iOS 4.3 beta points to iPad 2 cameras but no Retina Display

Following repeated rumors that the iPad 2 will be equipped with a retina display, 9To5Mac has made a discovery that may prove otherwise. After digging through the latest SDK, they found plenty of references that point towards the iPad 2 having the ability to take photos and shoot video; however, the size of the camera shutter images is 1024 x 768 - the exact same resolution of the current iPad.

So, either Apple has intentionally placed these images in the SDK to throw us off, or -- like TiPb has been saying for a while now -- the technology simply isn't there to support a full-on retina display on the iPad 2. What do you think?

[9To5Mac]

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Leanna Lofte

Former app and photography editor at iMore, Leanna has since moved on to other endeavors. Mother, wife, mathamagician, even though she no longer writes for iMore you can still follow her on Twitter @llofte.

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Reader comments

iOS 4.3 beta points to iPad 2 cameras but no Retina Display

16 Comments

OMG, the whole retina display thing is seriously misunderstood.
The iPhone Retina Display is made so that when you hold it at a comfortable viewing distance, you can't discern individual pixels. For the iPhone viewing distance, Apple concluded that anything over 300 ppi (pixels per inch) would be sufficient.
For the iPad, you don't hold it as close to your eye as the iPhone. Therefore, the ppi does not need to be as high to get the "Retina Display" effect.
And, I know Rene is adamant that you can't change the resolution without increasing it by 2. However, there are ways around increasing the resolution by smaller factors.
I'm not sure if they are changing the resolution of the iPad, but they better. The screen looks awful compared to the iPhone 4, and I bet Apple knows it.

At last... someone else who realises that iPad retina display doesn't mean we need 8000 linear pixels :)

If the iPad had the rentina display, it would be TWICE the resolution of HD! Thats why it WONT get it, it dosen't need it.

Same res, but perhaps more colors? Not sure how they can do that, but the iPad looks washed out compared to their other products

They will make a better resolution screen, and may be better at the glare problem. I believe the basic new iPad was already developed, but some of it was left open to really tweak. Apple will look close at the CES show, and really see what the competition has out there. Why make a new iPad that you have to jail break just to get basic function that all others already have, or will have.

Where does this "must be x2" assumption come from? X1.5 would make a lot more sense (and is very close to 1600x1200, which I guess it the maximum sane resolution for a device like this, and even then I'd expect a graphics upgrade to handle it).
From what I've seen (as an iOS graphics programmer), I think iOS actually DOES include resolution independence. Notice how old, non-iphone4 apps sometimes have nice sharp text and buttons on an iphone4? The standard UI stuff has a "content scale" setting. 1.0 is iphone 2g/3g res. 2.0 is iphone 4 res. I imagine 1.5 would work, and would give you something in between. If you leave it unspecified, it uses the screen resolution, the button (or whatever) size doesn't change, the resolution does.
They'd still need higher res icons etc. though of course. And these graphics in the article would have higher res versions. Would they include higher res graphics in a beta for a lower res device? No, they wouldn't, it would be a waste of space. So this proves nothing either way.

Yes, but when the pixel amount is doubled on both sides, all the device has to do is assign four pixels for each one of the low-resolution application. When it isn't double, it has to reassign pixels in different areas, and, when you're playing a game, the conversion can require a lot of processing power.

The graphics are drawn on the GPU, not in software. Only bitmap graphics (things like pictures and icons) will get stretched, everything else will be drawn normally, just using more pixels. The GPU has hardware to do the scaling, and it does it very efficiently. It would take near zero additional processing power (in fact smoothed stretching would probably be much faster at 1.5x than 'linear' (blocky) 2x, because there's less pixels to draw).

It's been pretty well established that a Retina Display on an iPad is cost prohibitive. And frankly, a display that small with that resolution simply doesn't exist yet.
No Retina Display on the iPad 2. I guarantee it.

The important thing to remember is that "Retina Display" is a marketing term used by Apple. Will iPad 2 have a higher resolution than iPad 1? Yes. Will Apple call it Retina Display? No?

Frankly I don't see Apple bumping up the resolution on the iPad one bit this year, and this new info from iOS 4.3 supports that. Yes the iPad display would look better at 1280x1024 or something like that, and even at proper viewing distances, text could be a little smoother. But I don't see Apple throwing more curve balls at developers just yet, or taking the iPad a huge leap forward when the competition isn't even all that organized at this time. There are a lot of competing devices hitting the market, but none of them have the momentum or polish of the iPad, and only a couple of them have higher resolution (most have less). So in my mind, resolution might change next year but not this one.

"Where does this “must be x2″ assumption come from?"
From the necessity to upscale apps smoothly until developers make retina versions.
"Will iPad 2 have a higher resolution than iPad 1? Yes. Will Apple call it Retina Dispay? No."
You've got it backwards Magnus. Same resolution, but they are likely to make some change so they can call it Retina.

Apple ought to increase the screen resolution of the iPad, because, as others have said, the current resolution does not look good. But, for marketing reasons, I think that they won't. Apple never gives you everything in one go. They will still sell loads of iPads and make a pile of money. Then, next year they can improve the screen resolution and get more of your money again. All hail to his Steveness!

Of course not!!! Why would Apple waist a new display on a 2 version??? Come on now folk you know better..You will be getting two low MP cameras and a OS update that allows you to swipe left to right quicker. You may get a display improvement on version 3 along with better cameras..Apple knows you will buy all 3 versions within a 3 year time frame so they won't dare give you much all at once.

I held off on ipad 1 after seeing how crappy the resolution was compared to my iphone 4. So if ipad 2 doesn't have a better resolution screen i will get the Moto Xoom for sure. Im not brand loyal. Whoever makes the better product gets my $$$