High Resolution Icons in Mac OS X Lion Further Hint at Mac Retina Displays?
Several applications in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion include unusually high resolution icons, providing another hint that Apple may be laying the groundwork to support retina displays on the Mac platform. The icons measure in at 1024×1024, which are double the current maximum Mac OS X icon resolution of 512×512.
The doubling of pixels and resolutions is significant, as doubling existing resolutions was how Apple handled bringing retina displays to the iPhone 4, and as we saw in some of the possible resolutions for retina Macs, it’s what makes most sense for developers and designers to accommodate.
This discovery is after one of our readers noted that Lion’s large 3200×2000 resolution wallpaper may suggest a retina Mac future. If huge icons and default background images weren’t enough, MacRumors pointed out several months ago that so-called “HiDPI display modes” are making an appearance in Lion:
Taking cues from iOS, Apple has reportedly built in support for what it calls “HiDPI display modes”. These HiDPI modes allow developers to supply 2x-enlarged images to support double-high resolution displays. Like the iPhone 4′s Retina Display, this means that user interface elements will remain the same size, but everything will be twice the resolution and therefore twice as detailed.
While evidence continues to suggest that Apple is planning for a higher resolution future across their hardware lineup, costs to produce ultra-high resolution displays are likely still prohibitive. In other words, don’t expect displays with these resolutions anytime soon, if ever.