Welcome to iPadForums.net Guest - Click Here to Register

Updating interfaces for iPad 3: Why your favorite app might take a while to go Retina

This is a discussion on Updating interfaces for iPad 3: Why your favorite app might take a while to go Retina within the iPad 3 Forum forums, part of the Apple iPad Discussions category; I just found this amazing article about preparing new & updating existing apps for future iPad 3. Take a look: Updating interfaces for iPad 3: ...

iPadForums.net is the original Apple iPad Forum! Registered Users do not see these ads. Please Register - It's Free!
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 2 of 2
  1. #1
    iPF Novice
    Member #
    4 times
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Updating interfaces for iPad 3: Why your favorite app might take a while to go Retina

    I just found this amazing article about preparing new & updating existing apps for future iPad 3. Take a look:

    Updating interfaces for iPad 3: Why your favorite app might take a while to go Retina

    By Marc Edwards

    Depending on how an app was designed and developed, updating for an iPad 3 Retina display could take days or weeks

    Flash forward — After lining up for hours, or sitting at home all day waiting for a courier to arrive, you finally have your hands on an iPad 3 with its amazing Retina display. A display with over 3.1 million pixels. All of them difficult to distinguish, because they’re so damn tiny. Text is crisp. Photos look are amazing. This thing is gorgeous.

    You launch your favourite app and notice things aren’t as amazing as they were a few seconds ago. The app in question doesn’t contain Retina image assets — the pictures that make up the user interface elements are at the iPad 2′s screen resolution, so things look as blocky as they did on your previous iPad. What’s going on?

    Custom UI vs standard UI

    A regular graphic (1x) will simply be rendered with four pixels per point on a Retina display, unless proper Retina (2x) resources are in place to take advantage of the higher density

    When creating an iOS app, developers can choose to use Apple’s supplied UI (user interface) elements, they can create their own, or they can use a mixture of the two.

    If they choose to only use Apple’s in-built elements, then the onus is on Apple to ensure everything is designed to take advantage of the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPad 3′s Retina displays. No additional work needs to be done by the developer. Apps like this will look great on the iPad 3 on day one.

    For designs using entirely custom elements, every single part of the user interface needs two images created — one for the previous, non-Retina size, and another at the new, double resolution Retina size (these contain “@2x” at the end of the filename). A simple app may only contain tens of images, but most of the prettier iOS apps also contain a large amount of individual images to construct their overall design. Some of the apps I’ve worked on have well over 300 images, so by the time we’ve finished creating the Retina assets, that’s doubled to over 600 images.

    Depending on the designer and developer involved, each image may take up to a few minutes to create. Multiply that by the images required and it can often be a daunting, awkward, repetitive task. This also assumes the artwork was created using vector layers and layer styles in Photoshop (or a similar, freely scalable method). If it hasn’t, there’s a good chance everything will need to be rebuilt from scratch, using vector layers and layer styles, turning a few solid days’ worth of work into something that might span weeks.

    Thankfully, the transition from iPhone 3GS to iPhone 4 has taught a lot of iOS designers to work in ways that make creating two sets of images easier. If you’re a designer looking to learn ways to improve your workflow when building non-Retina and Retina images, I’ve written articles on Designing for Retina and automated exporting.

    Preparation is the key

    Some developers have made the assumption that a Retina iPad was on the horizon, and have already included Retina images in their apps. However, I suspect the vast majority haven’t, even if they have the images on hand — being double the width and height also means the images are bigger in file size, which may push the total app size over the 20MB 3G download limit (apps bigger than 20MB can’t be downloaded over 3G networks).

    Why doesn’t iOS just use vectors for everything?

    From the app Consume, an example of a vector interface element set up in Photoshop

    If the issue is that pixel based images look blocky when they’re scaled, why aren’t vector based image formats, like SVG and PDF, used for iOS? Sometimes SVGs and PDFs are used in iOS development, but only rarely — they’re not the method Apple recommends. Vector formats tend to be far more resource hungry, especially for photorealistic icons, due to the amount of layers that have to be drawn independently to create the final visual. Mobile devices just don’t have the grunt or memory to draw everything on the fly.

    That’s ok though — think of the bitmap images used in iOS apps as pre-rendered vectors. The tools developers use to create the initial design should be easily scalable, but the final assets used in the app should be bitmaps, because they offer better performance (everyone loves silky smooth scrolling).


    Good developers will know what’s required of them, but may not want to start the arduous task ahead until the iPad 3 is announced (keep in mind that until Apple announces, we don’t really know anything for sure). So please be a little patient if your favourite app doesn’t take full advantage of the iPad 3′s Retina display on launch day.

    Marc Edwards is the founder Bjango and co-host of the mobile design podcast, Iterate.
    Last edited by Milanno; 02-22-2012 at 02:05 PM.
    iPad 3

  2. Ads

  3. #2
    iPad Ninja
    Member #
    13 times
    Join Date
    May 2010
    My brain....it hurts....O_O. Seriously good information though!
    Life begins, and spirits rise,
    and they become memories that vaporize,
    and the vapor becomes the dreams we devise,
    and while we are dreaming...
    Time flies...

Home | Forum | Active Topics | What's New


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Similar Threads

  1. Instrument and mic interfaces
    By BigCabDaddy in forum iPad Accessories for iPAD 1, 2 and 3
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 02-08-2012, 02:15 AM
  2. Retina Display iPad 3 Looking Unlikely for 2011
    By Maura in forum Apple iPad News
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 04-13-2011, 06:32 PM
  3. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-20-2011, 08:18 AM
  4. No Retina Display For iPad 2?
    By PhilSynowiec in forum Apple iPad News
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-14-2011, 10:31 PM

Search tags for this page

customize my ipad 3 apps
future ipad interfaces
interfaces for ipad

ipad 3 interfaces

ipad 3 lack of retina apps

ipad 3 not updating


ipad 3 not updating apps

ui format setting retina ipad
updating ipad3
user interface of the ipad 3
Click on a term to search for related topics.