iOS 7 Leverages Retina iPhone App Assets to Improve '2x' Mode on Non-Retina iPads

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    One of the more subtle changes surfacing in Apple's iOS 7 beta 3 released to developers yesterday is a move to leverage the Retina assets included in iPhone-only apps to improve the viewing experience in "2x" mode on non-Retina iPads such as the iPad mini and the iPad 2.

    Since the launch of the iPad, Apple has supported the use of iPhone-only apps on its tablet platform, allowing users to toggle between a "1x" mode where the app appears in an iPhone-sized window in the center of the iPad screen and a "2x" mode where pixels are doubled to allow the app to fill more of the iPad's screen. But up until iOS 6, this 2x pixel doubling has been performed on the non-Retina iPhone versions of the apps for non-Retina iPads, expanding a 480x320 app to fill a 960x640 space on the iPad display and resulting in jagged text and blurry images.

    But with the advent of Retina displays on the iPhone supporting apps at 960x640, Apple moved to take advantage of those higher-quality assets to provide a better viewing experience on the iPad for those apps that do not have native iPad interfaces. Since the introduction of the third-generation iPad last year, Apple's Retina iPads have been able to tap into the Retina assets in iPhone apps to display higher-quality 2x apps, and with iOS 7 beta 3 Apple has now brought that capability to its non-Retina tablets.

    Apple Store app on an iPad mini in 2x mode on iOS 6 (left) and default 2x on iOS 7 (right)
    (Click for larger)
    Interestingly, on the latest iOS 7 beta users are no longer even presented with a 1x/2x toggle on non-Retina devices such as the iPad mini, and iPhone apps are instead presented simply as 2x apps taking advantage of Retina assets included in the app package. The result is a much better looking 960x640 app on the iPad's 1024x768 screen. Retina iPads have not, however, seen any changes to their handling of iPhone apps and continue to offer the 1x/2x toggle.

    Apple's move to leverage the Retina assets in iPhone apps by default is essentially identical to the strategy used by RetinaPad, a jailbreak tweak that provided owners of non-Retina iPads with the higher-quality 2x scaling. That tweak had gained new popularity with the release of the non-Retina iPad mini late last year, but with Apple now building that support directly into iOS 7, all users will be able to take advantage of the higher-quality experience.

    Apple announced back in March that as of May 1 it was requiring all app submissions and updates to support both Retina displays and the iPhone 5's taller display, pushing developers to support Apple's latest devices. The Retina support requirement also allows more apps to take advantage of the new 2x improvements for non-Retina iPads in iOS 7.

    Article Link: iOS 7 Leverages Retina iPhone App Assets to Improve '2x' Mode on Non-Retina iPads
  2. jabingla2810 macrumors 68020

    Oct 15, 2008
  3. AlexHunter macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2012
    This is probably a good sign that the new minis will not be retina.
  4. Quercus Alba macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2013
    I could never work out why they didn't do this years ago.
  5. Gabik123 macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2009
    I disagree, this is a good sign that the ipad mini non-retina (at $199-229) and the ipad 2 (at $299-349) will continue to sell as "lower end" ipads once the ipad mini retina and ipad 5 are released (with the ipad 4 likely being flat out discontinued). This would make sense, with apple positioning the A5 as their lowest-end current production chip with a free iphone 4S staying on the market with a 5S and 5 being the premium and midrange phones, respectively.

    The A5 is likely to be supported for at least 2-3 more years in iOS updates, as the 4S handles the iOS 7 beta WAYYYYYY better than the iphone 4 handled iOS 6 (due to increased RAM and dual-core processor).
  6. newdeal macrumors 68020

    Oct 21, 2009
    about time but is it just for ipad mini or for ipad 2 also?
  7. BJMRamage macrumors 68020


    Oct 2, 2007
    I've heard to "force" developers to develop for the iPad not just iPhone.

    but yeah seemed so silly when you stopped and thought about things.
  8. WilliamG macrumors 604

    Mar 29, 2008
    I know... Seems like such a simple thing to implement.
  9. FirstNTenderbit macrumors 6502


    Jan 15, 2013
    I have neither jailbroken my iDevice nor rooted my Android, but both those dev communities deserve a hat tip for pushing the envelope on both OSes(sp?). Some very good things have come to the forefront due to their efforts.
  10. ghost187 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 18, 2010
    I agree with everything you said, but the 4S only had 512mb ram same as the 4 (which was a bummer at the time, and history may repeat itself with the 5S as that may only have 1gb of ram). Also, I agree dual core helped alot with performance, but I have to say the 7X better GPU is what really put the "S" (S for Speed) into the iPhone 4S.
  11. dannyyankou macrumors 603


    Mar 2, 2012
  12. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    To keep the mini retina light itll be running an a7 as will the ipad 5.

    I think the ipad mini non retina will move to an a6 chip.

    Line up will be

    Ipad mini
    Ipad 4
    Ipad mini retina
    And finally ipad 5
  13. blitzer09x87 macrumors 6502

    May 19, 2013
    wow this is cool, much needed improvement, keep it up apple.:)
  14. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    I think so too, but I think it was a great idea at the time. The iPad would not have succeeded if it didn't get a full and robust App Store for itself.

    Now that that's happened they can relax and stop worrying about stuff like this. But even if it seems obvious in retrospect, a good iPad App Store was not a garunteed thing. There's nothing saying it had to happen.
  15. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    I'd say it's a good sign that old mini won't be retina ever. Instead of looking for the negative, what about the simple fact that iPhone apps will now look a lot better on iPad 2 and iPad mini.
  16. Arcsylver macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2011
    Chicago, IL
    I still think Apple is going to split the product lines into "Pro" and "Consumer" with retina being the dividing line.

    Pro = Retina Macbook Pro, full sized iPad, Possibly an eventual Retina Cinema Display for the Mac Pro

    Consumer = Non retina Air, iPad Mini and iMac
  17. donutbagel macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2013
    It's about time! And this really only helps old iPads, which is good to hear because it means that Apple still cares about them.
  18. jabingla2810 macrumors 68020

    Oct 15, 2008
    So developers made iPad apps.

    See Android tablets to understand.



  19. Zellio macrumors 65816


    Feb 7, 2012
    Took them long enough to add what jailbroken devices have had for years.
  20. twoodcc macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
    sounds great to me. but still looking forward to the retina iPad mini
  21. rturner2 macrumors 6502

    Jul 18, 2009
    As a dev, now I don't need to build a full iPad app. This move is bad for Apple longer term.
  22. ValSalva macrumors 68040


    Jun 26, 2009
    Burpelson AFB
    The difference is remarkable. Just hope this doesn't keep some developers from making dedicated iPad versions of their iPhone apps though.
  23. chrisbru macrumors 6502a


    May 8, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Orrrr they'll keep the non-retina iPad Mini at a lower pricepoint. Maybe this is the time to do $299 non-retina Mini, $399 retina Mini, $399 non-retina iPad, $499 retina iPad?

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