Lion Includes HiDPI Support For Macs With Retina Displays

Retina Displays seem to be all the rage with Apple and the rumor mill. After months of speculation about an iPad with a Retina Display comes something to fuel the rumor fire again: Apple could be considering a Mac with a Retina Display.

HiDPI Support In Lion

High resolution screens have been capped at 2560 x 1600 for consumers and professionals. While there are a multitude of methods to add more pixels to your workspace such as a using additional monitors, we’ll have to wait for higher resolution screens to pack more pixels in the same space.

Keeping up with the theme of high DPI screens as found on the iPhone, Apple is starting to slowly push HiDPI mode in Lion. But, you won’t see the benefits for some time. As monitors increase in pixel count, so does their physical size. Apple wants to take a different approach and keep screen sizes the same but dramatically increase pixel count. To do this, HiDPI mode, which quadruples the pixel count of graphics for double the resolution is being slowly implemented. The concept is essentially the same as the Retina Display on the iPhone – the interface itself remains the same size but the quality of the graphics offered at at quadruple the amount of on-screen pixels means the UI looks rich and textured. In essence, the OS X you know and love on your MacBook Pro’s 1200 x 800 screen would look the same proportionally but a HiDPI 2400 x 1600 screen would render much smoother and richer graphics.

HiDPI support, which has been in subsequent Betas for OS X Lion, is now being supported in the latest retail build. However, you need to enable the feature by opening Quartz Debug application found in the Developer directory