OS X Mountain Lion beta points to Retina display MacBooks coming soon

“A new clue found within in the latest developer release of OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) suggests that 2012 may bring us the ‘summer of retina display Macs,'” Chris Foresman reports for Ars Technica.

“A source with access to the latest Mountain Lion preview alerted Ars that double-sized graphics have popped up in some unexpected places, once again suggesting that Apple may be close to releasing MacBooks with high pixel-density screens,” Foresman reports. “One example comes from Messages, Apple’s replacement for iChat. While using the app under the second developer preview of Mountain Lion, some icons are erroneously displaying 2x resolution art… ‘I would interpret it to mean that Retina [MacBook] is close; perhaps concurrent with the release of OS X 10.8,’ our source said.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. “Soon” is relative concept.

    iOS for iPad had Retina resolution support since last spring. Jobs probably personally used Retina screen test model for like half year.

    So the question is whether production will be able to make these screens in value for reasonable price this year, or rather next year.

    Also, IGZO-made screens might significantly ease power consumption problem of big Retina displays, but it is not ready yet.

    If Apple would want to make Macbook Air with Retina screens now — 2779 × 1800 resolution — they would have to make these devices thicker and heavier because of backlight consumption problem. Only IGZO process would be able to resolve this issue without increase of weight and thickness.

  2. This is so Apple. While competitors try to catch up on IOS and Macbook Air, Apple quietly pushes the technology to bring retina to all products. Then BAM Apple TV with a higher definition than 1080p TV’s at a comparable price.

  3. Once I heard about the “Air Display” app that uses something “hidden” in Mac OS X called “HiDPI” mode (MDN story from a few days ago), I knew this was the path to using ultra-high resolution displays in Macs without the need to overhaul Mac OS X for “resolution independence.”

    However, using this method will require current-sized Mac displays, which max out at about 130 pixels per inch, to double their X-by-Y resolution numbers.

    So a 13-inch MacBook Air would have a 2880×1800 display (currently 1440×900). A 27-inch iMac would have a 5120×2880 display (currently 2560×1440). Using “HiDPI” mode, things on the screen (including the Menu Bar and icons) will have the same apparent size as on current Macs, but everything that supports “HiDPI” mode will be twice as sharp.

    Whether such displays can be produced today at the volume and price needed by Apple…? That’s a separate question. But Apple managed to do it for iPad, and still sell it for $499, so it may happen sooner than I imagined possible.

    One interesting side-benefit of having pixels that are too small to distinguish, is using the “non-native” resolution settings. For example, someone with weaker eyes may want use a 27-inch iMac set at 1920×1080, instead of the native 2560×1440. This looks reasonably good, even with the current display, because the pixels are already pretty small. But imagine how good it would look, if the pixels became too small to distinguish individually. It would look as good as native 1920×1080 on a true 1920×1080 display.

    So, “HiDPI mode” is paving the way (as an interim step) toward true resolution independence in the Mac’s OS.

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