Apps optimized for retina display on ipad

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by drjsway, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. drjsway macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2009
    I just downloaded the iPhone version of Flight Control, which has just been optimized for the retina display, yet the graphics look the same on the iPad in 2x mode. Will there be an update so the iPad can take advantage of 960x640 iphone apps?
  2. p-rice macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2010
    Las Vegas
    I read somewhere, iPhone4 apps should run "fullscreen" on the iPad.
  3. drjsway thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2009
    Doesn't seem to be the case with the few iPhone 4 apps i've downloaded.
  4. colmaclean macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    iPad will probably need iOS4 before it'll know what the hell a retina-friendly iPhone app is!
  5. ChrisGonzales90 macrumors 6502a


    May 29, 2010
    Hillsboro, Oregon USA.
    yeah my best guess would be iOS4 that comes out in the fall.
  6. phonk macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2010
    Any news on this? Didn't read about anything like that the last weeks. Would be nice if we could get rid of these annoying HD versions that doesn't do anything else than adding upscaled graphics.
  7. jmann macrumors 604


    Dec 8, 2007
    bump on a log in a hole in the bottom of the sea
    I doubt this will ever happen. They want developers to create iPad oriented apps, not be lazy and create a retina app that just looks nicer on the iPad.
  8. colmaclean macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Don't forget that Retina apps are still designed for an iPhone's screen size.

    If they could work on an iPad, you'd still have biiiig buttons, although they would look less blocky. :)
  9. ArmCortexA8 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2010
    Terra Australis
    Firstly, the iPad does not have a Retina Display, only the iPhone 4 does. Secondly, the iPad and iPhone 4 both have IPS displays, but the PPI (Pixels per inch) rating is highest on the iPhone 4 as it has 75% of the iPad's colour gamut. iPad apps that support full screen are designated by a "+" symbol on the app. Apps that require the "2x" functionality for full screen viewing on the iPad are basically apps that are iPhone 4 native only, however they will run on the iPad, but will never as good as an iPad native app that has been written to take advantage of the iPad's screen real estate.
  10. JulianL macrumors 65816

    Feb 2, 2010
    London, UK
    Is it in 4.2? I believe that there's no way on earth that 3.2.x would ever support this feature. My belief isn't based on technical issues but on issues relating to timing and Apple's obsession with secrecy.

    What follows is my conjecture, and to simplify the text I've written things as if they're facts but it's all really how I think it works rather than me knowing for sure, so please take it all in that spirit. Any (genuine) experts please feel free to correct the details, but it seems a pretty plausible explanation to me.

    iOS has to tell the app what resolutions are available so iOS on an iPhone 4 will tell the app that it has a 960 x 640 screen and the app can then execute the code necessary to work in this resolution. On the iPad the iPhone apps are in compatability mode so iOS lies about the screen resolution and tells the iPhone app that it is 480 x 320 so that is the mode that the app runs in. If the user selects the full-screen (x2) mode then iOS quad-plots each pixel when it renders it on screen (i.e. each time the iPhone app thinks that it's drawing a single pixel on a 480 x 320 canvas then what is actually happening is that iOS on the iPad is drawing a group of four pixels on a 960 x 640 canvas).

    What is required to support iPhone retina apps in real retina resolution is for iOS on the iPad to tell the iPhone app that it has a 960 x 640 screen and to do one-to-one pixel mapping when drawing onto that canvas, and therein lies the problem with doing this in 3.2.x. The problem is that the iPad with iOS 3.2 was released before the details of the iPhone 4 were announced and if the iPad had shipped with an iOS version that offered 960 x 640 as a possible resolution in the iPhone app compatibility mode then that would have been a real giveaway regarding the upcoming iPhone 4 and Apple just don't do that stuff. OK, there have been dot releases of 3.2 since then in order to fix bugs so at that point it would have been safe to expose 960 x 640 as an available resolution but Apple probably wanted to keep the dot releases as simple bug fixes and maybe we'll get the 960 x 640 capability in 4.2.

    Again, I emphasise that all the above is my guesswork based on a bit of common sense and a comp sci degree but no direct experience of iOS programming.

    - Julian
  11. dazcox5181 macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2005
    Essex, UK
    As of now (4.2 beta 2) the iPad doesn't do this. You still get the 2x button, and it uses the standard graphics.

    Maybe as more developers build universal apps they'll include iPad optimised graphics too, which is certainly doable technically the catch will be if they choose to invest the time/effort to upscale the graphics for iPad or stick to the larger iPod/iPhone user base.

    Agree that it would be easy for IOS to tell the app to use retina graphics...but come on this is Apple we're dealing with!
  12. azentropy macrumors 68020


    Jul 19, 2002
    I believe it is a marketing decision rather than a technical one that they don't offer an option for retina enhanced apps to display full details at 960×640 and leave a 64x128 black border filling out the 1024x768 iPad display when you hit the 2x button rather than just pixel doubling the standard 480x320 as it does now. Even when you 2x you get the same border now...

    I think Apple wants developers to fully optimize for iPad and not take that shortcut, and I'm guessing some App developers would rather have you purchase a fully optimized iPad version for more $. Fewer people would spend another $5 on a game they already own for the iPhone/iPod Touch just to get 1024x768 vs. 960x640 on their iPad.
  13. EthanNixon macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2007
    New Jersey
    Did you actually read the post? I am assuming not.
  14. Don Kosak macrumors 6502a

    Don Kosak

    Mar 12, 2010
    Hilo, Hawaii
    I'm in the middle of two Universal App migrations.

    The biggest reason that you don't see a one-to-one mapping of apps from retina display to iPad display resolution is the UI element issue.

    A control for the iPad and original iPhone/Touch is about 40-44 pixels big. (square, oval, rectangular, etc.)

    A control for the iPhone 4/iPod Touch 4th gen needs to be 80-90 pixels big. The pixels have gotten much smaller, but your finger is still the same size.

    If you just mapped the iPhone app, pixel by pixel, the controls would be 4x the size. (80x80 vs 40x40 for a square icon for example). Tool bars, Headers, etc would also be very large and unusual looking.

    It's best for developers to take the extra time and add in the code, and IB files to support both device styles.
  15. azentropy macrumors 68020


    Jul 19, 2002
    But they are already unusual looking when iPhone Apps are viewed at 2X on the iPad. So why not at least have the higher resolution of 960×640 instead of doubling the 480x320 to 960x640 as it does now?? The size would be the same, just clearer. Again I think it is a marketing decision.
  16. swarmster macrumors 6502a


    Jun 1, 2004

    For all intents and purposes, this is probably accurate, but it also may well be why we'll never get retina-app awareness on the iPad.

    Let's say you download an iPhone app to your iPad that supports the retina display. The iPad could take advantage of the app's 960x640 to run nearly full-screen without the need for pixel-doubling. Great!

    But what if the user wants to run with "iPhone size" dimensions, as they are currently able to switch to on the fly (1x mode)? The iPad's compatibility mode suddenly tells the app that it only has a 480x320 screen now? I don't imagine apps or the OS would like that, and restarting the app is a big no-no.

    So Apple's in the position of keeping the functionality as-is, consistent across all iPhone apps, and just running the apps at 480x320. Or, for the random apps that support the retina display, they can auto-switch and lock the iPad display to full-screen 960x640, and remove the ability to scale it back to iPhone dimensions. But then sometimes the sizing ability would reappear if the app happens to not have retina support.

    While it would be nice to use all the assets available in an app, Apple has always sided on consistency and user-friendliness. Which makes me think retina-app awareness is unlikely.

    That said, it makes no sense for a developer to not be making all their apps Universal at this point, especially since the art should already be there for the retina displays.
  17. ssdeg7 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2010
    My real problem with having to manage 2X apps is having to use the iPhone keyboard instead of the iPad keyboard and the fact that everything is SOOO BIG! buttons are huge, everything is so ugly when viewing it on 2X!
  18. juwanh macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2008
    960x640 iPhone 4 app emulation on iPad

    I see from reading about this topic around the net that only a few people understand what we would like to see rather than blocky iPhone 3GS (320x240 pixels) emulation. Obviously it is preferable to use a native iPad app on an iPad. We all agree with that, except those too cheap/broke to buy an iPad native app.

    However, for those apps that there is only an iPhone app, why are we still forced to use a blocky overgrown iPhone 3GS interface? Here it is March 2011, and this is still the case!

    We probably won't get iPhone 4 emulation until the iPad 3 gets retina pixel density! Obviously Apple is forcing developers to make native iPad apps or risk pissing their users off with crappy 3GS emulation ;-)
  19. juwanh macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2008
    Use RetinaPad in Cydia!

    ... in case you guys were still looking for a solution to this ;-)

    This turned into a debate about whether it was necessary or not, instead of whether it could be done or not. This answers the question that yes it can be done, and it makes apps designed to run at 960x640 look the way they are supposed to look.


Share This Page