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What if… A retina display for Mac

Mt Fuji Wallpaper.jpg

Jeff Smith of punchingIN took notice of this beautiful Mt Fuji desktop wallpaper [full size, 3200×2000 px] included in the Mac OS X Lion Developer Preview 2 and how no Apple Display currently supports that resolution – a staggering 6.4 megapixels. Even the 27″ iMac has only 2560 by 1440 pixels or about 3.7 megapixels. He supposes: What if Apple is planning to release a desktop ‘Retina Display,’ as found on the photorealistic iPhone 4 display?

John Gruber pointed to a thoughtful piece by Tim Ricchuiti of The Elaborated that takes Smith’s observation and supposes how Apple might achieve such a massive display resolution for the desktop. Two challenges they face would be providing massive processing power to drive such a display and scaling UI elements so that they are usable.

I think you solve the problem by doing something similar, though not identical, to what Apple did with the iPhone 4. I think that Apple will release extremely pixel-dense displays at some point in the near future, and that for those displays, they will double the size of existing UI elements, and encourage developers to do that same. That is, without the level of control Apple has on iOS, they can’t declare by fiat (or by codebase) that all applications must be displayed at double their current sizes, but they can leverage what control they do have in the Mac App Store to encourage developers to play along.

Ricchuiti’s piece is a must read that drives the imagination of working on a desktop or notebook display as beautiful as the iPhone 4.

[via Daring Fireball, punchingIN and The Elaborated]