The iPhone 4 and 4S may not be the only devices with insanely high resolution screens. In the near future, with speculation that Apple is working to bring super high resolutions to the Mac being given extra weight thanks to the recent release of the new Messages app.
Made available yesterday alongside the announcement of Mac OS X Mountain Lion, Messages brings iMessage to the Mac for the first time, while also replacing the ageing iChat at the same time.
Talk of a special HiDPI mode coming to OS X has been around for a while now, with many believing that a new MacBook Pro is in the works with a slated release for 2012 – the new machine would sport a mind boggling resolution of 2880×1800, according to sources.
In order to facilitate an easy transition to new HiDPI screens, Apple appears to be taking a leaf out of its iOS playbook, where the company doubled the iPhone 3GS screen resolution of 320×480 to the 640×960 screen inside the iPhone 4 and 4S. If Apple decides to take a similar doubling approach with the Mac, then developers would need an easy way of making their apps ready for such a change in screen real estate.
Now it appears that the Messages beta may hold they key to such an issue, with @2x appearing in some of the app’s resources. The same distinction is used in iOS when differentiating between standard resolution artwork and then those designed for the Retina Display.
According to Apple’s own developer documents:
The inclusion of the @2x modifier for the high-resolution image is new and lets the system know that the image is the high-resolution variant of the standard image.
The discovery of the references could point to Apple taking the same stance on the Mac that it does with iOS, asking developers to provide two sets of assets to enable the use of the increased resolution afforded by such high resolution screens.
Quite how Apple is going to get such a monumental resolution into a portable computer, we’re not entirely sure. Having said that, we wouldn’t have predicted the Retina Display until we saw it, and the thought of a 27-inch iMac that has similar technology really whets the appetite.
Let’s just hope the huge screen resolutions don’t also come with suitably huge prices!
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