I haven’t seen it for three days now, yet it has stuck in my mind.
I’m beginning to think that screen alone is as revolutionary as the original Macintosh.
Dig this: Screen Size Dictates Usage Mode
Screen size and app use are correlated, according to Stephanie Ethier, NPD In-Stat senior analyst. “Screen size has emerged not only as a key differentiator, but also the leading indicator of different tablet usages,” she says.
For example, devices with smaller form factors in the 3.5 inch to less than seven-inch range, spanning the portable media player and tablet categories, best serve entertainment needs that are typically considered complementary to everyday activities like commuting, exercising, and other on-the-go activities, Ethier argues.
By implication, 10-inch screens more commonly are used to displace activities formerly conducted on PC screens.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
But I think we’re going to see something new happening with the iPad 3.
Instead of “Screen Size Dictates Usage Mode,” we’ll see “Screen Density Dictates Increased Usage.” Or, as someone is bound to phrase it in the coming months (weeks? days?): “I’m Addicted To The iPad’s Retina Display.”
I really can’t see — no pun intended — how anyone with any sense of discernment can go back to a lower resolution screen after seeing that Retina Display on a tablet, even for the sake of portability.
When I was a kid, I favored DC Comics over Marvel Comics. Why? Because Marvel used a different printer and their product was ugly. Their colors weren’t as smooth as DC, color alignment was terrible, and the newsprint even felt worse in my hand. And this was back in the 1960s, when comics were twelve cents at the time. I was less than ten years old, but even then I could tell and see the difference.
In short, the new Retina Display on the iPad is a DC Comics screen, making everything else — including past iPads — look like Marvel Comics printing. Cheap, rough, badly done, shoddy.
And I don’t think I’m the only one who can see this difference.
There must be mindgasms happening in the world of design over that new iPad screen. People with a critical faculty finally have a screen that lives up to the vision of what they’ve been aching to deliver to screens.
But how much will the new iPad screen change things?
After the original iPad, I was expecting a revolution in the way Internet screen design was done. I expected designers to create new templates to take full advantage of what the iPad offered. This didn’t happen. What we got instead was WordPress.com offering a crappy middleman OnSwipe template that so many people complained about for so long that they finally turned it off by default.
Unfortunately, I don’t think even the latest iPad is going to motivate web designers to do tablet-friendly templates.
What about graphics, though?
One of the things I noticed on the new iPad is that graphics designed for what were typical screens looked awful on it. Safari had a Chinese website already on its screen and I happened to pinch out to zoom and noticed the banner ad at the top of screen. So enlarged, it was blurry and splotches of pixels were very evident.
I briefly went to this blog to check out screensnaps in a post, and looked at this one:
That looked OK at published enlarged size. But it made me wonder about how I might have to upgrade both photos and screensnaps here. Others are thinking about it too: Supporting high-dpi pixel-dense “Retina” Displays like iPhones or the iPad 3 with CSS or IMG,
Right now, I do all photos at 640 x 480 (that’s actually a huge upgrade from the my early blogging days when I did them at 320 x 240 to accommodate weak mobile devices at the time). That’s because I have X amount of free storage and don’t want to use it all up within one year. If I have to make photos at minimum 1024×768, I’d hit a wall very fast.
And when it comes to TV or movie screensnaps, I’d have to go HD. Here’s an HD screensnap from Rubicon:
That’s 1280 x 740.
And here’s a page ripped from a free — Irony Alert! — Marvel Comics issue recently given away at the iBookstore:
That’s 1138 x 1750. That single image is 941KB!
If you’re on the new iPad, you’re probably screaming, Yes! Yes! Do all photos and images that size from now on!
The problem is, an HD screensnap can be enormous (see 941KB above) — an SD screensnap is generally less than 40KB. If I do a post with a ton of screensnaps — which I have done — that becomes a single post that will quickly be multiple megabytes in size!
How fast will that eat up someone’s 4G cap? And those using 3G?
Apple pushed us into the future by making Adobe surrender and give up Flash.
But can Apple push us into the future by demanding faster wireless bandwidth and much higher data caps?
Instead of offering dividends to shareholders, perhaps Tim Cook should have considered buying a wireless carrier! Sprint or T-Mobile could have been gotten for a good deal. Something has to give: Mobile Bandwidth Demand Will Double Every Year Through 2015.
To get back on the main subject: The new iPad screen is going to change people’s perceptions of what to expect from websites. It’s also going to change what people expect from a screen. It’s divided the world again, as the original iPhone did (turning too many websites into websites that now require an app interface) and as the original iPad did (the sales speak for themselves; there is no tablet market, only an iPad market, Kindle Fire sales notwithstanding).
And now the new iPad, “spoiling” users for higher-resolution images and screens that look like printed paper:
In a nutshell: iPad 2 = reading on a screen. iPad 3 = reading.—
Mike Cane (@mikecane) March 17, 2012
And despite this post, and having gotten some of my thoughts down, I still won’t be able to stop thinking about the new iPad.
That screen really is resolutionary.