Apple’s OS X 10.7.4 Lion update hints at Retina display Macs

“Hidden within the OS X 10.7.4 update issued on Wednesday is a Retina-display-caliber icon for Apple’s built-in TextEdit application,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider.

“In OS X 10.7.3, the highest-quality version of the application’s icon was 512-by-512 pixels, but after updating to 10.7.4, its resolution has been doubled,” Hughes reports. “With the quality of the TextEdit icon increased greatly to 1,024-by-1,024 pixels, the file size of the icon also grew from just 209 kilobytes in OS X 10.7.3 to 1.7 megabytes in 10.7.4.”

Hughes reports, “The doubling of pixels in application icons suggest that Apple is planning to introduce new Macs with ultra-high-resolution screens, much like the Retina displays currently found on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch lineup.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Awesome! But with that big of a jump in file size for just one icon apple needs to make 128gb ssd standard or were gonna start running into storage problems, especially on the 11 inch Mac air.

  2. Someone please explain to me why it grew to 1.7 MB? Four times the size suggests a file size that is 5 times bigger (around 1MB, for the quad- and single-resolution images).

    1. Possibly less compression or a higher quality alpha channel? Also, without having the icon in front of me, maybe they’ve added more colors as well? It would be subtle, but would definitely raise the file size.

    1. Resolution independence has been part of Mac OS X for several OS iterations. You see it in WebKit already when you double-tap on an article to grow that to the width of the screen. And it’s a serious part of iOS (which Mountain Lion is moving towards).

      That said, I don’t think a high resolution TextEdit icon presages any product announcement. As long as Tim Cook has to say “We’re selling all we can make” about the iPad, I doubt the Mac will be allowed to consume any Retina display production.

    1. Yes, the 27″ does, but this is taking into account that you may see even higher resolution displays in the same form factor. For instance, if the current iMac is 2560 x 1440 at 27″, imagine it at 3840 x 2160 (1.5x) at 27″. If the icons didn’t scale with the increased dpi, they would be smaller and harder to see. But, with larger icons (pixel-wise) and denser dpi, your system would still be usable because not everything would be tiny.

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