OS X Lion: HiDPI Display Modes

Arnold Kim:

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. For example, instead of a 1440×900 pixel 15″ MacBook Pro, you could have a 2880×1800 pixel 15″ MacBook Pro. All the screen elements would be the same physical size as elements on the 1440×900 display, but with a much higher level of detail. Developers would simply need to provide 2x-resolution images for their user interface elements, just like on the iPhone to support its high resolution Retina display.

Oh, the possibilities! Let’s start from the MacBooks:

  • 11.6-inch MacBook Air: 1366×768 → 2732×1536
  • 13.3-inch MacBook Air: 1440×900 → 2880×1800
  • 13.3-inch MacBook Pro: 1280×800 → 2560×1600
  • 15.4-inch MacBook Pro: 1680×1050 → 3360×2100
  • 17.0-inch MacBook Pro: 1920×1200 → 3840×2400

The iMacs:

  • 21.5-inch iMac: 1920×1080 → 3840×2160
  • 27.0-inch iMac: 2560×1440 → 5120×2880

The 27.0-inch LED Cinema Display would be the same as the 27.0-inch iMac. Maybe this is what Apple paid all that cash for.