By now it seems all but certain that Apple will put a Retina Display in the iPad 3, or as it may end up, the iPad HD. The display is said to have a resolution of 2048×1536, quadruple that of the iPad and iPad 2. But what does the higher resolution means for apps?
Kevin Ng of Kevin Ng Games took it upon himself to show us just what a Retina Display would do for his upcoming game, Food Run. Ng decided to take a Photoshop image of what his game would look like on the iPad 2 and then blow it up to fit on a Retina Display on iPad 3 (or iPad HD). The results show the difference very well.
In a close-up view of an iPad 2, screen the characters look very rough. You can see where pixelation has messed with Ng’s vector graphics, making them look very rough. Of course, zoomed out to full view you don’t notice the jagged edges as much, but it’s still not difficult to pick out the issues.
The Retina Display image, however, looks incredibly sharp even when viewed at an incredibly close distance. The details are much clearer, with no obvious jagged edges. When viewing the full screen, it’ll look even better. If you’re holding the iPad 3 at a distance you wouldn’t be able to see any roughness around the characters at all.
With a Retina Display like this there are a few issues, though. Kevin Ng won’t have any trouble with his game supporting the iPad 3 because he used vector graphics. Developers who use more precise art will have to make whole new images to fit the new display. Those new images will create larger files.
As The Next Web points out, those larger files could push up against the 20MB file limit placed upon apps being downloaded over 3G. Some developers already have difficulty keeping under that limit as it is, and new graphics will make it even harder to keep under the limit.
The problem will be even worse for universal apps.
Those apps will need to supply graphics for the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4/4S, iPad 2, and the new iPad 3. The images alone have the potential to take up 20MB with all of those requirements. Even if you don’t plan on getting an iPad, this is an issue because the universal app has the graphics for all versions, which will be a problem for iPhone users.
Maybe we’ll see an increase to the limit, or maybe Apple’s answer is 4G LTE connectivity. The only downside to that is not everybody has access to LTE.
The only answer for everyone as of now will be to download all large apps over Wi-Fi, but hopefully those who want the 3G Or 4G iPad won’t have to give up downloading apps anywhere because of the fantastic new screen.