Tag Archives: Retina

iOS 8 turns up evidence of another possible iPhone 6 resolution: a larger 828 x 1472

Early this year, we heard from a source that Apple had been testing multiple resolutions for the iPhone 6’s larger display, including a resolution of 960 x 1704. As we outlined, the benefit of that resolution is that it allows both developers and consumers to smoothly transition to the new display without losing high-quality imagery and graphics found in many applications from the App Store. At that density on both a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch display (the two larger screen sizes for the next iPhone), all content would display larger in comparison to the current, 4-inch iPhone, but there would not be more actual screen real estate. Now, we’ve discovered another potential iPhone 6 screen resolution by way of iOS 8 files inside of the latest Xcode 6 Software Development Kit (SDK) betas for developers.

414 File

As you can see above, the new resolution is found inside of a file within iOS 8’s “Springboard” application. Springboard is another word for the iPhone’s Home screen (where icons are displayed when you tap the Home button). This particular file outlines for the system where icons, by default, will be placed on an iPhone’s Home screen. This particular file, which was added in Xcode 6 beta 5 earlier this month and still exists in yesterday’s Xcode 6 beta 6, is optimized for an iPhone with a resolution of 414 (width) x 736 (height). The iPhone SDK parses hardware resolutions via “point values,” so the actual “Retina” resolution is in fact double (or potentially triple) whatever numbers the SDK presents.


For example, the 4-inch iPhone 5, 5s, 5c and 5th generation iPod touch display resolution is 640 x 1136, but the SDK presents it as “320 x 568.” This can be seen above on the iPhone file listing a “DefaultIconState” for an iPhone with a pixel height of 568 pixels.

Back to the new 414 x 736 file, this iPhone resolution would be slightly sharper (on the 4.7-inch model) than the current iPhone resolution and this new pixel density would actually bring more screen space to the iPhone, allowing Apple to unlock more software-based functionality for its flagship smartphone lineup. Unlike with previous iPhone resoluiton changes, moving to 414 on the width and 736 on the length would add pixels to both the height and the width of the iPhone.

Like the previously discussed 960 x 1704 resolution in testing earlier this year and the iPhone 5/5s/5c’s 640 x 1136 resolution, this new 414 x 736 resolution comes in at a 16:9 ratio. The benefits of Apple sticking to the 16:9 ratio, which seems likely based on the part leaks thus far, include an easier developer transition and consumers continuing to be able to watch widescreen video on an iPhone.

To make sense of what this other potential iPhone resolution could mean for the iPhone 6, we’ve calculated what this resolution would mean at a Retina “2X” scale on new 4-inch (just for completeness, there has been no indication that a revamped 4-inch model is coming) , 4.7-inch, and 5.5-inch screens:

@2x: 828 x 1472 on 4-inch display:

4.0 @2

@2x: 828 x 1472 on 4.7-inch display:

4.7 @2

@2x: 828 x 1472 on 5.5-inch display:

5.5 @2

As you can see, the pixel density on both the new 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models would meet Apple’s self-imposed Retina threshold. The 4.7-inch model’s sharpness would also surpass the 326PPI density of the iPhone 5/5S/5c, and the 5.5-inch model would be above the 300PPI threshold that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs discussed upon introducing the iPhone 4’s Retina display in 2010.

The benefit of such a display, beyond the additional screen real estate, would be how many icons Apple could fit on each Home screen. The previously discussed file from the iOS 8 SDK indicates that Apple is still planning to include 20 icons per Home screen (excluding the dock), but the additional pixels on the top and the sides of the new display could open up the door for additional icons per screen. Based on calculations, Apple technically has room (at the current iOS icon sizes) to add two additional rows and one additional column.

In our report from earlier this year, we noted that Apple has also been experimenting with moving away from @2x resolutions in favor of rendering the operating system at @3x. For completeness, here are the same calculations at 1242 x 2208, which is 3x the original point values found in the SDK of 414 x 736.

@3x: 1242 x 2208 on 4-inch display:

4.0 @3

@3x: 1242 x 2208 on 4.7-inch display:

4.7 @3

@3x: 1242 x 2208 on 5.5-inch display:

5.5 @3

As you can see, these 3X pixel densities are extraordinarily high, so it seems unlikely that Apple will be able to reach those numbers while keeping the iPhone 6 thin and light (and of course with proper battery life). Of course, with the new phones already in production, Apple has decided what the resolution will be. At this point, between the two potential variations that we know of, the 828 x 1472 sounds more likely solely based on the reference appearing in the most recent builds of iOS 8, the operating system that will come pre-loaded on the new iPhones. Of course, another potential option is that the iPhone 6’s resolution is another pixel ratio not yet discussed, and whatever it may be will be announced at an event on Tuesday, September 9th. The new devices will also include new sensors and improved camera systems.

Filed under: iOS, iOS Devices Tagged: Apple, Display resolution, iOS, iPhone, iphone 4, iPhone 6, Pixel density, Retina, Retina Display, SpringBoard

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Modbook announces $4k 15-inch pen-based OS X tablet built w/ new Retina MacBooks


Following up the last Modbook Pro tablet the company is currently selling made from a converted mid-2012 MacBook Pro, today Modbook is back with the announcement of a 15-inch ModBook tablet that uses the new Retina MacBooks Apple just refreshed this week as its guts. For those of you unfamiliar with the company, it first started making OS X based tablets by converting Apple laptops and adding pen input capabilities as far back as 2007. 

For the new model, Modbook is turning to Kickstarter to raise funds and take preorders with the base 2.2GHz model coming in at $4000. Apart from the pen-input and some design tweaks during the conversion, the specs remain the same as Apple’s MacBooks and the company can also mod your MacBook for a cool $1999 (also an option for backers on Kickstarter). If successful raising $150k through its funding campaign, it plans to start shipping the Modbook Pro X to backers that provided their own Mac in early 2015.

Modbook-Pro-x-01 Modbook-Pro-x-02

Another addition in this year’s model is an option for “rear-mounted Keybars” that provide quick keys for shortcuts. There is also detachable Keyboard Stand that is available for the tablet. The Keybars are programmable and the company imagines them being used for quick commands (think command + S for saving) with one hand while the other is occupied with the tablet’s stylus.  Both of these optional features are pictured above and will add to the base prices mentioned above, as will opting for models of the Macbook Pro other than the base 2.2GHz option. 

In case you’re wondering, the conversion process does void your warranty with Apple, but Modbook provides its own that covers all the hardware. You can learn more and preorder by backing the Kickstarter campaign here.

Filed under: Mac Tagged: 15-inch, MacBook, Modbook Pro, OS X, pen, Retina, tablet, Touch

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Intel launches updated Haswell chips, likely to appear in upcoming MacBook Pro spec bump

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 6.40.05 PM

Intel has debuted the next generation of its Core i5 and i7 processors, according to a report from CPU World. Each of these updated chips sports a 200 MHz speed boost over its previous incarnation, which can currently be found in the MacBook Pro lineup. It’s likely that these processors will be found in a spec-bumped version of the MacBook Pro later this year.

The current series of MacBook Pro processors are available at clock speeds of 2.0 GHz (in the lowest-end 13-inch model) up to 2.6 GHz (in the top-of-the-line, built-to-order 15-inch model). The next-gen models released this week range from 2.2 to 3.0 GHz, which will provide a decent speed boost to each model.

Earlier this year Apple refreshed the MacBook Air with upgraded Haswell processors after Intel released new versions of the chips in those machines. It’s expected that Apple will do the same for the Pro line following the release of these newer i5 and i7 CPUs. Intel is currently working on its new Broadwell line of processors that will reportedly allow for the creation of a fanless MacBook Air, which will likely open the door a similar move for the MacBook Pro.

Filed under: Mac Tagged: Haswell, Intel, MacBook Pro, processors, refresh, Retina, update

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Fall hardware predictions, plus we infiltrate 1 Infinite Loop on our all-new CultCast

This week on the CultCast: Leander’s Big Adventure! Leander’s back to tell us about his top-secret mission to Apple HQ. Plus, CoM reviews editor Charlie Sorrell tells us about some cool gear he’s reviewing. We also run through a list

iMac reportedly getting a spec bump next week, but no Retina model yet


According to a new MacG report, Apple is planning to debut a spec bump for the iMac lineup next week. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear these will be the Retina iMacs that have appeared in recent OS X beta builds. Instead, it seems we’re only due for a slight processor speed increase, with each model gaining only 100 MHz.

The report speculates that the new models could include a new and improved Thunderbolt 2 connection, but there doesn’t seem to be any confirmation of that at this time. MacG accurately predicted the most recent MacBook Air refresh, so it’s a safe bet that these iMacs are coming next week. We’ve heard similar whispers at 9to5Mac as well.

A slight spec bump is probably not what users are looking for most in an updated iMac, and while we know Apple is working on Retina models, it doesn’t seem they’ll be hitting the market any time soon. On the upside, MacG also notes that there’s a possibility of a price decrease with this refresh.

Filed under: Mac Tagged: iMac, refresh, Retina, spec bump

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Retina iMac references discovered in OS X Yosemite code


Following the discovery of reference to new iMac models in OS X, Macbidouille has found code in the new OS X Yosemite developer preview that points to Retina resolutions for the yet to be announced product. Specifically, the file points to scaled resolution modes like those available for Retina MacBooks including, according to the report, 6400 x 3600 (probably a 3200×1800 HiDPI), 5760×3240 (2880×1620 HiDPI) 4096×2304 (2048×1152 HiDPI) resolutions. The report notes that the native resolution of the machine appears to be missing from the file as it only lists resolution of the various scaling modes.

Much like the Retina MacBook Pro with a native resolution of 2880 x 1800 is capable of scaling assets at 3840 x 2400 down to 1920 x 1200 and producing sharper, clearer images in the process, the report speculates the 6400 x 3600 resolution would be scaled down to 200×1800 HiDPI. 

Apple has long been testing Retina resolution iMacs and rumors last year and earlier this year suggested the company could also release a new lower-cost iMac sometime this year. Apple last refreshed its iMac lineup in September of last year adding updated processors and more storage at the same price point with the same slim, redesigned exterior introduced in the previous generation. Apple’s current iMac lineup includes a 27-inch model with a resolution of 2560-by-1440 and a 21.5-inch model with a resolution of 1920-by-1080. 

Filed under: Mac Tagged: 6400 x 3600, code, iMac, OS X, reference, Resolution, Retina, scaling, yosemite

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