Apple including 1024×1024 icons in Lion; Future Macs to sport Retina displays?

“Mac OS X Lion has made some under-the-hood changes opening the door to such super-high resolution displays,” Arnold Kim reports for MacRumors.

“Taking cues from iOS, Apple has reportedly built in support for what it calls ‘HiDPI display modes,'” Kim reports. “These HiDPI modes allow developers to supply 2x-enlarged images to support double-high resolution displays. Like the iPhone 4’s Retina Display, this means that user interface elements will remain the same size, but everything will be twice the resolution and therefore twice as detailed.”

Kim reports, “ has found that Apple is already starting to include other super high resolution artwork in Lion. They found several icons stored as 1024×1024 sizes, up from a previous maximum of 512×512… [This] suggests Apple is planning ahead when the hardware becomes available.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Wow. My first Mac (the SE), had a nine-inch monochrome screen and my latest has a 24-inch screen from which, I am watching the Today Show in HiDef as I type this comment.

    1k icons is fantastic. But this news translates to other areas of the UI as well. The fact that Apple is offering more “breathing room” in the graphical interface makes sense with the advent of 3D in the offing.

  2. Wow. The resolution of the display on the original “porthole” Macs was 512×342… For the ENTIRE display! My Mac IIsi ran comfortably at 832×624. Now, we’re going to have application- and system ICONS that are 1k x 1k? Man, I’m getting old!

  3. Mac screen resolution will NOT go much higher than the current high of 130 (or so) pixels per inch (PPI), until AFTER Lion. Key parts of Mac OS X (such as the Menu Bar) are tied directly to pixel size, and they are already on the “too small” side.

    The Mac’s following OS, after about two years with Lion, will probably be a MAJOR “reboot,” almost like going from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X. I think that’s when COMPLETE resolution independence will come into play, and pixels can get ridiculously small. And that’s when we’ll have “Retina” displays on Macs. Interestingly, that’s probably about the time the technology for such displays will become practical (in a size larger than an iPhone screen). Apple’s timing is good…

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