Retina displays bound for Macs? Apple’s Messages Beta app includes high-res images

“There has been plenty of evidence that Apple is planning for ultra high resolution Mac displays,” Arnold Kim reports for MacRumors.

“In July 2011, we first detailed the existence of a new ‘HiDPI’ mode in OS X Lion,” Kim reports. “This HiDPI mode was put in place in anticipation of the day that Macs would have double-resolution (4x the number of pixels) “Retina” Displays.”

Kim reports, “A look at some of the resources from Apple’s new Messages app shows several graphics that come in multi-part TIFFs that include regular and double resolution versions… It seems Apple’s Messages App is already building in support for Retina displays on the Mac.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Sarah” for the heads up.]


  1. I’ve heard people ask, “Where would resolutions be if it weren’t for everything being 1080?” Most stop right there. It’s about time they moved-up in resolution!

    1. It was widely acknowledged that the HD specification was woefully short-sighted when it was implemented in the 1990s. The only justification for stopping at 1080P is that the nationwide data networks and portable media were not capable of handling a higher number of pixels per frame. In fact, it took quite a few years for the bandwidth and portable media (especially recordable) to evolve to a satisfactory state. Even today, 720P is quite a bit more common than 1080P for streaming video and internet download.

  2. I like how Apple starts small and simple, gets everything working great, then builds on that.
    Retina displays on the iPhone
    Then on the iPad.
    Next onto the Macbooks then the iMacs.

    I really want a Retina 21×9 ratio Apple Cinema TV.
    You will be able to watch 4 shows at once with room for computer info displayed to the side! Simply Incredible.

  3. Mac displays will not go beyond the current highest pixel density of about 130 pixels per inch, until Mac OS X implements a higher degree of resolution independence. For example, the Dock is already resolution independent, because the user can smoothly adjust its relative size on the screen. Finder icons are somewhat resolution independent, because the user can incrementally (not smoothly) adjust their size. However, some GUI elements, most notably the Menu Bar, are dependent on pixel size. If pixels get any tinier, some parts of the current Mac OS X GUI will become unusable.

    Perhaps Mountain Lion will add such capabilities and allow those higher resolution displays.

    Also, a “Retina” display on a Mac would not need to be 326 PPI, like on iPhone. If a user hold an iPhone about 12 inches from eyes, and uses a Mac screen at twice that distance, “only” 160 PPI would give the user the same perceived image quality (on the Mac). If the Mac is a 27-inch iMac, it is probably placed more than 24 inches away from eyes, so maybe only 120 PPI would be sufficient for “Retina” quality. That’s not too much higher than the current highest PPI Mac displays, which is about 130 PPI on some MacBook models and about 110 PPI on the 27-inch iMac. Therefore, the displays on some Macs are ALREADY “almost Retina.”

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