Retina display support for the new MBP

Hello Keith,

Any idea when Scrivener will have native support for Apple’s new Retina display?


…And you win the annual WWDC “who will be the first person to ask about a feature just announced seconds ago” Literature & Latte bingo contest. :slight_smile: Can we at least get to the end of the keynote? The store with the new MBPs isn’t even live yet!

SCNR :mrgreen:

I think you users have a competition every year to see who can get in the first. :slight_smile:

Anyway, now that the keynote is over - and while I wait to order myself a lovely new MacBook Pro on the company dime :slight_smile: - I can answer:

We already have all of the binder icons prepared at 2x size, ready for the iPad and iPhone version’s retina display, so I can get those in pretty quickly. And I’ve contacted our icon designer, who is happy to work on the rest of the icons at double size for us. That’s a lot of icons, though - it’s going to take him some time (and cost us a fortune, which is why we didn’t want to ahead and order the icons until we knew for sure that we would need them!).

All the best,

I was actually kinda surprised that I was the first person to post it. All the other folks were probably to busy watching soccer. :blush:

Great to hear that Retina is already on your list. Personally I don’t really worry that much about the icons, but more about the images in my research folder. I usually try to use a lot sketches and aerial views (if available) of my locations, so the huge amount of pixels will probably help a lot with that.


I guess retina is one of those things that need to be seen to be appreciated right?

I mean as I understand it, basically Apple have put a screen on the MBP that makes most of the content available look clunky and / or small. And I don’t really want to watch HD movies in the corner of my screen or - worse - upscaled.

Other than that the revelations were… 8GB of RAM and an i7 processor?


But you can upgrade to 16GB of RAM! :wink:

Coming from an MPB still limping along on 2GB, that’s saying something. It’s…it’s so pretty…

A lot of displays on the market match or exceed 220PPI these days, mostly in the smartphone and tablet realm. So if you’ve seen a relatively modern smartphone recently, then you know what “Retina” looks like.

yeah, but those are devises that need the extra resolution to squeeze in extra footage.

Erm… Anyone who actually needs that kind of squarefootage - professional artists, video editors etc… Well, they’re gonna be using an external monitor or two aren’t they?

For everyone else you’ve just made the content small, innit?

It’s more about the quality of the text rendering for me. Anything above 140 or so starts to look like an ink jet printout instead of a dot matrix printout, and once you get into the 200’s and approaching 300 it looks like laser jet. Next best benefit, especially for laptops, is how much stuff you can squeeze in. Even on my 11" screen, since it is around 140PPI, I can still use a binder + corkboard/outliner + text editor comfortably. On an older laptop (13") this wouldn’t have been very useful. I’d have to hide the binder a lot, or just not use splits. But mainly, having printout quality text in front of you keeps your eyes happy for longer.

Stop putting sensible responses up when I just want to poke fun! :smiley:

Seriously though, I have seen the retina display on the ipad and it does look great. For anyone who does a lot of reading or writing on a laptop (so that’s all of us, right?) this can only be a good thing! Jenny’s posts of retina resolution corkboard jpgs in the iOS thread illustrated that!

Yeah, it did sound like Windows sour grapes.

I would hope that Apple has already tweaked all their fonts so that they look great on the new display. Sure, many apps are going to have to be made compatible with it, but then, I have always thought that this sort of thing is the foundation of progress.

Example, when I bought my original MBA, I lashed out money on an external DVD drive for it. I don’t think I’ve used that in a year and a half. I have an Iomega 250MB Zip drive and loads of disks … I haven’t looked at them for about 7 years, but I know I’m going to have to, 'cos there’s stuff on there, photos principally, that I want to keep. Windows boxes round here often still have 3.5" floppy drives!


Actually, the one thing it wasn’t was sour grapes. I think the hardware looks sexy, I think the OS really suits some people’s way of working, but I have never been wowed by the specs. Frankly all manufacturers have pretty similar capabilities there.

I think it says something when even ars technica couldn’t raise the energy to draw attention to the WWDC on their homepage, instead opting for the big computing story of the moment: Oatmeal vs Funnyjunk!

I also found it ironic that Apple was effectively saying (*)
1)YOU! Yes you! You behind the bike sheds. Stand still, laddy! (**)
You NEED more space to view your stuff! You need to fit more on your screen, but don’t worry, we have you covered! We have introduced RETINA! Yay! Won’t take long for your favourite software developers to produce something that uses it! In the meantime, don’t look at pictures on the web they will look clunky! Just squint, you’ll be fine.
2) We are cancelling the silly 17" models. What on earth would you want all that space for on your screen?

(*) In my head, obviously.
(**) apologies to Pink Floyd

I admit I don’t follow closely what PC manufacturers are doing, but, on the other hand, every time I see ads for Dell or Asus or whatever, saying “Hey look at our new sexy stuff”, I, think, “Yeah, I’ve had all that for the last two years on my MBA”. For me, it’s not the individual things … yes, everyone’s going to be using i7 Ivy Bridge in their top end machines; yes, you can get this or that … what it seems to me you don’t get is the whole package put together and at a cost which … well, let me give an example.

A year and a half ago, a student of mine was going to get a new computer and was hovering between a 15" MBP and a similar screen-size Think Pad. She was veering to the Think Pad, until I said, “OK, let’s up the specs of the basic Think Pad to match those of the MBP.” The MBP was something like $150 cheaper.

I happen to be comfortable with OS-X; I’ve been using Macs since the beginning of the 90s. I’ve also used many flavours of Windows too at my various works, starting with Windows 2, and I’ve always found Windows frustrating. But that’s just me, and I have no grudge against those who prefer Windows.

But where are the Windows laptops .71" slim, i7 Ivy Bridge with 16GB of 1600 MHz RAM, etc., etc., with a 2880 x 1800 resolution screen (not to make things small but to make them pin-sharp) and how much would one cost me?

But maybe those things are not significant for you, and that’s OK too. I don’t need that much computing power either, but I do like lots of screen space without having to have an external monitor.


I know you’re a but younger than me. Let me warn you about what that “squeeze” you are putting in there. Your future will likely involve significant, corrective optometric devices. I am at the point that driving at night is becoming dangerous and there is little doubt that the primary culprit is staring at monitors where “squeeze” was applied.

Which bring me back to my personal disgust with the current compute market (all manufacturers): the new devices are getting harder and hard for older people to use. Between the much finer motor skill needed to hit the target with the mouse, to the near impossibility of hitting the “smart device” screen in the right place, to the need for microscopes to read anything, I am almost at the point of being forced out of the consumer market (work must make concessions in the form a large displays). And I am not all that old not physically disabled! My neighbor with early Parkinson’s, no hope at all. Just threw it all away and is forcing everyone to call him. I’m not sure this kind of progress really is as good as we think it is.

But where are the Windows laptops .71" slim, i7 Ivy Bridge with 16GB of 1600 MHz RAM, etc., etc., with a 2880 x 1800 resolution screen (not to make things small but to make them pin-sharp) and how much would one cost me?
This is my point exactly - the manufacturers just keep leapfrogging each other with slight differences in specs. This time last week, Apple was looking very “old” with it’s specs, and I could have bought a Sony Vaio i7 (don’t know what type of Bridge, but a Intel®Core™i7-3612QM,2.1GHz boostable to somethingn else entirely) 12GB RAM, 500GB SSD, plus 2GB graphics card, a couple of USB3.0s and a 1920x1080 15" display for POUNDS=1,782 + tax.

It’s all much a muchness with no-one having spec leadership for long. The exception being, as far as I can tell, that Retina screen and multi-touch doodahs

Another thing to remember is that the ads - irresepctive of manufacturer - are for people who neither use nor need nor understand computers.

It’s just that Apple’s marketing strategy is “people will think you are poor or uncool or both if you don’t have our laptop” and the majority of Windows-based computer firms take the strategy of “it’s so cheap! get one for the kids! the wife can have here own! get the dog one too!”

Actually, some of that is a misinformation from what I’ve read. Looking at smaller things does not hurt your eyes, even reading in the dark does not hurt your eyes (holding a page 6 inches from your nose does, though). What can gradually cause the mechanisms to harden is mainly age, but second to that, not taking frequent breaks to focus on things further away than the computer screen. Every fifteen minutes you should be looking out the window for a half minute or so and focussing on the further thing you can resolve in detail. Every hour you should be standing up and moving around doing something other than staring at a screen and typing. It doesn’t really matter if you are looking at 36pt letters or 9pt letters so long as you can read them both comfortably and don’t find yourself creeping in toward the screen and/or squinting, what makes a difference is that you stop looking at the letters occasionally and get some tea.

No debate there. The main problem is that no OS is making any strides on resolution independent interface. Having laser jet quality resolving power in front of us is great, but as anyone who’s printed out a 72dpi picture to their laser printer knows, all that resolution works against you unless you have the proper huge graphic to print from. UIs need to be bigger, and they need look crisp at any size. Simply ramping up the icon size isn’t enough.

I have no beef with the progress. We should be enhancing the quality of our screens. It’s the failures of the OS industry to keep up with the hardware industry that is causing the “everything is too small problem”. It makes sense to demand better UI for our tech, rather than discourage the hardware research or chastise development for reaching too far.

Yes, and perhaps the worst offender is Adobe. I love InDesign, particularly the latest, CS 6 version. But their entire UI seems designed for people under 40: tiny text, tiny icons, and (on the panels) tiny arrows to pull down menus. It takes the eyes of a fighter ace and the motor skills of a heart surgeon to use it.

Oddly enough, I attend an InDesign users group in the very building where InDesign is developed. Quite a few–perhaps even most–of the ID users there are over forty. Someone really ought to tell Adobe that they need a small v. large option for their UI.

–Michael W. Perry, Seattle

I was under the impression that, on the Mac Retina display, you could scale things up? Mine was shipped yesterday, so I’ll let you know when it arrives. :slight_smile: Although, I bet you can only scale it up so that things are the size they would have been on a regular Mac screen - still small. This is why I was looking forward to true resolution independence. From a developer’s perspective, true resolution independence is a nightmare, because it means that every graphic in the program has to be able to scale up and down smoothly. And that means vector graphics, PDF files and such, and it would cost a fortune to get a graphic designer to create vector graphics for all of the images in a program such as Scrivener. From a user’s perspective, though, resolution independence means that you can make everything on your screen big, if you have eye problems, and still enjoy beautiful graphics - or scale everything down if you have good eyesight and want more space.

Apple seemed to be heading in this direction at one point - partial support for resolution independence was implemented as far back as Leopard (though you could only turn it on for testing with developer tools, and only partially), and the whole reason for all the ugly monochrome graphics you get everywhere nowadays - in Mail, in Finder’s sidebar - seemed to be that Apple had started using PDF graphics (vector graphics scale a lot better the simpler they are). But now it seems that Apple has taken a different direction. It’s still expensive from a developer’s perspective - all of our graphics need recreating at twice the size - but not as expensive as full resolution independence. But it does nothing to help people with bad eyesight - they still have to scale things up and see crappy, pixellated graphics. At least, I believe so - as I say, I’ll test this out in a week or so, when I receive the beastie.