During this afternoon’s Apple Special Event at the California Theater in San Jose, California, Phil Schiller announced the availability of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, starting at $1699 for the base model.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display features a 13.3-inch LED-backlit IPS display supporting a 2560-by-1600 (Retina) resolution (the world’s second highest resolution notebook computer), is lighter at 3.57 pounds (a pound lighter and now Apple’s lightest MacBook Pro), and is thinner in profile at 0.75 inch high (20% thinner than the previous generation). Connections include a Magsafe 2 power port, two Thunderbolt ports (10 Gbps), two USB 3 ports, a HDMI port, a SD card reader, a headphone port, a FaceTime HD camera (720p), and dual microphones. Inside the chassis, Apple starts their base model with an Intel Core i5 dual-core processor, 8 GB of onboard memory, and 128 GB of flash storage. Integrated Intel 4000 graphics is also present for graphics and video. For networking and wireless peripheral connections, Apple’s latest models support 802.11n and Bluetooth 4.0. As with its 15-inch sibling, the new 13-inch model nixes the optical bay (Apple USB SuperDrives can be purchased separately to read, rip, and burn CDs and DVDs).
Configurable up to a dual-core Intel Core i7 processor and 768 GB of flash storage (8 GB is the maximum amount of memory offered by Apple), the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is offered in two models:
• $1699 for a 2.5 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of onboard memory, and 128 GB flash storage.
• $1999 for a 2.9 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of onboard memory, and 256 GB flash storage.
While developers are likely already running the latest and greatest from Apple’s Mac Dev Center to take advantage of iOS 6 beta and Mountain Lion beta SDKs, everyone else who is learning about development, building for fun, or simply wants a stable version of Xcode can find the latest release in the Mac App Store. Updated to take advantage of the MacBook Pro with Retina display, Xcode 4.4 also includes OS X 10.8 SDKs in concert with the release of Mountain Lion earlier this morning. (Later versions of Xcode 4.3 already offered support for iOS 5.1). Xcode 4.4 requires the latest version of Lion, 10.7.4, or Mountain Lion 10.8 to run.
Xcode 4.4 Release Notes from the Mac App Store
Included in Xcode 4.4:
• SDKs for OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and iOS 5.1.
• Enhanced for the MacBook Pro with Retina display.
• Code completion persists your selections to give more accurate suggestions.
• Objective-C @synthesize command is generated by default when using properties.
• Objective-C adds literal syntax for numbers, arrays, dictionaries, and expressions when developing for OS X.
• Apple LLVM compiler supports additional C++11 features, including lambdas.
• Assistant editor tracks caller or callee for the current selection.
• New localization workflow can share a single base .xib file for multiple locales on OS X.
• Source control can commit individually selected changes.
• ARC migration tool converts both retain/release and garbage collected code.
• Fixes an issue where code completion could fail, requiring the user to delete derived data.
• Additional bug fixes and stability improvements.
Specific Xcode 4.4 release notes and feature highlights should be available through the Xcode 4 Downloads and Resources page later today, and through the Mac Dev Center for developers in the Mac Developer Program. Xcode 4.4 can be downloaded via the link above or from the Mac App Store.
According to DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim in an interview with CNET, the iPad 3′s 2048 x 1536 QXGA display is currently in production, with names like Samsung, Sharp, and LGD now laid on the table. The iPad’s possible Retina Display, which would double the pixels from the current 1024 x 768 display found in the iPad and the iPad 2, is rumored to find its way into the next generation iPad by 2012. Excited yet?
Shim says that finished iPad 3s with their aluminum shells and upgraded 4:3 displays could be finished in December following the few weeks it takes it takes to assemble Apple’s latest tablet. 9to5 Mac has already found hints of Apple’s next iPad, codenamed J2 (supposedly the 3G model with J1 being Wi-Fi only) in the iOS 5 source code, following a DigiTimes report that 2 million iPad 3s would be produced by the years end.
Keep in mind that an iPad 3′s Retina Display would have more vertical pixels than the 27″ Apple Thunderbolt Display currently on the market, with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. Provided Apple could even sell such a pixel precise display, what would it mean for developers and designers creating new and unique interfaces for the iPad? And remember the transition period from the iPhone 3GS to the iPhone 4? Yikes. Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
According to a new report by The Wall Street Journal, Apple will begin trial production of the next-generation iPad with key component suppliers in October, with the device set to debut in “early 2012″ featuring a “high resolution display”. Whilst speculation in the past months had claimed Apple would release two iPads in 2011, with a possible “iPad 3″ likely set for a Fall release alongside the iPhone 5, recent rumors have indicated Apple would either stick with its annual release cycle, or launch a minor refresh of the iPad 2 — dubbed iPad 2 HD — this year, focusing on improving screen resolution and processor speed.
The Wall Street Journal seems to believe the former theory, claiming that “[the] next generation iPad is expected to feature a high resolution display – 2048 by 1536 compared with 1024 by 768 in the iPad 2″ with a launch in early 2012.
One component supplier to Apple said the company has already placed orders for parts for about 1.5 million iPad 3s in the fourth quarter.
“Suppliers will ramp up production and try to improve the yield rate for the new iPad in the fourth quarter before its official launch in early 2012,” said a person at the supplier.
Rumors surrounding a second iPad to be released in the fall started when both TechCrunch and Daring Fireball’s John Gruber hinted at an iPad 3 coming out this year for a “fall surprise”. Since then, speculation has been running wild as to whether Apple could really release the iPad 3 in 2011 whilst they were still struggling to meet demand for the iPad 2, which Apple COO Tim Cook later described as the “mother of all backlogs” due to a combination of high customer demand, and component shortages. However, at the Q3 earnings call in July Apple reported 9.25 million iPads sold in the quarter, mentioning that iPad 2 supply improved “dramatically” in the previous months.
Whereas several websites are still backing up the claims of a second iPad to be released in 2011, a report from Digitimes in June detailed how Apple had just began component certification for the iPad 3 set to come out next year. Technical details of the new device are unclear, although a number of reports in the past months — as well as graphical elements found in the iOS operating system — suggested Apple wants to build a “Retina Display” in the iPad 3 by doubling the existing resolution of the device, bringing it to 2048 x 1536 pixels up from 1024 x 768.
Use Gmail on your iPhone? There’s an update waiting for you when you log in, including sharper graphics that shine on the iPhone 4′s Retina display. The new graphics were a highly requested feature by Gmail users, and now Google’s gone and made everything prettier so their web interface doesn’t look as fuzzy or pixelated on our high resolution phones. And hey – now it feels like it belongs!
Want to refresh your inbox or a conversation? Simply pull down to refresh. Gmail now lets you refresh your inbox naturally, and you keep the conversation going if you’re rapid replying to a friend’s or coworkers email.
Finally, there’s some new transitions you can check out. As you navigate across Gmail, sliding transitions help create flow while generally looking pretty — it’s that final polish that iOS users come to expect on all apps (native or web).
According to a report in the Korea Times, Apple has begun quality testing LCD displays from Samsung and LG for the iPad 3. A source claims that the LCD displays currently being tested are QXGA with a resolution of 2048 x 1536 – a resolution twice that of the current iPad display. Such a resolution for a 9.7″ display would mean the display has roughly 260 DPI and would likely fit under the ‘Retina Display’ marketing term – despite the fact that for the iPhone it was specified to be above 300 DPI, this is because the iPad is normally held further away from the eyes, and thus the DPI requirement is lower.
Apple’s upcoming iPad 3 will feature an improved display to support quad extended graphics (QXGA), a display resolution of 2048×1536 pixels with a 4:3 aspect ratio to provide full high definition (HD) viewing experience, said a source close to the talks
A deal between the two display manufacturers and Apple is also supposedly close to being finalised. One source told the Korea Times “Apple has traditionally preferred to use the same providers of the same parts for the same device, even as they evolve to different versions. I don’t see any fundamental change to that approach”. That said, it comes at a time when the relationship between Apple and Samsung is strained amid ongoing legal battles between the two companies. In fact just last week it was rumoured that Apple may be shift production of an A6 processor to TSMC.
Although neither LG or Samsung would not comment on these suggestions, Samsung officials did stress that the chances are “very low” for the current legal battles to affect Apple’s relationship with the LCD manufacturing division of Samsung. LG, however, is reportedly “euphoric” about increasing LCD orders from Apple and other handset and tablet manufacturers amid a still slow global recovery. It should also be noted that just a few weeks ago, there was a rumor of an iPad HD that was set to arrive this fall that would feature an increased resolution display, just like the one described by this report, and be aimed at ‘pro’ users.
According to a new report published today by Joshua Topolsky at This is my next, Apple is gearing up to release an “iPad 2 HD” this Fall alongside a new model of the iPhone, as previous speculation has largely confirmed with different reports about an “iPhone 5″ or slightly redesigned “iPhone 4S”. According to Topolsky, the contradicting reports of a major redesign for the next iPhone and a slight hardware refresh using the existing iPhone 4 design have generated from the fact that Apple has been secretly testing the iPhone 5 components inside an iPhone 4 case — thus leading to reports from several media outlets about a new iPhone that could either feature a thinner, radically different design, or something along the lines of the iPhone 4, only faster and with better cameras. This is my next had previously claimed the iPhone 5 would feature a new “tear drop” case design, as well as a 3.7-inch screen (versus the current 3.5-inch display), a different Home button and worldphone capabilities for CDMA/GSM compatibility. This last tidbit has also been hinted by Verizon’s CFO back in April. Topolsky says Apple is likely to abandon the iPhone 4′s industrial design as it’s “out of favor” with the company’s executives.
Our sources tell us that the company has been testing the new components in old iPhone cases, for obvious reasons. Some of those reports we’ve heard about a larger screen for the old design would make sense too, as a slight tweak of the size (say, to a 3.7-inch display), would be barely noticeable to the eye, but obvious in internal component design. So if you’ve been wondering why the rumors about the iPhone 4S rose to such a din, now you know.
As noted by Jim Dalrymple at The Loop, Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPad have been awarded the Display of the Year prizes by the The Society for Information Display. Apple devices were mainly awarded for the usage of In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology, which provides greater viewing angles and brightness quality than other displays found on phones and tablets. The iPhone 4′s Retina Display, packing four times the pixels in the same old iPhone screen, was also mentioned for setting a new benchmark in mobile display solutions, as well as new standards in power consumption and image quality.
Utilizing Mobile IPS (in-plane switching) technology, the iPhone 4 Retina display achieves a viewing angle superior to conventional mobile LCDs, providing an enhanced viewing experience for the end user in virtually any application. The display features a host of technical advancements: customized LTPS TFT backplane with organic passivation and optimized pixel design; user-customizable, auto-adjustable brightness using ambient light sensing; advanced IPS compensation polarizer technology for high contrast (800:1) and color consistency regardless of viewing direction; 8-bit color depth; an ultra-thin, tiny-footprint driver IC; and patent-pending mechanical integration.
The iPad display provides a superior viewing experience with a minimized gamma shift over viewing angles, enabling designers to create innovative apps that further enhance the viewing experience. The iPad’s fully customized design leverages the existing amorphous silicon thin-film transistor (a-Si TFT) infrastructure in an innovative, ultra-thin product with the unique LCD and an innovative power-management system that achieves maximum power efficiency – 10 hours of battery life for WiFi web surfing and 9 hours for 3G web surfing.
I’m no display expert, but in my experience with smartphones and tablets from other brands, I can say I haven’t found another screen that matches the quality of my iPhone 4 and iPad 2. The iPhone 4, despite being almost one year old, still manages to impress with its Retina Display.
If Apple were to do something like the above, the biggest question I would have is whether or not they’d put something into place for users who genuinely do want much smaller UI elements and much more screen real estate. That is, if Apple were to double their UI, and then use the 2×1080p resolution for the 27-inch iMac, there’s a sense in which current 27-inch iMac users would feel like they were actually losing screen real estate from their current 2560 × 1440 displays. But that’s why Apple’s Apple and I’m a guy writing about them: if and when Retina Displays do come to the Mac, they will have thought that issue through and either solved it, or decided that the set of users who would be upset by it isn’t a large enough group to hold other users back.
Tim Ricchuiti at The Elaborated makes a great case for the issues Apple would have to overcome in implementing higher resolution displays (let’s just call them Retina Displays for the sake of the argument) on Macs: at 3200 x 2000 pixels (that’s the resolution of the default wallpaper image found in the Lion betas, and no Mac or Apple-branded screen currently ships with such pixel density), UI elements on a MacBook Pro 15″ would look small, unless Apple comes out with a solution to offer same-size graphics, on a higher-res screen. On the iPhone 4, for example, they allowed developers to create “2x” graphics that, with double the pixels on the iPhone 4, look the same size of iPhone 3GS graphics. But how would you do that on a Mac, where users can decide to install apps both from the web and the Mac App Store, thus preventing Apple from enforcing a 2x standard? Plus, how could Apple offer a way to switch between bigger and smaller UI elements? A desktop ecosystem like OS X with computers featuring much bigger displays than iOS devices raises more questions over the implementation and usage of Retina Display.