What does this mean for existing apps and websites as well as upcoming opportunities? First off,all existing apps and websites
continue to work on the new iPad. No updates are required forthem to continue displaying on the first generation iPad or the iPad 2. Existing text willautomatically be upscaled to take advantage of the retina display. Existing images and graphicalelements, however, will now need careful consideration.Should all images be immediately updated to the higher resolution? A decision needs to be madebetween
beauty vs. performance
. High-quality images usually command a significant jump infile size. For example, Apple.com’s high-retina image of the iPad increased
from 111KBto 352KB. Consequently, converting all site or app images to high-retina versions can increasedownload time several folds and consume more of the monthly carrier-bandwidth allotment.Depending on the number of images, it’srecommended only key images should havehigh-resolution versions to minimize page weightand download time. Hero images and productimages will benefit most by having crisperresolution. Supporting images may not reap thesame visual benefits by having an increasedload time. Note that though the new iPads canleverage the faster AT&T and Verizon 4G LTEnetworks, it will not be available in all markets.Even in those markets, not all iPads will takeadvantage of the faster connection speeds.There are a couple of approaches in creating and displaying images on retina displays for iPadapps and websites.
1. Low and high resolutions of the same image
The notion of
has been replaced with
on retina displays. Because ofautomatic pixel doubling on these displays, two pixels are now represented as one pointin the iPad universe. This representation allows for backwards compatibility with the non-retina-display resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels.