OS X Lion Update Preps Macs for Retina Display

Source: Apple Mac OS X Lion/ Apple Store

There were recent claims that Apple is silently improving its OS X Lion to enable Macs to support high-quality images. The company’s built-in TextEdit application got a Retina Display-esque icon after the 10.7.4 update was released last Wednesday. From 512 x 512 pixels, the icon’s resolution doubled to 1024 x 1024, and its file size increased from 209 KB to 1.7 MB.

Other than TextEdit, applications such as Address Book and Dashboard increased in file size. However, they do not feature Retina Display-like icons.

Apple: Gearing Up for a Retina Display-enabled Mac

The doubling of pixels in Apple apps suggests that the company is preparing to introduce a line of Mac products that support Retina Display. The high-quality screen can be found on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. In fact, the new iPad’s 9.7-inch display is packed with 3.1 million pixels, giving it a resolution that is higher than a high-definition television.

It’s been a while since it was reported that the company was silently adding OS X improvements to prepare for its Retina Display-enabled Macs. Since the 10.7 beta was released, the App Store and LaunchPad icon have included 1024 x 1024 pixels. It was also discovered in February that the OS X 10.7.3 added more high-DPI user interface elements. This includes pointing-finger cursor for browsers, the “grabby hand,” and camera cursor for taking screenshots.

Double Resolutions Here and There

Last year, the HiDPI mode was added to the OS X Lion although it is only accessible by installing the Xcode. It is modeled after a doubled resolution in user interface that Apple has done with its iPhone and iPad’s Retina Display. Double-resolution icons were also present in various applications that can be found in the developer preview of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion such as Messages and Audio Chat.

There were also claims that Apple is planning to launch a new MacBook Pro with 2880 x 1800-pixel Retina Display this year. If that will be the case, then the upcoming model will have a screen resolution that is exactly twice the resolution found on the current 15-inch MacBook Pro.


The OS X Mountain Lion is set for a summer release while Apple’s next-generation Macs are expected to feature Intel’s Ivy Bridge processor. The processor is said to support screens with up to 4K resolution, providing 4096 x 4096 pixels per monitor.


Because of this latest rumor, it won’t come as a surprise that more tech enthusiasts will anticipate Apple’s announcement of MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs with Retina Display in the coming months.

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