Design User Experience

Resolution Independence

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By idfive \ October 26, 2006

Apple has revealed that Leopard’s interface will be resolution-independent. This is a big deal in the development word, as it is the first acknowledgment that screen technology will seriously change the way that many interfaces are constructed. Apple should be applauded for taking such an intelligent step.

From Leopard’s development page:

“The old assumption that displays are 72dpi has been rendered obsolete by advances in display technology. Macs now ship with displays that sport native resolutions of 100dpi or better. Furthermore, the number of pixels per inch will continue to increase dramatically over the next few years. This will make displays crisper and smoother, but it also means that interfaces that are pixel-based will shrink to the point of being unusable. The solution is to remove the 72dpi assumption that has been the norm. In Leopard, the system, including the Carbon and Cocoa frameworks, will be able to draw user interface elements using a scale factor. This will let the user interface maintain the same physical size while gaining resolution and crispness from high dpi displays.”