By Werner Ruotsalainen on Tue, 06/05/2012
RetinaPad (Cydia store link) has always been one of my most favourite iPad jailbreak apps – it has done that Apple should have done: show iPhone apps in the maximal resolution possible on iPads, and also let for rotating them.
So far, it hasn't supported the new, high-res iPad 3, as has also been explained in my previous, dedicated article. This wasn't as big a problem as would have been with the iPad 1 or 2, which present everything in a very ugly, low-resolution way: the iPad 3 has always supported rendering everything with exactly the same resolution as would have been done on a Retina-screen small-screen iDevice (iPhone 4/4S and iPod touch 4th gen).
However, the just-released (version 1.3.3) RetinaPad update goes even further and makes full use of the enormous resolution of the iPad 3's screen: as opposed to Apple's own implementation, it uses two times higher resolution to render textual content and Web pages. This is also explained in the Changes section of the app description (Cydia store screenshot; as usual, click the image for the full-sized, original-quality one):
I've made some test shots to show you the difference. Check out the difference in the text rendition (pay particular attention to the outline of the letters and the "Back" arrow in the top left corner) clarity in the following two (zoomed-in) shots:
(without RetinaPad; full-sized screenshot)
(with RetinaPad; full-sized screenshot)
Quite noticeable difference, isn't it?
Fully(!) rotating iPhone apps
In addition to making text (and in-Web page images) much clearer, RetinaPad also supports rotation – something (also) painfully missing from Apple's own implementation. Now, you can use a lot of Landscape-only iPhone apps in Portrait mode (with 1x zoom only; if you use 2x zoom, the sides of the image will be cropped). An example of playing the iPhone only Orions 2 with the iPad being in Portrait orientation (with Apple's default implementation, you would need to use Landscape orientation):
The same is true in the opposite direction (using a Portrait-only iPhone app in the iPad being in Landscape) with BatteryDetective:
Note that you need to
1, rotate your iPad to the desired orientation before starting the app
2, enable this kind of rotation (it's disabled by default) by switching on Settings > Extensions > RetinaPad > Portrait in Landscape.
To be compliant with the excellent windowing app “Quasar” (see for example THIS for more info on how it can be utilized), keep the following in mind:
1, do NOT enable Settings > Extensions > RetinaPad > Always Zoom! (or, when you run Quasar, disable it temporarily)
2, do NOT enable Settings > Extensions > RetinaPad > Portrait in Landscape! (or, when you run Quasar, disable it temporarily)
The first will always zoom in too much; the second will always crop as is shown in the following screenshot of the same Landscape- and Portrait-only two apps I've already shown in the (rotated) screenshots above:
Otherwise, RetinaPad-enabled apps run just OK if you keep these global switches off while working under Quasar. That is, you won't end up having to disable RetinaPad'ing each of the iPhone apps you want to run when switching to Quasar, which saves you a lot of time.