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MacRumors
Dec 5, 2011, 01:55 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/12/05/apple-testing-gpu-drivers-for-higher-resolution-iphone-screens/)


http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2011/12/iphone_4s_retina_display-150x190.jpg

Macerkopf.de reports (http://www.macerkopf.de/20111205-apple-testet-neue-prozessorgeneration-und-unterschiedliche-displayaufloesungen-fuer-das-iphone) [Google translation (http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http://www.macerkopf.de/20111205-apple-testet-neue-prozessorgeneration-und-unterschiedliche-displayaufloesungen-fuer-das-iphone&hl=en&langpair=auto%7Cen)] that it has learned from an Apple software engineer that the company is currently testing fourteen different GPU drivers for iPhone hardware, including several drivers for running displays at higher resolutions of 1280 x 720 and 1440 x 800. The iPhone 4 and 4S currently utilize a 960 x 640 display.

According to the report, Apple is testing two sets of seven drivers each targeting either dual-core or quad-core chips. Within each set, Apple is said to be testing four drivers targeting the current 960 x 640 display size, two targeting 1280 x 720 displays and one targeting 1440 x 800 displays.

The report notes that these drivers are only in testing and thus not necessarily indicative of any shipping product. In addition, the higher resolutions are not clean multiples of the current iPhone resolution, meaning that developers would have to offer newly-scaled content to fit the new size, with Apple having to use a non-ideal automatic scaling to allow current content to display on the new device. In the transition to the current Retina displays, Apple doubled the screen's resolution in both the vertical and horizontal directions, allowing lower-resolution apps to be easily scaled up using pixel doubling techniques.

Macerkopf has not been a frequent source of rumors, and most recently incorrectly claimed that iOS 5.0.2 (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/11/16/ios-5-0-2-coming-soon-to-address-battery-issues-ios-5-1-to-bring-new-siri-integration/) would be coming in late November to further address battery issues. The claim was later retracted (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/11/21/ios-5-0-2-not-coming-this-week/) after it was said that memory leaks were delaying the public launch. The original report also cited major enhancements to Siri for the first significant update for iOS 5. But with the first developer build (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/11/28/apple-begins-seeding-of-ios-5-1-beta-xcode-4-3-to-developers/) of iOS 5.1 being released last week, there is yet to be any evidence of such Siri enhancements.

Article Link: Apple Testing GPU Drivers for Higher-Resolution iPhone Screens? (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/12/05/apple-testing-gpu-drivers-for-higher-resolution-iphone-screens/)



///M5
Dec 5, 2011, 01:58 PM
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The iPhone's screen is just fine. Now do something for the iPad's.

Sneakz
Dec 5, 2011, 02:14 PM
Not surprised if true. My belief is that the next iPhone resolution will be 1152x720 or 1440x960 though to keep the current screen ratio.

Gemütlichkeit
Dec 5, 2011, 02:18 PM
Great, I'm curious if there would be that much of an improvement. My eyes can't detect any pixilation right now on the iPhone 4's screen when viewing at a normal distance.

The iPad however...

Feltzem
Dec 5, 2011, 02:26 PM
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I didn't expect Apple to be content with a lower resolution screen than the competition, even though most have a lower pixel density. 1440x960 would be the most logical of the two.

daneoni
Dec 5, 2011, 02:49 PM
4" 1280x720 (or more) screen.

Yes and Yes

aross99
Dec 5, 2011, 02:51 PM
Keep the 960x640 screen, but bump the size up to 4" and keep the form factor as close to the current one as possible...

guzhogi
Dec 5, 2011, 02:55 PM
My ipHone's 3.5" screen has a higher resolution than my original 12" screen I had for my Mac LC. :(

musio
Dec 5, 2011, 03:12 PM
Does this calculate to a larger than 4" screen?

fjanderson94
Dec 5, 2011, 03:17 PM
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Even though these are only drivers I think this adds additional information supporting the iPhone "5" with a 4" screen at a higher resolution to continue making the iPhone display a retina display. 1440x960 sounds good to me, but I think the iPad's display needs more attention than the iPhone's however.

HiRez
Dec 5, 2011, 03:34 PM
Does this calculate to a larger than 4" screen?

It doesn't calculate to any specific screen size, they can make a screen any size in whatever resolution they want. But it makes zero sense to increase the iPhone's resolution without increasing screen size. Based on Apple's own "retina" designation, there would be no perceptible difference to the user.

So it does suggest a larger screen, but it's unclear what size. Somewhere around 4" would seem to make sense. Any less and it's not worth the fragmentation issues, nor can I see Apple producing a gigantic screen that won't easily fit in a pocket. Personally I would be fine with a 4" screen at the current 960x540 resolution, I think it would still be plenty sharp, but it wouldn't then technically qualify to be called a "retina" display, something Apple probably wants to keep.

Mr Fusion
Dec 5, 2011, 04:38 PM
... Resolution Independence?

:apple:

HiRez
Dec 5, 2011, 04:58 PM
... Resolution Independence?

:apple:

If you mean true, continuously variable resolution, it's very unlikely. Apple's been working on it and talking about it (to developers) for years, and they still can't get it to work like they want it to. There's just a lot of issues with it if you want to do it well. It looks like they're basically scrapping it and going with the simpler double-resolution technique, although that does force some restrictions. Basically why they need the new iPad to be 2048x1536. Something like 1440x1080 or 1600x1200 would be a lot easier to produce, but it would really mess up the software (not just Apple's, all the third party apps as well). Which is why I don't believe this rumor about a different iPhone resolution. I think a larger screen keeping the existing 960x540 is more likely.

marcusj0015
Dec 5, 2011, 05:14 PM
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720P would be a great res for the iphone, but i'm thinking these other resolutions are for an A6 based Macbook Air.

McGiord
Dec 5, 2011, 06:02 PM
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In addition to the bigger screen, maybe the iPhone graphics will be capable to drive bigger screens, and things like the rumored Apple TV sets, or docking stations like patent that looked like an iMac?
Remember there will be something "we currently don't need"...

fjanderson94
Dec 5, 2011, 06:13 PM
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720P would be a great res for the iphone, but i'm thinking these other resolutions are for an A6 based Macbook Air.

I'm pretty sure the iphone display is much greater than 720p

slrandall
Dec 5, 2011, 06:15 PM
I'm pretty sure the iphone display is much greater than 720p

nope

nurnim
Dec 5, 2011, 06:19 PM
Hmmm, I did some math. I'm not that good at math, so feel free to check my numbers.

The current iPhone screen is 960x640 at roughly 3"x2". 1280x720 is 1.33x1.125 that resolution, 1440x800 is 1.5x1.25 that.

If Apple wants to keep the same ppi, the higher resolution would mean a screen that is larger by those factors. My rusty brain and my calculator came up with 4"x 2.25" and 4.5"x2.5", the first being roughly 4.6" diagonal, the second 5.1".

Interestingly, the first one would pretty much work out to a screen that would cover the whole front of the iPhone4/s.

blackcrayon
Dec 5, 2011, 06:56 PM
If you mean true, continuously variable resolution, it's very unlikely. Apple's been working on it and talking about it (to developers) for years, and they still can't get it to work like they want it to. There's just a lot of issues with it if you want to do it well. It looks like they're basically scrapping it and going with the simpler double-resolution technique, although that does force some restrictions. Basically why they need the new iPad to be 2048x1536. Something like 1440x1080 or 1600x1200 would be a lot easier to produce, but it would really mess up the software (not just Apple's, all the third party apps as well). Which is why I don't believe this rumor about a different iPhone resolution. I think a larger screen keeping the existing 960x540 is more likely.

You'd still have a problem with a larger screen with the same res though, since the physical size of screen elements would be affected. It's interesting which compromise Apple will take - different size elements, or same size but different resolution elements.

I thought that they might be making the next iPhone have the same ppi as the iPad 3, which would mean the same resolution (or thereabouts), but a physically larger screen - but have the same ppi as the iPad 3. This would at least allow using the same size (res and actual size) bitmaps for each of those. Guess it's also possible they could change the shape of the iPhone to be 3:4 to match the aspect ratio of the iPad but that seems much less likely.

the8thark
Dec 5, 2011, 07:06 PM
I do believe this is not for iPhones. I think it's for retina iPad displays. If you change the resolution ratio on an iOS screen. You piss off a lot of developers who have to remake their apps for the new screen size ratios. Apple is not dumb and would not do this.

Also what's the point between the current retina iPhone screen and some super retina screen when the human eye at the average viewing distance can not tell the difference? Wasted pixels if you as me.

marcusj0015
Dec 5, 2011, 07:06 PM
Hmmm, I did some math. I'm not that good at math, so feel free to check my numbers.

The current iPhone screen is 960x640 at roughly 3"x2". 1280x720 is 1.33x1.125 that resolution, 1440x800 is 1.5x1.25 that.

If Apple wants to keep the same ppi, the higher resolution would mean a screen that is larger by those factors. My rusty brain and my calculator came up with 4"x 2.25" and 4.5"x2.5", the first being roughly 4.6" diagonal, the second 5.1".

Interestingly, the first one would pretty much work out to a screen that would cover the whole front of the iPhone4/s.

Aspect ratio is completely independent of resolution and diagonal screen size.

the8thark
Dec 5, 2011, 07:17 PM
Aspect ratio is completely independent of resolution and diagonal screen size.

This is correct because a pixel is not a fixed size. It's as big or small or whatever shape as you want to make it and as current technology allows.

Stating this cause a few people here do not seem to realise this.

nurnim
Dec 5, 2011, 07:35 PM
Aspect ratio is completely independent of resolution and diagonal screen size.

This is correct because a pixel is not a fixed size. It's as big or small or whatever shape as you want to make it and as current technology allows.

Stating this cause a few people here do not seem to realise this.

Which is why I didn't base my calculations on any specific aspect ratio, but on the relative size of the screen, IF Apple wants to keep the ppi the same in both directions. I don't think Apple would want to change the ppi or the size or overall shape of the individual pixels much, because that would lead to distortions with existing graphics. With a screen with a higher resolution and a bigger size relative to that resolution, existing apps could run and look just like they do in the iPhone4/s with the rest of the screen remaining blank and optimized apps could take advantage of the additional screen real estate.

runningman1228
Dec 5, 2011, 07:54 PM
I'm pretty sure the iphone display is much greater than 720p

Not the case.

720p refers to number of pixels present on the shorter side of the screen. So in the case of the iPhone I guess you could say it has "640p"

So compared to a 720p or 1080p television the iPhone has fewer pixels, but since these pixels are crammed onto a 3.5in screen instead of a 55in the image quality is spectacular due its high pixel density. (326 pixels per inch for the iPhone).

leukotriene
Dec 5, 2011, 07:57 PM
Umm...
Nobody's noticed that 1440x800 and 1280x720 both represent different aspect ratios from the current 1.5 aspect ratio of 960x640?

That suggests not just a higher resolution, but a completely different screen design and probably a completely different form factor. This could be the future "iPod": a 5 or 6 inch media player with an aspect ratio of 1280x720 that could AirPlay to an HDTV set without having to letterbox. It would be more like a long rectangle (like an HDTV) and less square-ish than the current iPhone aspect ratio. Perhaps this could also be the future remote control for an AppleTV set since the content on the TV set would scale down perfectly (in terms of aspect ratio) to match the content displayed on the remote control.

Rocketman
Dec 5, 2011, 08:02 PM
While I am in favor of rumors for a higher res iPhone and can believe this is testing for iPad 3 alternatives, my strongest belief is this is for the next Apple TV with an A6 chip and a range of "TV" monitor options.

Apple is notorious for having very fixed and simple resolutions for its widest distributed consumer products which now include iPhone and iPad., They will keep it simple whatever the resolution.

It is Apple TV that needs to see different displays.

Not to open a can of worms (aka kick-a$$), and leak the most likely rumor of all, it is the next Mac. Using an A6 chip (or two), and a range of existing display resolutions. That is now MY rumor. I have a track record that can be researched.

Rocketman

Yaboze
Dec 5, 2011, 08:12 PM
I have heard many people say just give the iPhone a 4" screen and keep the resolution. They won't do that, the PPI that they are going for is tied not only to the res, but the size.

A 4" or 4"+ iPhone would need a higher resolution. I guess they are trying to find the right balance of screen size, resolution and PPI.

commander.data
Dec 5, 2011, 08:36 PM
I'm partial to 4" at 1024x640. 4" addresses the "bigger" without being too big. 1024x640 addresses compatibility with older apps since they'd just run at 960x640 with black bars, no scaling necessary. With the larger screen size, 4" vs 3.5", you don't actually lose any touch surface by leaving black bars since the black bars were previously bezel anyways. 16:10 as an aspect ratio vs 16:9 should also be less unwieldy rotating between portrait and landscape orientations, which seems to be an advantage of the existing 3:2 aspect ratio. And 1024x640 on at 4" screen would work out to 302 dpi or still Retina. As well, since most of the added screen space in a 16:10 screen will be in height (in portrait) vs the current 3.5" screen, Apple could probably maintain mostly the same overall dimensions simply by eating into the wasted bezel above and below the screen. They probably wouldn't even need to change the size or the shape of the home button. 4" 1024x640 seems fairly advantageous from many angles.

roow110
Dec 5, 2011, 08:46 PM
I think the next iPhone will have the same ppi, but a larger screen, therefore old apps will fill only part of the screen, the same way iPhone apps are displayed on the iPad, and this gives future app developers the ability to utilize more screen space.

abrian24
Dec 5, 2011, 08:53 PM
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I expect Apple to increase the screen resolution of the next iPhone to not only accommodate the rumored 4" screen but to keep up with the competition of 720p resolutions now. If they do increase the screen size then they'll have to also increase the screen resolution to maintain the retina ppi, it doesn't seem like Apple to increase the screen size and allowing the ppi to decrease.

gpat
Dec 6, 2011, 04:17 AM
Betting on 1440x960. 3x original iphone, 1.5x retina.

jayducharme
Dec 6, 2011, 08:26 AM
IMO Apple's priority should be the mythical resolution independence. The current increase in resolution is logical and will continue, but it's becoming an issue for images that were digitally scanned or shot just ten years ago (when the full-screen norm was 800x600). Those images are beginning to turn into postage stamps on the new screens. I know of some fractal imaging programs that have been able to do a decent job of upscaling small images. But it would be nice if devices had a built-in way to do that.

whooleytoo
Dec 6, 2011, 09:49 AM
Umm...
Nobody's noticed that 1440x800 and 1280x720 both represent different aspect ratios from the current 1.5 aspect ratio of 960x640?

That suggests not just a higher resolution, but a completely different screen design and probably a completely different form factor. This could be the future "iPod": a 5 or 6 inch media player with an aspect ratio of 1280x720 that could AirPlay to an HDTV set without having to letterbox. It would be more like a long rectangle (like an HDTV) and less square-ish than the current iPhone aspect ratio. Perhaps this could also be the future remote control for an AppleTV set since the content on the TV set would scale down perfectly (in terms of aspect ratio) to match the content displayed on the remote control.

Yup. It could be they want to increase screen size without making the phone much larger. There's little scope for making the iPhone's screen wider without making the iPhone itself wider; but they might be able to make the screen longer (top to bottom) by reducing the wide bezel at the top & bottom of the iPhone. And as you say, it has the added benefit of fitting better with wide-screen content.

OTOH, maybe Apple just used fake info to smoke out the leak in one of their engineering departments. ;)

commander.data
Dec 6, 2011, 10:13 AM
The UI of iOS has pretty much stuck to incremental improvements over the last 5 generations. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple has a larger UI rethink planned for iOS 6, in which case a change in aspect ratio/screen size could go hand-in-hand with a major UI changes.

redscull
Dec 6, 2011, 10:37 AM
Apple's priority should be the mythical resolution independence.Why is resolution independence mythical? That's been the norm for desktop/laptop computers since the 1980s (or at least early 90s; I can't say for sure since I didn't get into computing until the early 90s). Building applications for a fixed resolution has always felt like a step backwards for professional application development, just like websites that are fixed width are totally amateur. It is the default nature of a [good] engineer to design UI that is resolution independent; this isn't a new concept.

Now there are certain kinds of applications that do not in fact lend themselves well to resolution independence, but most content-serving apps and 3D games would conform to it beautifully.

Personally, I hope they just make the iPhone with a larger screen, but not larger phone, and same resolution. I don't care that the ppi will be reduced. iPhone text is crisp, but a wee bit small for some people to read. And not everyone wants to use an iPad just to see the text more easily.

marcusj0015
Dec 6, 2011, 03:14 PM
Black bars are simply not acceptable, period.

Jupiter-One
Dec 6, 2011, 06:51 PM
If Apple would do new resolutions it would do something like this (http://www.thoughts-on-tech.com/history/the-next-step-in-iphones-screen-resolution)

Jupiter-One
Dec 6, 2011, 07:06 PM
Resolution independence is a good concept, but it's virtually impossible to implement good enough. That's why most current desktop software ISN'T fully resolution independent - heck, get the OS X Developer Tools and adjust the scale of the UI - everything will either look like crap or brake. Windows isn't any better - adjust the DPI in the control panel and you'll find that software either looks like crap or brakes. "Resizable windows" doesn't equal "Resolution independence", bro.

Websites are a little better, but still - most of the time resizable websites look like crap in one way or another, simply because there's no way to adjust the design if you have dynamic content.

Rodimus Prime
Dec 6, 2011, 07:10 PM
Not surprised if true. My belief is that the next iPhone resolution will be 1152x720 or 1440x960 though to keep the current screen ratio.

But if they do that then the fanboys loss the pixel perfect argument. Hell it goes out and will finally point out that the argument was crap to begin with. The most important thing is the ratio will still be the same.

thekev
Dec 6, 2011, 07:16 PM
While I am in favor of rumors for a higher res iPhone and can believe this is testing for iPad 3 alternatives, my strongest belief is this is for the next Apple TV with an A6 chip and a range of "TV" monitor options.

Apple is notorious for having very fixed and simple resolutions for its widest distributed consumer products which now include iPhone and iPad., They will keep it simple whatever the resolution.

It is Apple TV that needs to see different displays.

Not to open a can of worms (aka kick-a$$), and leak the most likely rumor of all, it is the next Mac. Using an A6 chip (or two), and a range of existing display resolutions. That is now MY rumor. I have a track record that can be researched.

Rocketman

I think they're waiting to see if Intel turns things around. I don't know that Apple really wants to be their own cpu vendor. I got the impression they went this route because they were unhappy with what was available. Just my thoughts.....