The iPhone 6 Plus launched with a new display technology from Apple called Retina HD, providing an even higher resolution than that of the original Retina display. That same technology might be headed to the iPad Air 2.
New iPads are expected to be launched next week during Apple’s media event, which is set for October 16. The tablets will obviously see some improvements, both to the design and the performance specs, but it seems Apple wants to offer something a bit better than its Retina display on the iPad, and the company could bring its Retina HD technology to the iPad Air 2.
Developer Hamza Sood has spotted some interesting files in the code for iOS 8.1, pointing to several image files that contain “3x” assets that point to higher resolution displays in the new iPads.
“3x” in this case means a resolution that’s three times the resolution of the original iPad. The original iPad and iPad 2 had resolutions of 1024 x 768. Starting with the iPad 3, Apple bumped the resolution up to 2x with the Retina display at 2048 x 1536. Now, the iPad Air 2 could see a resolution boost to 3x, which would effectively bump it up to 3072 x 2304. That’s nearing 4K quality, which would be absolutely insane for an iPad, but it’s something that could easily be done.
The iPhone 6 Plus has a pixel density of 400 pixels-per-inch. If the iPad Air 2 sported the higher resolution of 3072 x 2304, the pixel density would be 395 pixels-per-inch, so it really doesn’t seem to far fetched if this happened.
Granted, it was rumored that the yet-to-exist 12-inch iPad Pro would be getting a higher resolution while the 9.7-inch models would stick with the regular Retina display, but that may not entirely be the case.
We’ll no doubt find out what Apple has been planning come next week. We’ve heard plenty of rumors recently about the possibility of Apple launching new iPads in October, which isn’t too surprising considering that the company has announced new iPads in October for the past couple of years. However, Apple might also take that time to launch OS X Yosemite to the public, as well as announce a new iMac model.
Not a whole lot is known about the iPad Air 2 or the iPad mini 3, but we’ve seen some other leaked photos that suggest what we might see in a couple of weeks.
The iPad Air 2 isn’t expected to get a huge redesign, as the iPad Air was the model to see a major refresh. Apple typically doesn’t overhaul its products’ designs until a couple of generations have passed, so we can expect the iPad Air 2 to keep the same overall look as the iPad Air, except for some small, but impactful changes.
The new iPad could come with recessed volume and power buttons, as well as a redesigned speaker grille. The volume buttons look to keep the same design as the iPad Air, but are simply recessed slightly into the body of the tablet. As for the speaker grille, the leaked photos that we’ve seen show the iPad sporting a single horizontal line of larger holes, which is a drastic difference than the smaller holes that were arranged in two rows on the iPad Air.
Furthermore, it’s already been rumored a couple times this year that the iPad would get Touch ID fingerprint sensor capabilities. We even saw hints of Touch ID capabilities in the code of iOS 7.1 back in April, and a few days later we heard that one of Apple’s part suppliers were cranking out Touch ID fingerprint sensors in large quantities.
Touch ID was definitely one of the features that users were looking forward to ahead of the iPad Air event back in October last year, especially after it was introduced on the new iPhone 5s just a month earlier, but Apple sadly did not deliver such a feature.