iPad 3's retina display may spell trouble for app developers

The high-resolution Retina display in the upcoming new version of Apple Inc.'s popular iPad tablet may mean a dilemma for some app developers, a tech site said over the weekend.

Some developers may get caught between boosting their apps' resolution for the next iPad's 2048×1536 display and staying under Apple's 20MB download limit for 3G connections, The Next Web reported.

"Due to the sizes of the images, apps that use custom graphics could double in size, pushing many that are just under Apple’s 20MB download limit for 3G connections right over the top," The Next Web said.

The Next Web said this may mean developers have to include "@2x" graphics or image files that have been quadrupled in pixel count to display properly on the newer double-resolution iPad 3 screen.

If these images were not included, many apps that use custom graphics, like Tweetbot or Bjango’s Consume 2, may look "blurry."

On the other hand, it said that while many developers have begun to produce higher-resolution images for their apps, they may face an issue when they begin to include them into the apps that they submit to the App Store.

It cited the case of Bjango's Consume, where the package would be an 18.3MB download for the iPhone and iPad (non-Retina).

But the package for the iPad (Retina and non-Retina) would be about 35MB.

"This causes a problem mostly for universal apps that are offered as a single download for both iPhone and iPad. See, on an iPhone the impact of the casual downloader, who sees an app and has to have it right then, cannot be discounted. These users probably grab the majority of their apps over their 3G connection on an impulse," The Next Web said.

But it also noted some apps like Tweetbot for iPad offers separate apps for the iPad and iPhone.

"But those who offer universal apps, this could be a sticky issue. If they want to retain those impulse downloads and not limit users to a WiFi download only, they might have to split their apps into two binaries, one explicitly for the iPhone and one for the iPad, where the cell network impulse buy isn’t a major factor," it said. — TJD, GMA News

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