Dude, your pixels haven’t gone anywhere! The new iPad’s retina display squeezes four of them into the space that only one occupied on previous iPads. So here’s the magic: this means they pretty much disappear right before your eyes. Apple calls this a ‘retina display’ because at normal viewing distance, your eyes can’t see individual pixels anymore. Curved lines no longer look like small dots joined together – they actually look more like vectors. To get an idea for the difference, take a look at the magnified comparison above.
A couple weeks ago, when Apple’s CEO Tim Cook announced the new iPad and its retina display, he also announced that it would be in stores in just over a week. So naturally we got to work on preparing The Early Edition 2 for the new display. Four days later, version 2.2 was ready, and to our surprise it was approved the morning that the new iPad launched.
The Early Edition is now finally matched by a display so detailed that it resembles real ink on real paper.
Seeing this update for the first time in the Apple Store that morning was an amazing experience. Sure, our new graphics look as great as I’d hoped at retina resolution, but even more stunning are text and images. The Early Edition is now finally matched by a display so incredible that it resembles real ink on real paper. Photos look like high quality prints. Wow.
Naturally with any Apple release, there were the usual handful of articles labelling it an incremental update and that Apple should have done more. My local TV news simply reported that the new iPad had ‘a better screen and a faster processor’. Reports like this simply don’t understand the difference a retina display makes on a device like the iPad.
Today it will be something cool, tomorrow something you never imagined possible.
I’ve always thought of the iPad as fundamentally just a canvas. The multitouch display is its one big feature. Combined with the App Store, the iPad’s uses are limitless. Today it will be something cool, tomorrow something you never imagined possible. The device won’t have changed but what you use it for will. If you think about the iPad’s retina display as a hardware spec, you’re doing it wrong. It doesn’t make the iPad better, it makes apps better. It transforms dots into paint. It turns digital images into actual photographs. It makes digital text look like ink on a page.
There’s nothing minor or incremental about that.
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