the logos on those visors, meaning those visors aren't homemade.


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Karsk View Post

    Am I the only one wondering why there's a need for a 1,024 x 1,024 pixel icon? With a 2,880-by-1,800-pixel Retina display you'd get two of them on your screen.


     


    Mountain Lion will be navigated exclusively via a CoverFlow that takes up the entire screen. You cannot turn this off. You must flick your files.™

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