OS X Lion 10.7.3 Introduces High-DPI Pointers

More evidence that Retina display Macs are on Apple’s roadmap

Apple is adding more and more high-res graphical elements to the OS X Lion interface hinting at Retina displays for future Macintosh computers.

Apple pundit John Gruber points out to an additional set of high-DPI image resources that act as clear evidence of Apple’s plans for the future of desktop computing. The finding is credited to Marc Edwards of Bjango.

“Have you noticed that Safari’s hovering-over-a-link pointing-finger cursor looks a little different in Mac OS X 10.7.3? It’s not just that the finger is at a slightly different angle — it’s a new UI resource that scales gracefully to larger sizes,” Gruber writes.

“That’s not the only new high-DPI image resource in 10.7.3: the grabby hand in Mail, the camera cursor for selecting an individual window to take a screenshot of, and a few other UI elements got the high-DPI treatment in 10.7.3,” he adds.

While these changes may simply target people who use the cursor-zooming Universal Access feature, one can’t help but wonder whether this is the only reason Apple is increasing the resolution of certain graphical elements.

In fact, Gruber points out that “some people with Mac Minis connected to TVs via HDMI are reporting that after upgrading to 10.7.3, their system rebooted in HiDPI mode.”

“I can’t help but wonder whether we may be on the cusp of Apple releasing HiDPI Mac displays and/or HiDPI MacBooks. I.e.: retina display Macs,” he writes.

Anyone with a fair interest in Apple rumors will tell you that it’s just a matter of time before Retina display Macs become available.

The problem is not with Apple, but with the companies that will be tasked to produce these displays by the millions. Yield rates are important in this business, and Apple won’t risk shipping the first batch of Retina Macs with screens that may exhibit issues.

In other words, these high-DPI Macs will ship only when the likes of Sharp and LG Display can meet Apple’s stringent quality standards.

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