iPad lacks subpixel rendering or cleartype

Discussion in 'iPad' started by peterja, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. peterja macrumors regular

    peterja

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #1
    Some of us has found that text rendering on the iPad is not a clear as it could be, or different from say a MacBook.
    It appears that, unlike Windows and OS X, the iPad does not use subpixel rendering or cleartype as Microsoft calls it and who actually holds the patents for it. You can see what it looks like without it if you go to System > Appearence and uncheck 'Use LCD font smoothing when available' in OS X and then open a new browser window.

    [​IMG]

    Also mentioned here, http://informationarchitects.jp/designing-for-ipad-reality-check/

    What do you think, has Apple overlooked this, didn't bother to implement it, or are there some hardware or patent limitations?
     
  2. peterja thread starter macrumors regular

    peterja

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    Jan 21, 2008
  3. nutmac macrumors 68040

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    Mar 30, 2004
    #3
    iPhones lack subpixel font rendering as well. Perhaps the most likely reason might be multiple orientations that these devices are capable of. Apple could implement multiple subpixel orders to get around this issue, but Apple may opt for higher pixel density display (e.g., iPhone 4's 326 DPI retina display) as a workaround.
     
  4. sapporobaby macrumors 68000

    sapporobaby

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    3 earth minutes from your location....
    #4
    Your point is what? You did know this before you purchased one (if you purchased one) right? Not sure what you are after here with this question which happens to have been discussed in a few other threads.
     
  5. AR15MBP macrumors regular

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    Jan 6, 2009
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    USA
    #5
    is this a hardware limitation, or software? could this be fixed in an update?
     
  6. nutmac macrumors 68040

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    Mar 30, 2004
    #6
    It's a bit of both. Individual LCD pixels on iOS devices are rectangular (roughly 4.5:1 aspect ratio). This arrangement works well in portrait orientation (RGB/BGR), but less effective in landscape orientation (VRGB/VBGR). In addition, subpixel rendering requires additional processing, particularly worse when Core Animation effects are applied (e.g., scrolling through the list, rotating screen to change orientation). For this reason, even Mac OS X 10.6 omits subpixel font rendering when performing Core Animation over text.

    Coupled with increasing pixel density (e.g., 326 DPI on iPhone 4), my money is in iPad getting a 2048x1536 9.7" screen rather than mobile processor becoming efficient enough to do subpixel rendering without affecting battery life and snappiness.
     
  7. HiRez macrumors 603

    HiRez

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    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Western US
    #7
    This would be fantastic. My money is on 1600x1200 for the next generation but that resolution would be ideal (264 ppi). While you'd need more horsepower to move those pixels around, and more RAM to store them, it would be great for iBooks and digital magazines. At that resolution you wouldn't really need (very expensive) full-screen antialiasing for 3D games.

    I also wonder if IPS has anything to do with it.
     
  8. peterja thread starter macrumors regular

    peterja

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #8
    Good point! I didn't think of that.
    So yeah it would have to switch between RGB/V-RGB whereas the latter may not be that great. I don't see why this would take allot processing, you don't need any impressive hardware to run Windows XP. However you would need to do things GPU-accelerated like it is now to achieve the snappiness.
     
  9. JulianL macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    London, UK
    #9
    I'd be as close as it's possible to be to 100% certain that it's not the first option, I.e. That they overlooked it. A company of the size and significance of Apple, and with their focus on aesthetics, must surely have some of the world's leading experts in this stuff, do pure blue-sky research in their R&D department, and fund various academic PhD and other work in universities around the world. They knew every option out there when they made their decisions so they must have had compelling reasons because I agree, it seems like a strange omission.

    - Julian
     
  10. ctt1wbw macrumors 68000

    ctt1wbw

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    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Seaford VA
    #10
    The letters look just fine to me. I don't blow them up that big so I can analyze them under a scanning electron microscope just to give me something to bitch about.
     

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