The retina display seems to be all the rage since it first appeared on the iPhone 4, and will now be coming to the iPad 3. It turns out Apple is trying to extended the retina display to their MacBook line with a number of indicators showing just that. The most recent indicator comes from the code for Apple’s new Messages Beta, that was just released. MacRumors has discovered high resolution imagery in the Messages app indicated by the @2x modifier (pictured at bottom).
The currency MacBook Pro resolution sits at 1440 x 900, and a retina display would double the resolution with 4x pixel density at 2880 x 1800. Apple has already set up an HiDPI mode in OS X Lion, which works the same way as in iOS to make it easier for developers to go straight to 2x linear resolution. Apps would automatically scale up without high resolution artwork, and there’s a similar method enacted for the iPhone 4 & 4S. Also developers, can add high resolution artwork with the @2x modifier.
Overall, it allows the UI elements to stay the same size on the screen, but with higher resolution textures. The software side allows this, and now it’s time for the hardware, to actually have screens capable of displaying the higher resolution textures. Just last week, we heard about a rumor of the MacBook Pros adopting a MacBook Air like form factor for 2012. Last year, there were rumors of retina display MacBooks in 2012, and it seems like it’s all coming together for launch this summer.
Apple is getting ready themselves with their own software, and more signs are pointing to Mountain Lion and new retina display MacBooks in summer of 2012.