Help me understand this retina thing

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by sulpfiction, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. sulpfiction macrumors 68030

    sulpfiction

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    #1
    Ok, I started another thread about how devs would have a nightmare if apple changed the resolution on the iPhone 5. And now I'm more confused. Can someone please explain this to me?

    I want a 4" screen on the new iPhone 5. And I'm pretty sure Apple wants to keep the "retina" moniker on the display. And i'm also thinking that Apple doesn't want to screw up the thousands of iPhone apps that already exist. So how do they give me a 4" retina (or close to retina) display on my iPhone 5 with the least amount of trouble? This is all hypothetical. I am fully aware that no one has a clue as to what we will end up getting.

    I'm really interested in understanding this. So any clear cut explanations would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    #2
    The most agreed upon solution would be for them to make the display 4" but keep the 960x640 resolution. The pixels would get slightly bigger to make up the difference and the DPI would go down slightly because of that. It would probably still be above 300 DPI though and Apple would probably still call it a Retina Display.

    Personally, I don't think they'll bother unless they up the resolution (which I also don't think they'll do). It seems like an awful lot of work for no extra screen real estate.
     
  3. cyks macrumors 68020

    cyks

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    #3
    If they increase the size to 4" and keep the same resolution, the DPI would fall BELOW the 300 threshold that they've set for themselves.
     
  4. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    #4
    I haven't done the math on it and I really can't see them upping it to 4" this year anyway. It really wouldn't go over well with developers and would be a royal pain to support all the different resolutions.
     
  5. Highcroft macrumors regular

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    Illinois
    #5
    They could increase the size to 4 inches without an increase in resolution and just redefine the term "retina". Since it's bigger, it would theoretically be held farther away and thus require less pixel density. I bet Apple could pull that off.
     
  6. sulpfiction thread starter macrumors 68030

    sulpfiction

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    #6
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    This is what I'm having a problem with. If they increase the size of the pixels to accommodate the same 960x640 resolution on a 4" screen, but still fall around the 300 range, (basically saying that the display would still be beautiful and right around the retina range) wouldn't this pose no problems to the developer? Or if they did bump up the resolution could they do something similar with apps like they did with the iPad (ie 1x & 2x button) but not as extreme?

    I want to believe the case rumors suggesting a bigger screen are true. And I almost think apple has to change the screen size. 3.5" just isn't it. And this is coming from someone who HATES mammoth screens on phones. I just think 4" is perfect. But I want to know what it would really take to do it and what problems it would cause.
     
  7. cyks macrumors 68020

    cyks

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    #7
    Neither of your options would pose a problem to developers.

    The problems are that by increasing the size to 4" while keeping the resolution the same would drop the DPI below the 300 mark... the number that Apple claimed for Retina. Sure, it would still look incredible, but unless they were to change the definition they gave it, Apple wouldn't be able to call it Retina.


    As for doubling the resolution as they did with the iPhone 4 and iPad, that's simply not possible with current technology (nor would it make sense since the pixel density would end up far over the limits we could see).
     
  8. CTBC macrumors member

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    Apr 3, 2011
    #8
    If they changed the screen size to 4 and kept the resolution the same, then it would be 288ppi, which would not classify as a retina display. At 3.8 it would be 3.04ppi and at 3.7 it would be 3.11ppi.

    I don't think apple would go below 300ppi, so if they keep the resolution the same it will be max 3.8inch. This means developers won't have to change the apps at all. If they changed the resolution then the developers will need to make new images for the apps.
     
  9. spamfish123 macrumors member

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    #9
    I suppose they could switch over to 4:3 and use the same resolution as the iPad...
     
  10. MattZani macrumors 68030

    MattZani

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    #10
    If the screen size changes I'd want existing buttons etc to stay the same size, otherwise its pointless, same resolution would just mean its bigger, but no more usable space.
     
  11. dennya macrumors regular

    dennya

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    #11
    You guys are being silly. There's no established definitions of a "Retina Display" besides some marketing speak. Apple can quite easily just broaden their own definition to include any high-pixel-density screen.

    If they ship a 4" phone, I'm certain the resolution will remain the same.

    Apple is not a company to hesitate to change its tune.
     
  12. CTBC macrumors member

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    Apr 3, 2011
    #12
    If they used that resolution then it would be 320ppi. But using the iPad resolution would solve nothing, they couldn't use the iPad apps since when it is down scaled to a 4inch screen everything will be too small.

    Apple have said that the "magical number" is 300ppi, I can't see them going back on this.
     
  13. Pez555 macrumors 68000

    Pez555

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    #13
    I'm pretty sure in this day and age that there would be uproar around the web if apple were to release a newer phone with less PPI than the iPhone 4.
     
  14. aztooh macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 5, 2011
    #14
    Yeah, on macrumors and tech blogs. 95% of the users wouldn't notice nor care. You would think "in this day and age" that iPhone 4 owners would know it's just the 4th iteration of the iPhone, and the '4' doesn't mean "4g"...but that's not the case.

    My mother has a iP4, she wants a bigger screen. If I said 'retina display' to her she'd look at me like I was speaking Chinese.
     
  15. Pez555 macrumors 68000

    Pez555

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    #15
    Yea I dont mean it in a negative way towards Apple. Just remembering what happened with the supposed antennagate, it wouldn't go down too well doing something like this!

    I'm really hoping for a bigger screen, or at least a smaller phone with the same screen.
     
  16. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #16
    Apple used the standard printer 300 DPI at 12" to define "retina".

    A 960x640 - 4" diagonal display is 288 PPI, for which you'd have to hold the phone at 12.5" to be "retina". Yep, a half an inch further away than a 300 PPI screen.
     
  17. Reach9 macrumors 68020

    Reach9

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    #17
    So then, Apple could release a 4" iPhone, and still say that it has retina display?
     
  18. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    #18
    It's doubtful they ship a 4" phone though since there will be very little advantage.
     
  19. pokerplayer73 macrumors 6502

    pokerplayer73

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    #19
    Here is how I think it can be done..

    ASSUMPTION: The whole purpose of big screen is for watching videos. Rest of the stuff can be done on 3.5"

    I am thinking Apple will have a bigger edge-to-edge screen. It will be longer and wider than one on iPhone4. It will have resolution of 1280 x 720. An inner rectangular area of 960 x 640 would be used for apps as usual. The outer band pixels would be filled with black color as soft bezels.

    With same pixel density as iPhone4, it would provide a 0.2" bezel on left and right. The top and bottom black bands would each measure 0.5" approx.

    When a video is launched, the whole 1280 x 720 will be used for a screen measuring approx 4.4" .

    What do you guys think? Is it possible?
     

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  20. spamfish123 macrumors member

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    #20
    And browsing the internet, and reading emails, (and more things I've forgotten) but Apple could ofc have been working on that.

    I actually rather like your idea, because then you still have a decent bezel for holding while playing games.

    I doubt they'll do it though, unless they just add support for 960 x 640 apps and then devs can decide if they want to use the extra screen space.
     
  21. sulpfiction thread starter macrumors 68030

    sulpfiction

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    Philadelphia Area
    #21
    I'm pretty confident that we will be seeing a 4" screen. What they do and how they do it, remains to be be seen. But I'm sure the display is going to be a big part of the keynote. We shall see.
     
  22. Bkfraiders7 macrumors member

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    Sep 4, 2011
    #22
    Although I never think Apple would do that, I love the idea. Well, as long as it's 4inches instead of 4.4. It keeps devs happy with a 3.5 retina display and us happy with a 4 inch retina display
     
  23. jamald macrumors newbie

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    Jul 28, 2011
    #23
    Honestly, I don't think Apple is as devoted to this Retina display thing as we all think. They could just make it 4"+ and drop the term. I doubt they'd value the marketing so much as to let it influence their decisions about screen size / resolution. My money is on a bigger screen with the same resolution but scaled UI elements that are the same physical size.
     
  24. Jimmy James macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #24
    The term "retina" was self-defined by Apple at a viewing distance of 12".

    Increase the minimum viewing distance and nearly anything can be called retina. I can't see the pixels on my 42" 1080 TV screen across the room. RETINA!
     
  25. wackymacky macrumors 68000

    wackymacky

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    #25
    Who really wants a bigger screen on the iPhone? When I want a big screen I used my 27" iMac, when I want medium use an iPad. The phone is right the size it is.
     

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