• What is a Retina display


    “Retina display” it’s Apple’s latest buzzword that’s slowly mulling its way across their entire product line. Most recently recently bursting from its former iOS bounds and landing amid Apple’s newest MacBook Pro lineup announced just days ago at WWDC 2012. But what is exactly is a Retina display? How does it affect you as a consumer or perhaps you as a developer? Do I want one? Well in the words of Dr Deane Hutton “I’m glad you asked”...

    To understand what a Retina display is we’re going to jump back to some of the basics that make up your computer’s (or phone’s, or tablet’s) display. Every screen is made up of pixels, tiny dots of light that are told what colour they should be by your computer. Thousands of these pixels line your display and together in their combination of colours create the visual imagery that you see and interact with on your screen. Where things get interesting is when we look at the density of the pixels or rather how many of them are crammed into the physical size of your screen referred to by the term “pixels per inch” (PPI).

    PPI is calculated through a relatively simple little formula of which the crux is the number of pixels diagonally across your screen divided by its physical diagonal size. For example Apple’s smaller iMac which has a viewable diagonal screen size of 21.5 inches at a display resolution of 1900x1200 equates to a PPI of 102.46. Had the same display resolution been on physically smaller screen, say 15 inches diagonal the PPI would be much higher at 149.81.

    Having a higher PPI means the pixels are bunched up much finer and can lead to a more crisp image to the viewer. Technology in display manufacturing has been slowly leading up to the point where now we can create displays with such a high PPI that according to Apple they are of such a high density that from a normal viewing point we can no longer see the lines between the pixels and it is this high density that Apple loosely refers to as a “Retina display”. To quote Steve Jobs at the unveiling of the iPhone 4, Apple’s first product with a Retina display:
    "...there's a magic number around 300dpi, if you hold something about 10-12 inches away from your eye, it's the limit of the human retina to distinguish pixels."

    The original iPhone and it’s successors up until the iPhone 4 all had a resolution of 320x480 with a PPI of 163. With the launch of the iPhone 4 the resolution doubled to become 640x960, 326 PPI. The increase by exactly double is no accident either and you may have already noticed that the new MacBook Pro’s resolution is exactly double its predecessor’s too. 2880x1800 to it’s former non-retina self of 1440x900. So why is this? Well, it keep everything in proportion. For the user if you’re looking at a web page or running an app that was built using the lesser resolution the system can double everything quite easily and not ruin the ratio of the material. The downside is that as the technology begins to expand across new product lines you’ll see an almost never-ending game of catch up as developers must include larger versions of all the imagery included in their software so that it looks as it should, until that happens the software does its best to blow things up to their newly doubled size often leaving them blurry and uneasy on the eye.

    For now the introduction of Retina displays into the Mac product family means more work for developers to double the size of their image assets. For the end-user, once their apps are updated they’ll enjoy a much more pleasant aesthetic experience and be able to truly reap the rewards of their wonderful display. The same goes for web developers, in a world where Retina displays become the norm the web will migrate to non-vector imagery doubled in size to accommodate these higher PPI displays. This may be a while away as Apple are technically the only people out there pushing the displays into the market at present but there are already Retina displayed imagery on a lot of websites as the iPhone & iPad take advantage of them already, accounting for the lion share of mobile traffic.

    To break it down as a developer (web or app) you’ll be creating rasterized assets at double the size (and again at half if you want to do the job properly), for the end-user you’ll be complaining on Twitter and Facebook that your favourite app looks funny until you get an update. Unfortunate but true.

    Lastly let’s all understand that “Retina display” is nothing more than an Apple trademarked name of higher pixel density displayed. It is NOT an industry standard nor patent of technology held by Apple, it’s a marketing term. Other computer manufacturers such as Dell or HP may not have a competing displays at this point but if they did they don’t have to create it to the same standard as Apple nor would they call it “Retina display”.

    References:

  • Dropdown

  • New Forum Posts

    Dougie

    help to purchase functional wireless keyboard for ipad air

    Hi , there a literally dozens of wireless keyboards on the market for sale. Which one do I spend my money on ?
    Can you help with your recommendations.....It

    Dougie Today, 09:48 AM Go to last post
    Kennard

    Switch from 10.6.8 to Sierra

    I was advised to do erase and clean install

    I would like to upgrade to Sierra from 10.6.8 ( 2.3GHz, i5, 4GB memory) Macbook Pro 2011 but

    Kennard 24th March 2017, 08:34 AM Go to last post
    POMMIER45

    How to Fix a Wet Phone and What You Should Never Do?

    Water damaged phone needs care when handling. The main cause of permanent damage to phones that have been exposed to the wet stuff is the immediate behavior

    POMMIER45 23rd March 2017, 03:13 PM Go to last post
    Egspriinn

    iPhone Music Transfer without iTunes

    For iPhone users, iTunes is one of the most powerful tool to transfer data from iTunes to iPhone. However, you can use a professional iPhone transfer

    Egspriinn 21st March 2017, 01:27 PM Go to last post
    Alex_Santos

    Colour Classic - Analog Board Repair

    I know that it's too late for you Michael but I am posting images for posterity's sake.



    I am editing this message because

    Alex_Santos 20th March 2017, 09:09 AM Go to last post
    MadKiwi

    How to Restore iPhone Without iTunes?

    Can the mods just shut this place down? All that seems to be posted these days is advertising crap like this - face it MacTalk is dead.

    MadKiwi 20th March 2017, 06:48 AM Go to last post
    MadKiwi

    Faulty fan plug on logic board

    Contact Apple directly, if it is only just out of AppleCare thet might come to the party

    MadKiwi 20th March 2017, 06:47 AM Go to last post
    MadKiwi

    How to Convert iTunes Movies to Android Phones and Tablets

    Can the mods just shut this place down? All that seems to be posted these days is advertising crap like this - face it MacTalk is dead.

    MadKiwi 20th March 2017, 06:45 AM Go to last post
    amyliao

    How to Convert iTunes Movies to Android Phones and Tablets

    iTunes as the world's biggest digital content store, also attracts many android fans to buy or rent movies, songs or iBooks here. However, the problems

    amyliao 15th March 2017, 09:44 PM Go to last post
    amyliao

    How to Convert iTunes DRM M4V to MP4

    Why we need to convert iTunes M4V to MP4

    To put it another way - What is M4V? Generally speaking, M4V is a DRM-protected video format originally

    amyliao 15th March 2017, 09:39 PM Go to last post