The New iPad and Retina Display Reading


Yesterday, as expected in San Francisco, Apple unveiled the heavily rumoured iPad 3 (and called it the new iPad just to confuse us when technical blogging)! With this device, Apple have massively increased the resolution of the device to quadruple its predecessors (double the resolution in width and height). So what does this mean for apps involving reading (like YUDU’s technology)?

Firstly, all existing apps will work just fine without any changes – we’re not dealing with the same kind of upgrade we saw when the iPhone 4 first came out, but the increase in clarity is astonishing for new iPad owners (of which there will be millions this quarter).

This affects reading apps (particularly apps dealing with high fidelity print layouts for magazines and catalogs like ours), not to mention fixed layout rich books on the iBookstore in a very positive way – it reduces, and in some cases, eliminates the need to zoom to read pages, making the reading experience effortless.

Publishers have had a hard time with the iPad historically – their customers demand content on the device, but do they completely redesign their entire magazine or catalog for reading on a low resolution small screen (at their own cost, which is very high in some cases), hoping that they’ll get a good amount of new customers on the iPad, or do they allow for simple, quick consumption with the existing print based layouts (which have been refined over many years for readability in print).

We serve both choices equally well, processing the high quality print assets for you, but with this upgrade, the screen now gives the reader four times as much detail without zooming into the page at all, which really helps the publisher.

Of course, this is only one of two reasons to zoom – the need to see more detail due to the screen’s resolution being low (compared with print). The other case is still necessary (seeing a bigger physical rendering of part of a page) due to eyesight issues or the font size from the publisher still being too small despite the device being able to display it clearly.

If you’re an existing customer, we’re upgrading all existing apps with HD content for you, so no need to worry, and if you haven’t yet decided to create an app for your titles, why not give us a call and see how good your pages look on the new iPad?