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MacBook Pro Retina display ruins web, Google fixing Chrome browser

Due to bandwidth constraints, webpages traditionally feature low-res images and vectors. It seems that, just as HDTVs have highlighted the imperfections of actors, the high-def MacBook Pro could make websites look fuzzy.

| Macworld UK


We’ve had our hands on Apple’s high-res MacBook Pro with Retina display and we can confirm that our collection of photos in Aperture look very impressive. One concern about Apple’s new Retina laptop, however, is that webpages will look ugly.

Due to bandwidth constraints, webpages traditionally feature low-res images and vectors. It seems that, just as HDTVs have highlighted the imperfections of actors, the high-def MacBook Pro could make websites look fuzzy. So if web developers want their images to look good on the new MacBook Pro with Retina display, they will need to increase their resolution.

We asked Apple about this, and the company told us that text that uses Apple’s API should look fine. This is because browsers should render the fonts to suit the display.

Google has already come across this issue with its Chrome browser, and is addressing it. Google’s new developer version of the Chrome browser was using Apple's text display API, but rendering it on an off-screen canvas that wasn’t Retina aware, before scaling the text and displaying it on a web page, according to Anandtech. Hence the “nasty result” of blurred text.

Google Software Engineer Nico Weber posted on his blog that Google is "committed to polishing" its Chrome browser. The company has updated the new developer version of Chrome – called Canary – to offer “basic high-resolution support”.

Prior to the update the text and graphics were very pixelated. Weber said: "We have further to go over the next few weeks, but we’re off to the races to make Chrome as beautiful as it can be."

“We’re committed to polishing Chrome until it shines on that machine,” he said.  

Apple is rolling out Retina ready updates to its own software. So far new versions of Final Cut Pro X, Aperture, iPhoto and Garageband have appeared. Many, such as Keynote, are still in need of an update to look as good as possible on the Retina display. 

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