We've heard rumors of Apple possibly introducing a Retina display Mac for quite some time now. They set the benchmark for display resolutions when the new iPad was given a Retina boost.
Now there's more evidence surfacing of a Retina enabled Mac...
AppleInsider reports their findings of icons with double the pixels in the latest Lion update from Apple. The built-in TextEdit application has icon sizes that are literally double the pixels and look quite gorgeous actually. (seen above, click to enlarge)
The size of the native application icon increased to a whopping 1,024-by-1,024 pixels and grew from 209 kilobytes to 1.7 megabytes in the latest update.
According to AppleInsider:
Other applications also saw their icon file sizes grow, such as the Address Book, from 279 kilobytes to 484 kilobytes, and Dashboard, from 130 kilobytes to 226 kilobytes. However, those applications do not feature Retina display 1,024-by-1,024-pixel icons.
In February, it was discovered that Apple's OS X 10.7.3 update for Lion added more high-DPI user interface elements. Various cursors were upgraded to higher-resolution versions, like the pointing-finger cursor for browsers, the "grabby hand," and the camera cursor for taking screenshots.
1024x1024, 512x512, 256x256, 128x128
You have to check out the image above (click to enlarge) This is AppleInsider's comparison of the OS X 10.7.4 TextEdit icons from left to right: 1024x1024, 512x512, 256x256, 128x128.
Could this be proof of future Retina display Macs? It's definitely hard evidence that Apple has something in the works. There's absolutely no other reason for them to upscale their icons and graphics. I'm sure we'll find out more about all this once Mountain Lion is released.
To add to the speculation, Apple is expected to use the new Ivy Bridge processors from Intel which include support for Retina displays “if OEMs choose to use it.” So it's definitely possible. Also with the innovations Apple made with the new iPad's display and their new battery technology, the entire scenario is plausible.
There's also been rumors that the next 15-inch MacBook would feature a 2,880x1,800 resolution display. That would be exactly double the current display's resolution. But it still doesn't make sense why a 1024x1024 pixel icon would be necessary.
The only major issue I find with Retina display Macs is how horrible every other application would look on a display of that caliber. Even editing 1080p video in Adobe Premiere would look like garbage on a Retina Display MacBook. I'm not sure how Apple plans to tackle these problems. You could always lower the resolution on a Macbook which is not an option on an iPad or iPhone, though that doesn't seem like a reliable or permanent fix in my opinion.
How do you feel about Retina display Macs?