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For Normals, Jobs' "Retina Display" Claim May Be Fair After All 386

Posted by timothy
from the sharp-dealing dept.
The Bad Astronomer writes "AT WWDC, Steve Jobs claimed that the iPhone 4's display has about the same resolution as the human eye — held at one foot away, the iPhone 4's pixels are too small to see. After reading an earlier Slashdot post about an expert disputing Jobs' claim, I decided to run the numbers myself. I found that Jobs is correct for people with normal vision, and the expert was using numbers for theoretically perfect vision. So to most people, the iPhone 4 display will look unpixellated."
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For Normals, Jobs' "Retina Display" Claim May Be Fair After All

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  • by Skarecrow77 (1714214) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:34PM (#32526118)

    i'm holding my droid at 1 foot distance and I can't distinguish any single pixel. I have to get it to about 3-4 inches to do so convincingly.

    Granted, anti-aliased fonts help a ton.

    • by ohcrapitssteve (1185821) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:48PM (#32526326) Homepage
      I consider myself to have pretty good eye-sight, if not 20/20 (no glasses/lenses) and I really can't see a pixel on my iPhone 3G from a measured foot away either. I can from about 3" though. If Apple's going to increase the pixel count by four-fold, I don't think I'll ever see a pixel again...
      • by wagnerrp (1305589)
        Do you actually have to have it only 3" away to distinguish pixels, or is that how close you have to be to see the dark wireframe between them?
      • by Rodyland (947093) on Friday June 11, 2010 @12:47AM (#32531918)

        Thing is, 20-20 vision isn't that good. Have you ever actually taken a good look at the chart that determines what 20-20 vision is?

        It's normally 3rd or 4th from the bottom of the chart. I am shortsighted, and with my glasses on I could still read the bottom line on my most recent eye test, a few months back.

        Calling 20-20 vision "normal" in this discussion is misleading at best, dishonest at worst. Especially since the author quotes Wikipedia, which says, and I quote: The significance of the 20/20 standard can best be thought of as the lower limit of normal or as a screening cutoff. When used as a screening test subjects that reach this level need no further investigation, even though the average visual acuity of healthy eyes is 20/16 to 20/12.

        So there you have it, 20/20 isn't "normal", it's the bottom end of what is generally considered to be "normal" and below which one considers corrective vision (my words there).

        True "normal" vision is more like 20/16 or 20/12, which gives a resolution of more like 0.8 to 0.6 arcmin - closer to the figures in the original article than in this one, making the original article more truthful than this one, and validating (to me at least) the accusation that Jobs' claim is hyperbole.

    • You mean that real life doesn't have pixels everywhere I look? OMG I'm trapped in the machine!

      Seriously though, I remember one extra-long coding session. Near the end, everywhere I looked, things seemed to have a pixelated "overlay".

      Of course, if the iJobs has a "retina display", so do a lot of other devices.

    • by tooyoung (853621)
      If your Droid has more pixels per square inch, then yes, the iPhone is slowly catching up to your Droid.
  • by Eggz Factor (455382) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:35PM (#32526138) Homepage

    ... will it look even better for me?

    • by eln (21727)
      Hell, my eyes have been slowly irradiated into mush from decades of CRT usage, so I assume I'll be able to hold that phone two inches from my face without seeing any pixels.
  • Wrong or right (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Pojut (1027544)

    It's still marketing drivel along the lines of "blast processing". Wholly unnecessary...just tell us the resolution, Jobsy. No need to spice it up, the specs should speak for themselves.

    • Re:Wrong or right (Score:5, Insightful)

      by al3 (1285708) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:38PM (#32526186)
      Specs might speak to the slashdot crowd, but I think Apple owes a lot of its success to a realizing that most consumers buy benefits, not features. The endless list of would-be iPod/iPhone killers that touted better features but failed to have an impact in the market are evidence of this.
      • Re:Wrong or right (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Fnkmaster (89084) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:41PM (#32526222)

        Well, the Android phones have been having quite an impact in the market recently. The big benefit of "being able to run the software you want rather than what Steve Jobs says you can run" seems to speak to people, since that's the major thing Android has going for it that the iPhone doesn't.

        • Re:Wrong or right (Score:5, Insightful)

          by vakuona (788200) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:50PM (#32526340)
          I think Android's popularity might have more to do with it being available on more devices, including much cheaper devices. Even then, the single model iPhone is still outselling it (counting different capacity iPhones as one model of course). You overestimate the average consumer's ability to care about things such as being able to run software from anywhere.
          • You overestimate the average consumer's ability to care about things such as being able to run software from anywhere

            Exactly, for the average person there are more than enough iPhone apps to do everything they care to do. Though I do prefer my blackberry, because I need a real network with proper service availability even in the sticks and also a querty keyboard is a must -- and please, fanbois, restrain yourselves from telling me yet again how great the onscreen keyboard is on your iPhone. I've tried it,

          • Re:Wrong or right (Score:5, Insightful)

            by e4g4 (533831) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @03:15PM (#32526694)
            I think Android's popularity might have more to do with it being available on a network other than AT&T.
        • Re:Wrong or right (Score:5, Interesting)

          by NekSnappa (803141) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:51PM (#32526366)

          I think you're taking it too far with this statement.

          The big benefit of "being able to run the software you want rather than what Steve Jobs says you can run" seems to speak to people

          I'd say it's more of case of letting people know that Android phones do apps too. Joe or Jane Average could care less that the apps aren't "curated" in the "walled garden." They just want to know if the phone does apps, and how easy is it to get them.

        • Re:Wrong or right (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Culture20 (968837) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @03:13PM (#32526666)
          The only reason my friends have cited for eschewing iPhone and going Android when it came out is "It's not AT&T". They think of Android phones as iPhones that work on other networks.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Pojut (1027544)

        Again though, why the use of meaningless words? Couldn't he have just said "the resolution/DPI is so dense that your eyes won't be able to distinguish individual pixels"? What, does the average Apple customer really seek the need of some special word to wrap up the device's capabilities in? And if they do, what does that say about their average customer?

        I think it's insulting to the people that buy Apple's products, regardless of whether people seek it out or not.

        • Re:Wrong or right (Score:5, Insightful)

          by localman57 (1340533) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:48PM (#32526320)
          "the resolution/DPI is so dense that your eyes won't be able to distinguish individual pixels"(TM). OR...


          "Retina Display"(TM).
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Robin47 (1379745)

          Again though, why the use of meaningless words? Couldn't he have just said "the resolution/DPI is so dense that your eyes won't be able to distinguish individual pixels"? What, does the average Apple customer really seek the need of some special word to wrap up the device's capabilities in? And if they do, what does that say about their average customer?

          I think it's insulting to the people that buy Apple's products, regardless of whether people seek it out or not.

          Because you sell the sizzle, not the steak.

          • by mugnyte (203225)

              right on, sir! exactly what i was going to say.

          • by Pojut (1027544)

            Because you sell the sizzle, not the steak.

            Which, as I've said before, speaks poorly of the average consumer. I don't know about you, but I don't sizzle. I eat steak. I don't care if it makes noise or not, I care if it tastes good.

            • If you want the steak, you need the sizzle. Products only come to market if there's a sufficient market there to come to. Far to many great technical ideas and products have come to market and failed because no one was able to show the sizzle.
              • by Pojut (1027544)

                If you want the steak, you need the sizzle. Products only come to market if there's a sufficient market there to come to. Far to many great technical ideas and products have come to market and failed because no one was able to show the sizzle.

                In keeping with the analogy, a fresh turd still sizzles if you put it on a grill...but it won't taste nearly as good as a high-quality steak.

        • by vakuona (788200)
          Giving a feature a name is a good way to market the feature. It's not a special word. It's a name. Just like samsung makes a big deal about having AMOLED screens, or Philips markets TVs with a PixelPlus feature. It allows you to talk about the feature without boring your audience with technical details. And it's pretty good naming. It's easy for the audience to make the connection between the human retina and the screen, so Apple is creating a good association between the device and the name. The only thing
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Tibor the Hun (143056)

          "the resolution/DPI is so dense that your eyes won't be able to distinguish individual pixels"

          These are the words the average person does not understand:
          -resolution
          -DPI
          -pixels

          These are the words the average person isn't sure about:
          -dense
          -distinguish
          -individual

          That leaves the description as:
          "the is so that your eyes won't be able to"

          I think Steve will stick with Retina Display
          Just as meaningless as your suggestion but 80% shorter, and it has marketing zing.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Why is this a hard thing to suss out? Branding sells to the uninformed, or willingly ignorant.

          A normal person who just wants a kickass phone doesn't want to compare DPI or arcmin numbers, they want to see a colorful badge and a swanky trademark along with something that is obviously better than the competing device next to it, whether they know it or not.

          Calling something a mouthful of numbers and acronyms, such as "a 326 DPI LCD panel", isn't going to get nearly the consumer attention as a "Retina Display

        • Re:Wrong or right (Score:5, Interesting)

          by LWATCDR (28044) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @03:47PM (#32527096) Homepage Journal

          It is called marketing.
          Tell you what. Show me where their is a turbine on an Intel I7 and how it speeds up the CPU when you use Intel's Turbo Boost technology and I will all bent out of shape over Apple's Retina display.
          It is market speak and it is everywhere. It usually only bugs you if you don't like the product, the company, or know how stuff really works.
          Frankly I just tune it all out and don't let it bother me anymore.

      • by Draek (916851)

        Much like how Windows 95's success relative to MacOS proved most customers prefer a green background rather than a blue one?

        If you want to argue that many consumers are scared by endless lists of technical data they don't understand then I'd agree with you, but your argument to support your assertion just sucks.

      • by schon (31600)

        most consumers buy benefits, not features.

        You are [mpgillusion.com] provably [wikipedia.org] wrong [steves-digicams.com].

        The endless list of would-be iPod/iPhone killers that touted better features but failed to have an impact in the market are evidence of this.

        Evidence of what [androidandme.com]?

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        Yes. The willfully ignorant love meaningless marketing drivel.

        OTOH, you can easily beat up on iDevices using the exact same sort of "benefits" driven arguments.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Em Emalb (452530)

      I dunno, the average joe wouldn't know what the hell Jobs was talking about.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        ...too true.

        "What's a retina?"

        That's probably just as geeky to the average "consumer" as throwing pixel/DPI information at them.

    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      Or Sony's "Emotion Engine" [wikipedia.org].

    • by Wuhao (471511)

      The difference here is that "blast processing" was a vague, nebulous term that was never really elaborated on, and this is a very specific technical specification (the iPhone 4's 326 ppi screen), and is being compared against a reasonably specific reference metric (the sensitivity of the human eye). The practical upshot of this is that once you have a display whose pixels are so small that at a normal viewing distance nearly all of the population will be unable to distinguish neighboring pixels from each ot

      • by Pojut (1027544)

        The difference here is that "blast processing" was a vague, nebulous term that was never really elaborated on,

        Oh really?

        "Sega's advertising continued to position the Genesis as the "cooler" console, and at one point in its campaign, it used the term "Blast Processing" to suggest that the processing capabilities of the Genesis were far greater than those of the SNES."

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mega_Drive#Console_wars [wikipedia.org], with the source cited as coming from 1up.com

        Do the specs speak for themselves? No, they don't, because while 326ppi makes perfect sense to me, I don't know anything about the maximum sensitivity of the human eye, and I'm interested to hear where that bar is set, whether this display really exceeds that, and what caveats I should be aware of in taking this metric into consideration when selecting screens for my own use.

        Placebo effect. Do you honestly think the average, non-technical person would notice this detail about the display had Jobs not said anything?

        Having a bea

  • Anti-Aliasing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheKidWho (705796) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:35PM (#32526152)

    One must not forget about Anti aliasing or the fact that each pixel contains 3 RGB sub pixels. This increases the effect PPI significantly.

    • Re:Anti-Aliasing (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:50PM (#32526358) Homepage Journal
      If you can't see the pixels, what's the point of anti-aliasing?
      • by TheKidWho (705796)

        So you can keep it closer to your face?

      • Which brings interesting point: after monitor displays progress to this level, complicating algorithms for font anti-aliasing will become obsolete. Also, all day programming will be a lot cooler for my eyes.
        • by jimicus (737525)

          Fat chance. Monitor panel resolutions (except for pretty esoteric models) appear to have levelled out - I'd imagine they're just using panels for TVs.

      • Re:Anti-Aliasing (Score:4, Interesting)

        by adisakp (705706) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @03:06PM (#32526578) Journal
        Anti-aliasing makes a high-res picture look even better.. especially for thin lines or fonts (text is lots of thin curved lines). When you have a subpixel width, you might not be able to see the pixels but the eye can tell the difference in brightness between a 2 pixel wide line and one that should be 1.5 pixels wide if it's not anti-aliased. Plus it's necessary if you want screen shots to look good when zoomed up or you want the software to work well at similar resolutions on a device with a larger display (i.e. iPad).
  • retina display (Score:5, Insightful)

    by suso (153703) * on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:36PM (#32526162) Homepage Journal

    What bugs me is when a company uses a name for something that doesn't make sense.

    When I hear "retina display" I think what you are talking about is a system that projects an image into my retina.

    • Re:retina display (Score:5, Insightful)

      by localman57 (1340533) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:50PM (#32526354)
      Yes. That's what it does. There's a light in the back of the iPhone, followed by an LCD grid, which filters the light, which goes to the lens of your eye, which projects an image on your retina. So it seems like Steve pretty much hit the nail on the head. It's a system that projects an image into your retina.
    • by JWSmythe (446288)

          That's what I thought when I first read it too. Hmm, a wearable eyepiece that projects the image directly into your eye. That could be useful. Then I read what it actually means, and was again disappointed with marketing fluff.

    • by JWSmythe (446288)

      That's what I thought when I first read it too. Hmm, a wearable eyepiece that projects the image directly into your eye (i.e., nothing visible to outside viewers). That could be useful. Then I read what it actually means, and was again disappointed with marketing fluff.

    • Ultimately, everything you see (barring hallucinations) is projected onto your retina.

      • by Culture20 (968837)

        Ultimately, everything you see (barring hallucinations) is projected onto your retina.

        And potentially other people's retinas. It would be nice to finally get to the laser->retina stage.

    • Except of course it makes perfect sense. It's a simple way to relate the resolution of the screen (over 300ppi) to the fact that most people's eyes can't see the dots at over 300dpi in typical use cases. Pretty simple stuff.

      Calling it the Achilles Heel Display - that wouldn't make sense.
  • Call to action (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wombatmobile (623057) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:37PM (#32526166)

    Let me make this clear: if you have perfect eyesight, then at one foot away the iPhone 4’s pixels are resolved. The picture will look pixellated. If you have average eyesight, the picture will look just fine.

    Beer!

  • Marketing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by decipher_saint (72686) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:37PM (#32526168) Homepage

    To claim any display has the same resolution as the human eye when what they really mean is that it looks "less pixelly" is misleading at best.

  • by A. B3ttik (1344591) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:37PM (#32526170)
    Most Slashdotters will never be anywhere close to one foot from a vagina anyway, so it's not like we'll have anything to compare it to when surfing our porn on it.
    • by bsDaemon (87307)

      just get a good look on the way out when you're being born, then, i guess...

    • by e2d2 (115622)

      Speak for yourself. I get more pussy than an animal shelter. I'm humble too!

    • Be glad that lord Steve still allows you to surf for porn.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by discord5 (798235)

      Most Slashdotters will never be anywhere close to one foot from a vagina anyway, so it's not like we'll have anything to compare it to when surfing our porn on it.

      Haven't you heard? Steve Jobs thinks you should buy an android if you (or your children) are looking for porn.

  • by ryan.onsrc (1321531) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:37PM (#32526174) Homepage

    ... every one turns off their WiFi

    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      I wonder if someone had an Evo, if they could just turn on Wifi hotspot and let Steve connect through that.
  • Print Resolution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:39PM (#32526196)
    The only people who are going to look at the screen and think "hey, they said I wouldn't be able to see the pixels but I can!" are people who look at printed magazines and think "wow, when are they going to get rid of all these dots?" The screen has print level resolution and, as a graphic designer, that simply blows my mind. As has been mentioned in that other thread, graphic designers do digital work in 300 dpi for print work and 72 dpi for online work. If this screen technology becomes the new norm, we'll be doing all work at 300 dpi, which is damn, damn, damn impressive to look at. At that point, the technology bottleneck will be the pipes (a 72 dpi image is quite a bit smaller than a 300 dpi image, after all...). I do hope this tech spreads to lots of other devices and computer displays.

    But, yes, anyone who claims that Apple was lying about it being a "retinal" display is simply attempting to pick a needless fight. Ignore them and move on.
    • by hibiki_r (649814)

      Now, what I want is a 21' monitor with the same dpis, instead of crappy 1080p resolutions, no matter the monitor size.

      • Re:Print Resolution (Score:4, Informative)

        by HarvardAce (771954) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @03:30PM (#32526882) Homepage

        Now, what I want is a 21' monitor with the same dpis, instead of crappy 1080p resolutions, no matter the monitor size.

        Assuming you meant a 21inch monitor (at 16x9 aspect ratio), that would be about 18.3" wide and 10.3" tall. At the iPhone's 326 PPI (note that PPI is not per square inch), that would result in a display running at approximately 6,000 x 3375, or over 20 million pixels. At 60 Hz, assuming 3 bytes per pixel, that's about 29Gbit/s uncompressed. HDMI tops out at 10.2Gbit/s, DVI at 7.92Gbit/s (dual-link), so you'd need to come up with some other way to push all those pixels to the display or have the display accept multiple HDMI/DVI inputs (the resolution would be comparable to a 3x3 setup of normal-resolution monitors, which is more than something like eyeFinity can handle at this juncture).

        If you're talking about a 21 feet wide diagonal screen, then you're looking at 72,000 x 40,500. I think that would be a little excessive.

        • by thegarbz (1787294) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @07:50PM (#32530192)
          You look at your 21" screen from a foot away? Do people not realise that the distance has a big impact in the required resolution. There's no way you would need 326ppi on a 21" monitor because no mentally stable person looks at it from only a foot away. From where I am sitting right now I can't even touch the monitor on my desk let alone hold it a foot from my face.

          People are too hung up on PPI without factoring the distance into the equation. The same can be said for the people who can't see the difference between 720p and 1080p on their TVs. These are usually people with big lounge rooms and significant others who won't let them move the couch or the TV into the middle of the room and thus must watch it from 5m away.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by GigsVT (208848)

      As printers, we do CT images at 300dpi or higher, but we don't print at 300dpi.

      150lpi AM screening does fine for images, but try rasterizing your fonts at 300dpi and run them through a 150lpi AM screen. It will be visibly poor quality.

      Even 300dpi rasterized fonts into a stochastic FM system are going to look fairly poor by print standards.

      In reality, we print text at much higher raster resolutions, more like 1200dpi or 2400dpi in the final post-screening plate render at most shops.

      If you handle 1-bit TIFFs

    • by Angst Badger (8636) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @03:15PM (#32526704)

      But, yes, anyone who claims that Apple was lying about it being a "retinal" display is simply attempting to pick a needless fight. Ignore them and move on.

      Hm, maybe. It's certainly legitimate to object to the ill-chosen, ad hoc terminology that clashes with the existing meaning of the phrase. It's also legitimate to quibble over the enormous amount of wiggle room in the definition. Apple wasn't lying, but they were making claims without a great deal of actual substance. People get fed up with Apple's constant hyperbole, especially when the product in question is, in the end, a PDA with a larger than usual screen.

      That said, no one disputes that the iPad will be a great new platform for graphic designers and the advertisers who employ them.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Uberbah (647458)

        Hm, maybe. It's certainly legitimate to object to the ill-chosen, ad hoc terminology that clashes with the existing meaning of the phrase. It's also legitimate to quibble over the enormous amount of wiggle room in the definition. Apple wasn't lying, but they were making claims without a great deal of actual substance. People get fed up with Apple's constant hyperbole, especially when the product in question is, in the end, a PDA with a larger than usual screen.

        Isn't that just a long winded way of saying "we

    • The screen has print level resolution and, as a graphic designer, that simply blows my mind.

      I recall seeing a demo of an IBM Roentgen[1] display [acadia.org] back in 2001 at SIGCHI. This display was color 200ppi display with a 16.3" diagonal, developed with telemedicine uses in mind (including remote examination of patient x-ray results). IBM was showing off museum-quality archival scans of famous artwork, absolutely readable footnotes in serifed text with 4 point (physical) font size, and ridiculously unreadable icons and text in Windows. ;-) This display was, likewise, completely mind-blowing at the time

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:40PM (#32526202)

    There's one in the eye for all the haters on the previous story who just took the random guy off the internet's word for it that Apple was wrong.

  • This is what I would call an extremely interesting discussion...

    sigh
    • True, but I do think it's interesting that we're starting to make handhelds that are beyond our visual capacity. Makes me feel somewhat like we've triumphed over nature again.

      Anyway, hold the phone, I recall something about slashdot being news for... some group of people... who were those people again?

    • by mike260 (224212)

      What doesn't kill you only prolongs the inevitable

      You mean 'delays', not 'prolongs'.

  • Found some more resources and examples of retinal display here [focusonretina.com].

    Oh wait...
  • by DarthVain (724186) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:55PM (#32526416)

    See I didn't know you meant "normal" people. I thought you meant "Super" people with like xray vision, heat vision, and telescopic vision and all that shit.

    It makes so much more sense now when you explain it that way.

    P.S. Of course my vision (-11.25,-11.5) an 8 bit Nintendo somehow running on a Lite-Brite would likely have more "pixels" or resolution than my eyes, so I guess it is all about perspective. Maybe if I glue two iPhone4's to my retina's I will be cured, surely a crass miracle such as that should be child's play for such a monumental device...

  • My god. Just think of the poor electrons wasted by these posts. Can't wait for the first lawsuit because someone CAN see individual pixel.
  • Abby Normals?
  • by WillAdams (45638) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @03:14PM (#32526676) Homepage

    The human eye can resolve much finer than 300 dpi --- 400 dpi is where fonts start to look nice on a laserprinter (notably the NeXT laserprinter had a 400dpi mode in addition to the then more standard 300dpi --- it was distinctly noticeable when one changed printing modes) and imagesetters are easily differentiated by their output at 1,270 ppi vice 2,540 ppi (and there are models which go higher) --- see the book _Counterpunch: Making Type in the 16th Century, Designing Typefaces Now_ by Fred Smeijers for electron micrographs and a discussion of this which shows that the human eye can easily see the thickness of a 1/1,270th of an inch curl of steel.

    Granted, the iPhone screen is 326 _pixels_ per inch, so one gets anti-aliasing, yielding a higher effective dpi, and possibly sub-pixel rendering, but screens need to get better yet.

    Image resolution is measured in several ways:

    ppi (pixels per inch) --- input / file resolution
    dpi (dots per inch) --- output resolution for a single ink colour
    lpi - (lines per inch) --- output resolution for ``halftones'' which allows the simulation of multiple levels when one can only do on/off --- newspapers use ~85 lpi, uncoated stock in books ~133lpi, magazines 150 lpi or higher, art books 200 lpi --- different printing processes/tecniques are used for better quality or fewer generations

    A pixel is a ``picture element'' a unit of a raster grid which can be more finely differentiated than just black or white --- the coarsest pixel I can think of would be the monochrome NeXT Cube (and later Slabs) which had black, white and two shades of grey.

    Try putting a 326 ppi greyscale image of a Gustav Doré engraving on the iPhone and compare that to the actual engraving in a book --- the difference between them will be obvious to anyone w/ good vision.

    Different printing and halftoning techniques make lpi rather complex --- stochastic screening does away w/ it for example and exhibits improvement to the limits of output resolution --- 3600 dpi on some imagesetters.

    • But the first thing I think of in terms of looking at fine detail is moving my eye closer to the page. I would not expect to do any of these things with a mobile phone, at least not for many years when such high quality might become available.

      Not to mention that when using a computing device rather than print, zoom is a reasonable substitute for taking a closer look. So do screens need to get better than 300ppi?

  • I heard the other day that the jumbotron at the new cowboy stadium is a retina display.... from a distance of 27 miles.

    This seems to be an arbitrary way of claiming that your screen is better than everyone else's.

    It's nice, but it isn't revolutionary outside of the iWorld. It's only a little bit denser than other phone displays that have been around for months. Did anyone notice the demonstration of the difference between the two versions of the letter a? In the video, did everyone notice how the pixels on

    • Re:Jumbotron (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mr_matticus (928346) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @04:26PM (#32527640)

      I heard the other day that the jumbotron at the new cowboy stadium is a retina display.... from a distance of 27 miles.

      Which kind of proves the point. It's not one at the distance it's meant to be used.

      This seems to be an arbitrary way of claiming that your screen is better than everyone else's.

      No more or less arbitrary than any other way.

      t's nice, but it isn't revolutionary outside of the iWorld.

      It IS revolutionary, and unless Apple helped develop or fund it, it's got nothing to do with "iWorld".

      It's only a little bit denser than other phone displays that have been around for months.

      66 ppi isn't a "little bit denser". It's a 25% increase, which is huge for a mature technology. At this size, nothing even close to this density has yet been achieved.

      When you look at IPS displays, nothing even approaching 200 ppi has been marketed before.

      In either case, it's a massive technological achievement in an industry you clearly don't understand.

      Will someone please tell me how that isn't false advertising?

      Because it wasn't advertising. There was no representation that any device was being used, but only that the effect of higher density was being demonstrated, which is hard to do on a single fixed-resolution projector. And it wasn't anywhere near 50x greater. The type example was about 4-5x greater density.

      The actual grid examples, as well as the demos of the actual product were accurate.

  • What's really exciting about the iPhone's new resolution is that we're approaching the point where higher rez doesn't make any difference. We might be there already for lots of people with subaverage visual acuity, or just getting near for those with supervision. Since marketers will keep pushing for higher rez even after it can't make a visible difference, because they can sell the numbers to the ignorant and the gullible, we will soon have enough resolution that nobody will see the difference if it went a

  • by gig (78408) on Friday June 11, 2010 @09:52AM (#32534722)

    Most print artwork is done at 300 dpi. It's a magic number in publishing. iPhone 4 is the first screen device that can show print artwork. We've been looking forward to this for about 20 years. You have to be a fucking idiot to piss on it.

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