Next frontier for Apple retina displays could be MacBooks

Summary:Having conquered the iPhone and iPad, Apple's retina display technology could be looking for new screens to brighten, with new MacBooks the likeliest recipients of the extra pixel density.

Having conquered the iPhone and iPad, Apple's retina display technology could be looking for new screens to brighten. According to Ars Technica, there are clues in the latest version of OS X that retina screens could be coming to the Mac world, with new MacBooks the likeliest recipients of the extra pixel density.

As the screen here shows, there are certain icons in new developer's code for the forthcoming Mountain Lion version of OS X (10.8) that are double sized, perhaps left in by mistake but resulting in plenty of speculation about why they are in there in the first place.

This isn't the first time that the double-sized icons have been located in OS X code, with some cropping up in version 10.7.3 of Lion, and there are other clues about retina displays like a HiDPI display mode buried in the code.

There are so many rumors floating around Apple's next steps that it's hard to separate the smoke from the fire. But all of the speculation about the retina display coming to the iPad was ultimately correct, and this would be just the type of defining feature the MacBooks refreshes could use as Intel's Ultrabook platform makes inroads using the same design features of the MacBook Air. So maybe the tea-leaf readers of OS X code are on to something.

Would a "retina display" make you want to purchase a new Apple MacBook, or do you think the technology can't make as much of a difference on a laptop screen? Let us know in the Comments section.

Topics: Apple, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software

About

Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

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