Transition to '3x' iPhone 6 at 1704 x 960 Likely Smoother Than Move to Retina

With an expected transition to a larger screen on the iPhone 6, MacRumors forum member pgiguere1 has taken a look at how non-optimized apps would appear on a rumored 1704 x 960 display that would move from the current "2x" pixel doubling technique to achieve Retina quality to a "3x" technique.

In Apple's earlier transition to 2x Retina displays, it was relatively simple for non-Retina assets to be scaled up using automatic pixel doubling techniques to represent a single non-Retina pixel as a 2x2 grid of Retina pixels until developers could get up to speed. But with a potential move to 3x (or 1.5 times current Retina), many have wondered if that transition would be awkward.

As pgiguere1 shows, while developers will undoubtedly want to optimize their apps with new 3x graphical assets, automatic scaling of current 2x assets will look considerably better on this new iPhone display than non-Retina assets did during the transition to 2x.

icons_3x_enlarged

Keep in mind however that unlike with the @1x -> @2x transition we had in 2010, this time we’d only have a 50% enlargement rather than 100%.

The thing is, a 50% enlargement with interpolation doesn’t look worse than a 100% enlargement with pixel-doubling, despite the loss of details due to the interpolation. [...]

As you can see, older non-@3x-optimized apps would actually look better on an @3x iPhone than non-@2x-opitmized apps did on an @2x iPhone. Add to this the fact that the screen's pixel density would be higher this time around, and the perceived image quality difference would be even smaller.

text_3x_enlarged
While Apple is unlikely to announce a new resolution for the iPhone 6 at next month's Worldwide Developers Conference, the company is likely to begin providing more tools and encouraging developers to speed a push toward resolution-independent vector graphics and other changes that will facilitate a smooth transition to denser displays. But for those developers who are not ready by iPhone 6 launch day, their users are likely to still have a decent experience with unoptimized apps.

Top Rated Comments

ionjohn Avatar
87 months ago
Apple is awesome at making unknown resolutions!
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bathplug Avatar
87 months ago
I wonder how many developers will still release paid updates because they've "re-written the app from the ground up"
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
taptic Avatar
87 months ago
Hey hey! Who knew!? You can actually post stuff that doesn't involve a mockup?!
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sualpine Avatar
87 months ago
Any perception of how "rough" or "smooth" this will be is irrelevant.

The complaint originates from developers who spend more time complaining than developing.

Remember how "rough" it was getting native iPad apps in 2010?
Remember how "rough" it was waiting for retina iPhone apps later in 2010?
Or how "rough" it was for iPad retina apps in 2012?
Or how "rough" it was for developers to move to the iOS 7 design language?
Or my personal favorite, how "rough" the Intel transition was?
And the "rough" transition to OS X retina apps for the rMBP?
And why stop there? Remember how "rough" System 7 to Mac OS 8 was? And OS 9 to OS X?

The point is, they'll always call it "rough", and it's never as bad as they say it is.

They're always going to complain.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nerdAFK Avatar
87 months ago
No doubt about that.

My One M7's 1920x1080 res is obviously much sharper than the 1136x640 of my 5s. People keep telling themselves higher res is pointless, and most of them have never tried.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aaronsullivan Avatar
87 months ago

Any perception of how "rough" or "smooth" this will be is irrelevant.

The complaint originates from developers who spend more time complaining than developing.

Remember how "rough" it was getting native iPad apps in 2010?
Remember how "rough" it was waiting for retina iPhone apps later in 2010?
Or how "rough" it was for iPad retina apps in 2012?
Or how "rough" it was for developers to move to the iOS 7 design language?
Or my personal favorite, how "rough" the Intel transition was?
And the "rough" transition to OS X retina apps for the rMBP?
And why stop there? Remember how "rough" System 7 to Mac OS 8 was? And OS 9 to OS X?

The point is, they'll always call it "rough", and it's never as bad as they say it is.

They're always going to complain.

That's a nice list. Where is your evidence that it's not rough? It was and is. It often multiplies the time and effort that is needed to complete a project. A limited number of screen resolutions is an advantage that iOS developers have enjoyed for a long time. Customers on the platform value a pristine look and polish and the competition is very heavy. When someone tells you your job is about to get twice as hard and you aren't getting any more time or money to work on it, it's not such an unusual thing to complain.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
prototype iphone 12 pro

Prototype iPhone 12 Pro Shown Off in Photos

Wednesday January 13, 2021 3:39 pm PST by
Developer Giulio Zompetti, who often shows off prototype versions of Apple devices, today highlighted a prototype version of the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro is running an operating system called SwitchBoard, a nonUI version of the iOS 14 update that Apple uses internally. We've seen SwitchBoard on prototype devices before, as Apple uses it to test new features. Zompetti's prototype...
foldable iPhone concept feature

Apple Testing In-Display Fingerprint Sensor for iPhone 13, Foldable iPhone Also in the Works

Friday January 15, 2021 1:46 pm PST by
Apple has started "early work" on an iPhone that has a foldable display, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Though testing of a foldable iPhone has begun, Apple has not committed to releasing a device that has a foldable display. Development has not yet expanded beyond a display and Apple does not have full foldable iPhone prototypes in its labs. Like foldable...
Apple TV Ray Light 2 Triad

Apple Extends Free Apple TV+ Trials Until July

Friday January 15, 2021 10:50 am PST by
Apple is once again planning to extend its free Apple TV+ trial subscriptions, this time until July. When Apple TV+ launched in November 2019, Apple offered free Apple TV+ subscriptions to those who purchased a new Apple device in or after September 2019. Those free subscriptions were set to expire in November 2020, but in October 2020, Apple announced that it was extending free trials...
macbook pro 16 inch thunderbolt

Bloomberg: Next-Generation MacBook Pro to Offer Improved Displays, Faster Charging Over MagSafe

Thursday January 14, 2021 11:36 pm PST by
Following today's report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlining major changes for the next-generation MacBook Pro models coming in the third quarter of this year, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has weighed in with his own report corroborating some of the details but seemingly differing a bit on others. First, Gurman shares more details on the return of MagSafe charging to the MacBook Pro, indicating...
Hue module dimmer switch

Philips Hue Announces New Wall Switch Module, Dimmer Switch, and Outdoor Light Bar

Thursday January 14, 2021 3:11 am PST by
Philips Hue has announced a new wireless dimmer switch module that lets Hue bridge owners directly control the smart lighting from their standard wall switches. The new Philips Hue wall switch module is the ideal addition to any Philips Hue set up. Installed behind existing light switches, it allows users to turn their existing switch into a smart switch and ensures their smart lighting is...
pat gelsinger intel

Incoming Intel CEO Derides Company's Inability to 'Deliver Better Products' Than Apple's M1 Chip

Friday January 15, 2021 6:17 am PST by
Incoming Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has said that the company must "deliver better products" than Apple, which he described as a "lifestyle company," and says that Intel's best days are "in front of it" (via The Oregonian). Speaking at an Intel all-hands meeting yesterday, Gelsinger derisively implied that Apple is merely a "lifestyle company," so Intel must be able to surpass its technology: ...
mac pro mini feature

Apple Working on Two New Mac Pro Desktops, One of Which Will Be Reminiscent of Power Mac G4 Cube

Friday January 15, 2021 10:23 am PST by
Apple is developing two versions of the Mac Pro to succeed the Mac Pro that was first released in December 2019, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The first updated Mac Pro is a direct successor to the current Mac Pro and it will use the same design. It may also be equipped with Intel processors rather than Apple silicon chips, and it could be one of the sole machines in the Mac...
pioneer carplay wc5700nex

The Best Apple-Related Accessories at CES 2021

Wednesday January 13, 2021 1:16 pm PST by
CES 2021 is taking place digitally this year, and it hasn't been as exciting as in past years because many vendors have opted out. That said, some companies are still showing off some interesting Apple-related accessories that are coming out this year and that will be of interest to Mac, iPad, and iPhone users. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Pioneer Wireless...