iPad 3 for App Developers – What You Need To Know

iPad 3 Resolution

A Whole New World – Shiny, Shimmering, Splendid

I thought I should write a quick post on the iPad 3 release in relation to how it impacts anyone developing an app for the iPad. My heart goes out to all of you who were about to release your new app and now have to re-do the high resolution set. But hey, so it goes.

The most important and immediate impact for developers is the change in resolution – 2048×1536 pixels – which is exactly twice the current iPad resolution. We've seen this before with the iPhone when the iPhone 4 came out – you now had to include a set of files that had a suffix of “@2x” in order to serve up the correct images.

An example being the iPhone 3G would use “enemy1.png” and the iPhone 4 would use “enemy1@2x.png” to display the same image, the latter being twice the resolution.

Get @2x Me, Son

A lot of developers actually planned for this and included a series of retina graphics into their app before the iPad 3 came out so that it would be ready. The only downside is file size of the app, but for iPad apps, you're pretty much assured that someone's going to be using Wifi to download apps (on the iPhone an app over 20MB requires wifi to download, not just 3G).

WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU:

If you're designing or developing an app, make sure you're starting at the top resolution size and scaling down when you save your graphics. This will save you loads of time in the long run.

Other cool features of the new iPad are the 5MP camera, video capabilities, microphone and 4G compatibility. 1GB of RAM and blazing processors – this thing can rip. In the next few months we're going to see some AWESOME new apps – can't wait!

Seeing the Bigger and Greater Picture with iPad 3

Many predictions came out even before iPad 3 was launched. Many were curious and excited on the new features that Apple has integrated on the newest version of iPad. Some even wrote their predictions in magazines and blogs since they could not hide their excitement on Apple’s latest product. Finally, after months of guesses from the public, Apple recently launched the newest addition to the iPad family—the iPad 3. This version boasts of a better and higher resolution making it superior compared to other mobile devices.

Apple claims that iPad 3 has “the best display ever on a mobile device.” This is definitely something new, and makes the iPad experience even better than before. The Retina display of this new iPad has 2048 by 1536 resolution with the same 9.7-inch display. This means 44 percent greater saturation of color compared to the previous version. Users will surely be amazed with its 3.1 million pixels, which is a million more than the usual HD television one can see in the market today.

Even before Apple formally launched iPad 3, many gadget enthusiasts predicted that Apple will offer a unit with better resolution. And true enough, this is the highlight of the new iPad. Millions of pixels are now packed in a very small display. To have a better picture on why it is way better than others, try to imagine netbooks people use today—normally netbooks have 10.1 – 11.6 inch display with screen resolution of 1366 x 768. In addition, try to consider Android Honeycomb tablets that normally have a resolution of 1280 x 800 in 10.1-inch displays. Lastly, consider the previous version of iPad as well. It only has 1024 x 768 display resolution.

The latest version of iPad is well-designed to create a display with excellent pixels. Everything in here appears crystal clear. The team behind the newest tablet has brought pixels levels higher than the previous model resulting to a technological breakthrough.

Apple coined “Retina screen” to describe the latest version of the tablet. While the display has beefed up resolution, some apps remain outdates so there are letters that appear smeared and blurry. But the burden of upgrading is on the site of the apps developers. Perhaps, these developers still need time to cope with the changes Apple has made.

And do you know that the new iPad costs almost the same as the previous one? For $499, users can get an iPad unit with 16 gig storage memory. This actually the same storage memory that iPad 2 offers. With this, some critics claim that Apple should have offered 8 gig more of memory since the prices of the memory chips used became significantly cheaper.

Astounding iSight Camera and HD Video Recording

The 5-megapixel iSight camera, meanwhile, comes with a backside illumination sensor that is capable of taking high quality pictures regardless of the lighting condition. It can work perfectly even with sunlight or candlelight as light source of the subject. The camera also has autofocus, tap to focus and tap to set exposure features. With this, every photo taken using the iSight camera is of topnotch quality since users need less effort in coming up with a great shot. It also has a built-in face detection function that has the ability to balance exposure and focus.

As for the video recording aspect, iPad 3 can record HD video in full 1080p. The same camera allows users to capture every candid moment that is worth capturing. The camera has an automatic video stabilization function so expect no shakes while recording the video.

While higher number may not always mean improved or better experience and quality in the context of gadget specifications, users can see apparent benefits out of using the new iPad. For one, the higher the pixel in a given display, the higher the pixel density one can have. It means things look very smooth on the display. This is not just about the photos or videos, but on other aspects such as fonts, icons and other elements present on the gadget.

With the resolution of the latest iPad, it means Apple may put icons on each Home screen without worrying too much on text readability. For users, this brings a lot of advantages, especially for those who love reading books, web pages or magazine through this tablet.

A Look into the Design and Interface

Aside from the high-end resolution that the new iPad is known for, it also comes with a different design compared to the previous one. The latest version is thicker and a bit heavier than iPad 2. It has curved edges and a scratch-proof glass.

iPad 3 employs iOS5.1, which is something different to that of iPad 2. Interestingly, the home screen of the tablet has a similar layout with that of an iPhone. The exception is that there are bigger icons for the downloaded apps. Users have the freedom to fill the home screen with many apps that can fit in. Swiping from one screen to another is easier with iPad 3. Even if users have loads of programs present, iPad 3 can still work well. One will surely enjoy touching the silky smooth screen.

iPad 3 also has a dock at the display’s bottom that is capable of holding up to 6 regular-sized apps. This is actually more than the four apps that an iPhone can hold.

The OS of iPad 3 actually does not give too much in terms of additional features on the interface. Apple, however, has learned from Google Android so they included a notifications bar that users can access by swiping down from top to bottom of the display.

Assessing the Battery Life and CPU Performance

Commendable perhaps that Apple managed to maintain the battery life. On the average, an iPad battery can last for up to 10 hours. The new iPad is thicker and heavier compared to iPad 2, which means there might be adjustments on the battery. The new iPad’s looks bigger, and may take more time to get fully charged. Some users have claimed that iPad 3 runs hotter than the previous one.  Some users claimed that iPad 3 seems to drain faster compared to iPad 2.

As for the CPU of the new iPad, it is quite similar to iPad 2. It utilizes the dual-core set-up that is the same with iPad 2.

The graphics performance of the new iPad GPU made a lot of noise online. For one, the GPU of the iPad 3 is deemed very fast. Also, many got confused on the context of the term “quad core”. Lastly, Apple claims that the current iPad GPU is four times faster than the GPY of Tegra 3—which is the fastest chip for the platform.

With such features, iPad 3 still works fine with those who love to play games using this gadget. The battery life, however, can be a major issue—which is normal in any other gadget used for playing games.

Is it worth the upgrade?

Many techies perhaps expected more from the new iPad. Many wanted a big leap from iPad 2. In reality, however, we have to go through a series of process before getting a better and much improved version that can level up our expectations. For this iPad upgrade, Apple decided to focus on a few elements, especially the screen resolution and image/video quality.  For sure, photography enthusiasts would love to have the new iPad because of the amazing capabilities of the camera. Reviewing the taken photos is also something to look forward to given the improved resolution of the display.

The relevance of the latest features actually depends on one’s usage. This could be a positive thing for some, but may not be significant enough for certain group of iPad users.

If you are after the HD display, improved camera and LTE modem, then the new iPad is made for you. It is dubbed as one of the best, if not the best, tablet that one can have. Given the improvements on the resolution and camera, it is definitely a mobile device superior that its current counterparts in the market. Even the previous versions of iPad are sometimes tagged as its competitors leaving some gadget users confused and overwhelmed.

The rule of thumb is to assess your own needs and preferences in using gadgets such as iPad. If you think you do not use it that much in taking videos and photos or viewing images, then might as well settle with the existing iPad 2 if you already have one. Perhaps this explains why some iPad 2 owners opted to just wait for another version to see if the changes mean bigger leap for the device.

For sure, Apple will come up with another improved version that may offer more than just high resolution display and camera. Technology is ever-changing, and Apple has constantly changed its offerings according to the in-demand features of their users.

COMMENTS

  • david March 13, 2012

    carter,
    for the game app, where can i find the game soundtrack to download? (like you click the bottom, it sounds like this) i need your advice. thank you.

  • Carter Thomas Carter March 13, 2012

    David,

    You might have some luck with http://www.istockphoto.com and searching under the Audio filter. This is royalty free music so once you purchase it, you can use it however you want (except reselling it). If this isn’t what you’re talking about, let me know.

    Carter

  • david March 15, 2012

    thx for the website, carter.

    i am looking for the short soundtrack, like 3-5secs soundtracks. do you know where i can find them?

  • Carter Thomas Carter March 15, 2012

    Try http://www.istockphoto.com and filter by Audio. They have a pretty good selection.

    Otherwise, google “royalty free music”

    Carter

  • david March 16, 2012

    yes, i have checked the website. the length of the music average is about 1-3 mins, i need the soundtrack which lasts 1-2 secs. It’s like very short and clean sound. all the games have them, i dont know where to find these sound track.

  • Andy March 17, 2012

    http://audiojungle.net/ is a great place for source audio files. Hope that helps.

  • david March 17, 2012

    carter, i have checked the website, i need soundtrack like 1 -2 sec..for example, the sound when you press your keyboard on your phone, and sounds of a laugh, stuff like these, where can i find them?

  • Serge March 20, 2012

    David,

    what you mean are sound effects. Try http://www.sounddogs.com

  • Shahira March 29, 2012

    Hi Carter, Now that the resolution has been greatly enhanced, what resolution works best when creating graphics for iPad 3 apps?

Leave a Comment