Mac OS X Lion developer settings hint at new Retina monitors

Apple entered into the smartphone screen wars in a big way with its Retina display technology. The iPhone 4's ultra high resolution, bright and shiny IPS display remains one of the best screens currently available. 

Many have hoped to see similar technology arrive from Apple on its desktop monitors, in particular a pin sharp cinema display. 

A brief dig through some of the new Xcode developers tools for OS X Lion and it looks like Apple has done just that. Those who have Xcode for Lion can boot up the Quartz Debug app and enable HiDPI mode, bringing with it lower resolution offerings in the system preferences panel. 

Our MacBook Air for example has a maximum resolution of 1440 x 900, but with HiDPI mode enabled, gained settings that were one quarter and lower. 

What exactly does this all mean? Well due to the way that Apple makes OS X appear on-screen, things like a super high resolution monitor of say 5120 x 3200 could in theory render normally in HiDPI 2560 x 1600 and then jump up to the super high Retina resolution when graphics and textures allowed it. 

As MacRumours points out, the capabilities are clearly embedded in Lion and as such there is nothing to stop double DPI displays being created. 

Who knows, with the standard white MacBook gone and the MacBook Air gaining big jumps in power, Apple might do something seriously exciting with its 2012 MacBook Pros. 



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