As it happens... The graphics chip is designed for drawing vector graphics. That's it's job. When you see a button on your iPad screen, it's not *just* a bitmap. It's 2 triangles joined together to form a rectangle, and then filled with a bitmap texture. So if there was a big switch from bitmap to vector graphics the graphics processor would still do all of the work, and the CPU would still be free to do its thing.Now it's time for someone to come along and say that I don't know what I'm talking about and this whole post is moot (or makes me looks dumb).....
I saw that article too. It was totally wrong. That's the icon size we submit to apple - it's used in iTunes for coverflow etc., and it's used in apple's marketing if they feature your app. It's not even included in the actual app package - it's so big that you'd only fit 6 icons on an iPad 3 home screen!GrindedDown is right. It would be OK for some basic shapes / UI elements to be vector-based, but complex graphics are too much of a load for the CPU.
I can't imagine having to load tens of icons that look like this:
every time you hit your home button. The iPad would probably become unresponsive / laggy for a couple seconds and drain battery like crazy.
Just thinking out loud here, but couldn't you use a gradient fill in the alpha channel to get a drop shadow effect while still using a vector format?Quick example of the kind of issues you'd get: Earlier I made a simple button, to be shown above a live camera view. It's just a white button, with a simple shape, and a transparent background. I made it with vectors so it's easy to make retina/standard versions. But it's white, and when it's shown over a white background it becomes invisible - so I add a slight drop shadow to make it visible. Drop shadows are very hard to render with vectors. The only options are to save it as a bitmap, or to remove the drop shadow and add a black outline instead - which doesn't look anywhere near as good.