Retina: the project is on the verge of madness

Whoever came up with the resolution of “Retina-class”, it was crazy. Who is it? We probably will never know – and what does it matter? You can all step by step to increase the resolution of the screens, not overstrained, and not to spend money on something that never was…

If someone tried to organize a similar project for someone else’s money, hardly any one investor in the world would have dared to it. Because expert evaluation of the project would be likely the same as the sentence handed down iPhone 4 independent experts: this is useless, insanely expensive and pointless idea.

When the result useless ideas fell into the hands of millions of users, this view is quietly removed from the sites – all my links for these articles has died almost in one day. Although, maybe I shouldn’t run into experts: it’s just that Apple for some reason does not love its competitors, even more than Microsoft during its de facto monopoly.

I’ve been wanting to talk about what this project was different from most others, but somehow failed. If I don’t tell about this project now, it will be too late: “Mountain lion” was his final stage.

This useless nonsense has caused excitement among its consumers, but for developers it does not cause rejection and negative reactions. The interests of the latter were taken into account from the very beginning and it is amazing. Like, it should always be – but usually is not so…

This continuation of the series about “mountain lion”. Previous parts:

The first part: Mountain Lion: the anticipation.

The signs of approaching something “insanely great”

Haven’t had anything “insanely great”, but right now it would be very helpful, and we still have a hope to witness something like that. Or not to be.

Signs of such natural phenomena was rather unpleasant. Usually Apple, like any company in the world, closely following the innovations of competitors, and promptly responds to them with something even more impressive. Like everyone else – or misfortune.

But suddenly, for no apparent reason, as if the company becomes dormant, and ceases to respond to external stimuli. For example, since mid-2011, despite the announcement of Intel’s crusade against the MacBook Air, she’s not interested in appearing on the market LCD displays with IPS, 24-bit color and higher resolution than the Air.

And about the screens of the MacBook Pro, which the company recently proud, do not want to talk: high resolution screen (for a fee of $ 100) was inferior not only to the brothers in class, but some of the ultrabooks. However, the ultrabook is not helped, but actually had to react, this is a very important point.

An example of “insanely great” was for all to see, but even the third-generation iPad the screen is smaller. The user cannot change the screen resolution of the iPad. At all.

On MacBook e the user can change the screen resolution at any time, external monitors extend surface “desktop” has a different resolution – the window can easily be on the border areas with Retina and without.

Shortly before the announcement of the Retina MacBook Pro at the Silicon valley spread rumors, but they were some vague and timid.

In the valley in the village: it is impossible to hide anything, every company has someone’s friends and acquaintances, former colleagues – to communicate with whom in after hours not forbid.

Retina (in iOS)

From the point of view of consumers, it’s just high resolution that makes pixels invisible, by the way, most ophthalmologists have recognized this, and refused to join my colleagues in asserting that Apple is introducing clients to confusion. But nothing more than disappeared from sight pixels townsfolk saw.

In November 2012, the Apple, after several unsuccessful attempts which began in 2010, has registered the trademark “Retina” and patented this technology.

the iPhone was the perfect launching pad for the project. Small screen, whose resolution is always the same, even with a fourfold increase in the number of pixels to work with it does not require the graphics processor the high-performance.

Measure the size of the screens and objects displayed thereon, in pixels, from the standpoint of abstract geometry, like something is wrong. Like in sandals or parrots. Although the practices used for this is the pixels – the minimum point of resolution. As a compromise between practitioners and theorists, there is another unit of measurement, dot (point), initially and theoretically, it is 1/72 of an inch, but it is actually equal to one pixel (and this 1 / 96th inch, and 1/64 – both will work).

Technology Retina coordinates are denoted by dots. Each dot consists of four pixels. In Core Graphics, 2-dimensional graphics engine of OS X, the coordinates designated by the real numbers. This increases the accuracy of calculations.

When increasing the resolution, clarity and quality of images and videos is increasing, but the texts and elements are reduced, and perception is complicated.

1600×900 display with a diagonal of 13.3 inch (like the Samsung Series 9 900X3B) – example of wrong, from the point of view of ergonomics, solutions. All can be adjusted, but it’s the extra steps that are not related to that for which it was purchased.

Retina display on iPhone 4 (like the iPhone 4S and iPad third generation) were left only with what the user interacts the same, only increasing their quality. This is one of those obvious things, which are not easy to guess. The graphics engine, as before, were dealing with coordinates – what they are and how to use them in it anyway.

That’s only in iOS, and in iOS, graphical components on the screen using the graphics engine almost never painted. To avoid overloading the Central and graphics processor and not drain the battery. Used pictures drawn by artists and designers. These pictures fit into the specified dimension with pixel precision – and about the point, they knew nothing.

Found a solution for this: alas, have to work. Mostly designer. And not just to increase the available icons, and creatively to improve them (add elements to make more interesting). And in order to reduce the burden on programmers, invented symbols for files with graphics designed for Retina. If the image to normal resolution stored in the file starship.png, then the Retina version should be in the file [email protected] Programmer ordered to bring in the right place “starship”, and iOS selects the desired option, depending on the permissions on the device.

This is not all details and exceptions in iOS, but the idea, apparently, is clear.

Retina (OS X)

All that is discussed above, about the implementation of the technologies in iOS, fully applies to OS X. But due to the fact that the computer’s operating system lives much more rich and varied life, it had to consider a lot more everyday situations.

As in iOS, all aspects that can control the operating system in full and automatically, she says. In the first Retina MacBook Pro did custom build Mac OS 10.7.4, with the number 11E2068. This system was something of a craft Vostok Gagarin made the first manned flight into space.

Considered and the probability of sudden change screen resolution, and displays a window on two screens, one of which with a Retina resolution and the other does not. Windows system versed itself.

But with their contents – standard controls and the text is doing what it should, without intervention from the developer. The graphics of the workpiece (painted by artists and/or designers), icons, brand graphics, controls, taking into account all situations – on the programmer.

The effort required to adapt a Mac-native program to the Retina equally divided between developers and designers.

I’m a bit of an oversimplification, in fact it was a bit harder, sometimes trivial, but one of the first to release the program, staff working on the Retina MacBook Pro was prestigious and profitable.

In OS X Mountain Lion all mechanisms, tested in Mac OS 10.7.4, build 11E2068, with a number of additions (of the 1,700 new APIs in 10.8 two dozen were related to technology Retina), was already a regular part of the operating system, and Retina support was one of the mandatory requirements when placing applications in the Mac App Store.

To be continued

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