What happens to an iPhone app when stretched to The new iPad screen?

KittyKatta

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 24, 2011
538
209
SoCal
(Sorry if this was asked before, I searched and couldn't find an answer)

What happens to an iPhone app stretched to an iPad Retina screen?
Do retina optimized iPhone apps transition better to a retina iPad?
What about iPhone apps that were never optimized for retina, will they look horrible on a retina iPad?

Im just a bit confused on how it will look because the iPhone 4/4S has a retina display but using it on an iPad 2 meant that even though the screen was bigger, the resolution was lowered and it resulted in some ugly stretched apps and am curious to know what to expect.

Thanks. :D
 

ZipZap

macrumors 603
Dec 14, 2007
5,441
859
(Sorry if this was asked before, I searched and couldn't find an answer)

What happens to an iPhone app stretched to an iPad Retina screen?
Do retina optimized iPhone apps transition better to a retina iPad?
What about iPhone apps that were never optimized for retina, will they look horrible on a retina iPad?

Im just a bit confused on how it will look because the iPhone 4/4S has a retina display but using it on an iPad 2 meant that even though the screen was bigger, the resolution was lowered and it resulted in some ugly stretched apps and am curious to know what to expect.

Thanks. :D
It looks terrible. On the new ipad, it looks less terrible.
 

soco

macrumors 68030
Dec 14, 2009
2,832
107
Yardley, PA
^^^ Terrible answer. Come on, dude. :rolleyes:

It depends on the developer. There are a lot of beautifully designed iPhone apps, especially since the iPhone 4 got a lot of developers using better graphics, that use images of such a quality that they will pixel-double and even pixel-quadruple to look decent on the new iPad screen.

Sure, you'll run into plenty of apps that look unattractive, but trust that they'll all be properly porportioned thanks to Apple's math, and that any app worth keeping will update accordingly in due time.

That was sort of an annecdotal answer, so to more directly answer your specific questions:

1. What happens to an iPhone app stretched to an iPad Retina screen?
What literally happens is the resolution of the app is the same, but it's "stretched" using more pixels. This will always result in what seems to be less quality, but as I said, it depends on the graphics and images used in the app to begin with. Some of them may scale, some may not.

2. Do retina optimized iPhone apps transition better to a retina iPad?
Better? Not necessarily. An app could be "retina optimized" by just updating action buttons. What if they optimized that and not the images or moving graphics? YMMV on this.

3. What about iPhone apps that were never optimized for retina, will they look horrible on a retina iPad?
See above. It's objective opinion and completely dependant on the developers' use of graphics.

tl;dr: Just because the app is not optimized for a retina display, this does not mean the graphics it uses aren't going to look good when pixel-doubled/quadrupled. I could build an app using vector images and not say it's retina-optimized. It'll look great. YMMV.
 
Last edited:

ZipZap

macrumors 603
Dec 14, 2007
5,441
859
^^^ Terrible answer. Come on, dude. :rolleyes:

It depends on the developer. There are a lot of beautifully designed iPhone apps, especially since the iPhone 4 got a lot of developers using better graphics, that use images of such a quality that they will pixel-double and even pixel-quadruple to look decent on the new iPad screen.

Sure, you'll run into plenty of apps that look unattractive, but trust that they'll all be properly porportioned thanks to Apple's math, and that any app worth keeping will update accordingly in due time.

That was sort of an annecdotal answer, so to more directly answer your specific questions:

1. What happens to an iPhone app stretched to an iPad Retina screen?
What literally happens is the resolution of the app is the same, but it's "stretched" using more pixels. This will always result in what seems to be less quality, but as I said, it depends on the graphics and images used in the app to begin with. Some of them may scale, some may not.

2. Do retina optimized iPhone apps transition better to a retina iPad?
Better? Not necessarily. An app could be "retina optimized" by just updating action buttons. What if they optimized that and not the images or moving graphics? YMMV on this.

3. What about iPhone apps that were never optimized for retina, will they look horrible on a retina iPad?
See above. It's objective opinion and completely dependant on the developers' use of graphics.

tl;dr: Just because the app is not optimized for a retina display, this does not mean the graphics it uses aren't going to look good when pixel-doubled/quadrupled. I could build an app using vector images and not say it's retina-optimized. It'll look great. YMMV.
My answer was short and correct. Yours was long and flowerly.

OP said..."Stretched" Most apps stretched looks bad.
 

Menel

macrumors 603
Aug 4, 2011
6,199
1,050
(Sorry if this was asked before, I searched and couldn't find an answer)

What happens to an iPhone app stretched to an iPad Retina screen?
Do retina optimized iPhone apps transition better to a retina iPad?
What about iPhone apps that were never optimized for retina, will they look horrible on a retina iPad?

Im just a bit confused on how it will look because the iPhone 4/4S has a retina display but using it on an iPad 2 meant that even though the screen was bigger, the resolution was lowered and it resulted in some ugly stretched apps and am curious to know what to expect.

Thanks. :D
They will still likely look stretched and bad.
 

MattZani

macrumors 68030
Apr 20, 2008
2,552
96
UK
I assume Retina iPhone apps will display at 1:1 and non retina will display at 2:1 like they do on retina iPhones.

As the iPads used the non retina mode of apps, most apps will look the same, maybe better but not much, just the few apps without a retina mode that will look awful...
 

davelanger

macrumors 6502a
Mar 25, 2009
828
2
Can you just play the app in the middle of the screen or do you have to use the whole screen screached?
 

Floris

macrumors 68020
Sep 7, 2007
2,381
1,451
Netherlands
2nd post is right.

It looks pixelated as with iPad2, but it's not as terrible, and certainly not as bad as you might expect.

The dpi is pretty obvious to be a big help here.

However, having such fine text and clarity on iPad optimized apps - applications like Instagram look very pixelated, low quality, and simple put: outdated.
 

Shrink

macrumors G3
Feb 26, 2011
8,914
1,596
New England, USA
It looks terrible. On the new ipad, it looks less terrible.
My answer was short and correct. Yours was long and flowerly.

OP said..."Stretched" Most apps stretched looks bad.
Just one readers opinion, but your answer was short, expressed an opinion, and was quite uninformative.

Sacco's answer gave useful information, explaining why apps might look as they do.

Short is not always good. Longer is not always bad.

Nothing "flowery" about it...straightforward and factual.

Just one reader's opinion...;)
 

takeshi74

macrumors 601
Feb 9, 2011
4,970
68
Im just a bit confused on how it will look because the iPhone 4/4S has a retina display but using it on an iPad 2 meant that even though the screen was bigger, the resolution was lowered and it resulted in some ugly stretched apps and am curious to know what to expect.
You already have an idea of what to expect then. The resolution of the target device doesn't really matter much. The limitations of the resolution of the source device do. I mean, take a small image, say 640 x 480 and enlarge it to fit your computer's screen. You're trying to enlarge something with limited resolution. A higher resolution screen isn't going to improve the situation.