Apple’s Retina MacBook Pro evolution has come a long way in six years

“Apple’s 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro has come a long way since the first Retina models were unveiled in 2012,” Stephen Silver writes for AppleInsider.

“While the Retina Display made its overall debut on the iPhone 4 in 2010, it made its first appearance on a MacBook with the Retina MacBook Pro line that was introduced in 2012,” Silver writes. “The 2012 version offered 2880-by-1800 resolution at 220 pixels per inch, along with around 300 nits brightness. The new version starts at 2880-by-1800 native resolution at 220 pixels per inch and 500 nits brightness. The new version, meanwhile, offers TrueTone technology, which was not available in any previous model.”

“TrueTone technology is an Apple innovation which maintains the white balance of the display the same in appearance to the user, regardless of the ambient light around the screen,” Silver writes. “The system works by using the four-channel sensors to detect the ambient light that can affect the perception of the display.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Once you use an Apple TrueTone display, it’s very difficult to look at, much less try to use, anything else.


  1. Wish we could say that about the Mac Pro. I just have a dreadful feeling Apple will screw it up again in 2019 to the aghast and disbelief of disappointed Mac Pro fans everywhere. I hope I’m proved wrong.

      1. I wish it were not true too. I’ve used nothing but Mac Hardware since I ditched my Atari 800 back in the ’80s. I grew up with Apple and have it in my blood. Unfortunately, Pipeline does not care about customers such as you and me. Pipeline is about fashion. Pipeline is about politics. Computers just get in the way of Pipeline. That’s why we have a Mac Mini that is an embarrassment to Apple. That is all due to Pipeline. The same goes with the Mac Pro. Pipeline ignored that computer for 4 years. Pros screamed for years until finally Pipeline heard. He claims that a new Mac Pro is under development but due to priorities, Pipeline has only a single person on the job. That’s why it’s taking YEARs to make a new Mac Pro.

        Pipeline simply has no use for computers and it shows everyday.

        The decline of the Mac is ALL on Pipeline’s shoulders. That is the legacy of Pipeline.

    1. That is a unfounded fear, Fesarius. You have no reason to believe that. Apple has had some great pro desktop desktop designs in the past, and it is reasonable to believe that the company will leverage that experience to inform the design of the new Mac Pro due in 2019.

      The trashcan Mac Pro was an unfortunate case in which Apple tried something new, and it failed. I give Apple credit for trying something new. But I also hold Apple accountable for failing to recognize the shortcomings of the trashcan and rapidly deliver a great replacement. Five years is way, way too long. That said, I expect the new 2019 Mac Pro to be insanely great in all respects.

      Why be so dismal, worried, and glass empty? Try a little hope, Fesarius. You may find that you enjoy a lot more of your time on this Earth.

      1. “That is a unfounded fear, Fesarius. You have no reason to believe that.”

        Well, given the track record under pipeline, I have the same fear.

        “Try a little hope, Fesarius. You may find that you enjoy a lot more of your time on this Earth.”

        What makes you think Fesarius needs your advice to enjoy time on Earth sanctimonious preacher? …

  2. Apple hasn’t ever actually defined what Retina means, have they? All it is is a trademarked marketing name.

    When Jobs revealed the iPhone 4, he claimed that the pixel density was about 300ppi. Apple doesn’t uphold that standard in all its displays, the latest and greatest Macs having to hit price points only offer 218ppi (iMac Pro 5K display).

    Optic experts like DisplayMate claim that if you have 20/20 vision, then from a distance of one foot away, a human can detect pixellation to about 477 ppi.

    What’s more important, and more damaging to Apple’s position in the video community, is that Apple is so inconsistent, they refuse to maintain industry standard screen ratios across their product lines. It is not an insignificant chunk of work to reformat apps to fit every new screen factor Apple barfs out.

    Next: let’s talk about contrast and brightness. Apple doesn’t ever mention those measures. Wonder why???

    There was a time, about a decade ago, when an Apple display was the best value in the business. Timmy let that lead slip away. Competitors are already shipping 8K resolution large screen displays, and 4K screens have been the norm for a few years now. Apple continues to sell a hodgepodge of different display tech, with different ratios, different performance, some with the UglyNotch, most without, …. doesn’t anyone at Apple have a cohesive road map or are they just buying whatever extra capacity Samsung and LG are willing to give them?

    1. 440ppi or so from 1ft away? Good golly man, if you’ve got 20/20. Idiom why on earth are you jacking your MacBook Pro up to a ghastly 1ft from your face? It’s about 2-3ft from your eyes, and that’s more than enough for retina effect.

      1. The common belief (not actually accurate) is that the average person with good eyesight has photo receptors that subtend one arc minute of angular resolution. Many people have been better. Baseball great Ted Williams had been repeatedly tested and shown to be better than that by about a factor of two.

        The one arc second (settling on that generally accepted, but wrong, number for a moment) gives approximately 286 pixels per inch as well and easily resolved at one foot from a person’s eyes. This means that at one foot a person could actually see the individual pixels as distinct from each other.

        With the assumption that a person holds an iPhone about a foot from their face then 300 ppi is higher density than the 286 ppi and thus “retina” in that the average person could not easily resolve the individual pixels in the iPhone’s screen.

        For a laptop the assumption is that the screen is typically farther away from the user’s face, say 1 1/2 feet. This gives a resolved pixel density of 190 ppi so anything well over 200 ppi could be considered “retina” as the pixels, in normal use, would not be individually resolved by the average user.

        Going the next step, assuming a desktop computer screen is at least two feet away from the user’s face, the resolved density becomes 143 ppi so anything well above that is “retina”.

        The problem with ALL of this is that human vision can *perceive* differences in imagery down to one tenth that one arc minute angular resolution. This has been demonstrated in countless studies over the past several decades.

        So, if you want to create a screen that the user cannot differentiate from a continuous, analog screen (or physical painting) then the pixel densities mentioned above (286 at one foot, 190 at 18 inches, and 143 at two feet) need to be increased by a factor of ten (> 2,860 at one foot, > 1,900 at 18 inches, and 1,430 at two feet).

        Then again, if you want to cover even those users like the Ted Williams’ of the world, you need to double those again, i.e., > 5,729; > 3,820; and > 2,865 pixels per inch.

        Those are the numbers. However, it’s between you and your closest lexicographer to determine what you really believe is a “retina” display.

  3. Mike just begins to touch on the facts and what competition offers,

    You know what the competition offers as well,
    it makes looking at things on the screen even NICER an EASIER.


    See kids these days do this thing called gaming, and adults like to watch videos too, especially with women in them… and a bigger screen is really a lot of fun.

    I love the argument that with 13 adn 15 inch only, they are making a more efficient pipeline and don’t have to mill the extra parts,
    With all of Apples Money,
    Fucking just price things accordingly,

    Apple should offer the 17″ Macbook PRO PRO.

    All the toys, plus make it really thick, with a big ass juicy battery in it, ten pounds. and a HUGE screen,, Shit go for 18 ” why not, and make the battery last, Drumroll,, how about a real full whole day… and put all kinds of Jacks and ports on it, LOTS, and nice tall keys on the keyboard like my 2013 has. Cool, and charge for it, I mean we’re professionals, we’ll pay.
    IF it does all of those things, Pipeline Timmy can offer it in RAINBOW ONLY Colors.

      1. Sad, but true. Apple introduced the world’s first 17” Pro laptop and then sh*t canned it while PCs copies it, excelled with it, unbelievable. The can bring it back better than ever, oh wait, parade pride pipeline is in charge …

        1. Not quite sure why you want a 17 inch MacBook Pro.
          My 13-inch MBPr shuttles between the big displays I keep at home and office.
          That suits me a treat, and keeps the heft down for when I take it elsewhere.

          1. To answer your question: desktop to go when my home and office dual monitors are not available. Plus the complex programs i’m running require a lot of screen real estate for tool palettes …

        1. “You are very very tiring, BANNED CITIZEN X.”

          That would be YOU! Trying again to misrepresent who you are and denying your pathetic existence and cancer plague on MDN, I read.

          CX this is a FACT you cannot change with different disposable daily screen names — I’m still here as GoeB. Citizen X is BANNED. Got it, potty mouth? …

  4. You know how there is Parallels for MAC, so you run windows on a MAC, Imagine the opposite

    So that you could run Mac OS on any other intel computer,,, You think you’d be waiting for the new MacBook Pro?

  5. Ditching the MagSafe Power connector (and the other useful ports) in favor of eleventy USB-C ports is devolution. Neither I nor my co-workers not my family nor my pets nor the dude across the table at the coffee shop have become magically less clumsy in the last 6 years.

    1. What is delusional is your wilful ignorance of a very wide range of third party USB-C magsafe-like devices. To continue pretending these don’t exist shows you are not Tommy Boy, but instead, you are Dummy Boy. Sad.

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