Users of retina iPhones and iPads are used to the phenomenon of pixel doubling, where two-by-two squares stand in for a larger, lower density pixel. But how would you feel about a display that needs pixel quadrupling?

Just hours ago Ryan Petrich, the developer behind excellent jailbreak tweaks such as BrowserChooser, FullForce, and Display Recorder, stumbled across a constant in Quartz Core which may suggest that Apple is working on a super retina device…

Here’s the original tweet from Ryan Petrich:

kCAContextEnablePixelDoubling and kCAContextEnablePixelQuadrupling constants in QuartzCore suggest a “super-retina” device is in the works?

ryan petrich pixelquadrupling

By “super-retina,” do you suppose Petrich means a larger Retina display, or will this be a screen with an absurdly high pixel density?

While there is a part of me that is thrilled at the possibility of a phone with a screen density of 652ppi, I’m going to bet that’s not what this new PixelQuadrupling value is for. For one thing, the sales pitch behind the Retina display screen is that it’s sharp enough that the typical human eye can’t distinguish individual pixels, from a normal viewing distance. While not everyone agrees with the sales pitch, doubling the horizontal and vertical resolution again seems like overkill.

Users on Twitter are already speculating that this could mean anything from support for the 4k TV resolution to apps for the Apple TV. My guess is this is an unused option for the Retina-equipped iPads, already capable of doubling the iPhone 4S’ retina resolution, but anything’s possible.

What do you make of the PixelQuadrupling constant? Share you thoughts in the comments section below.

  • jose castro

    lol how far can retina go really? how much can the eye see? i don’t think there would be much change other then a bigger screen…

  • Steve Lang

    It’s a retina display for eagles.

    • jose castro


  • Means apple’s Retina Display going too kill Super Amoled !!!!

    • iphone 5 and ipad 4 have the best screen in their groups..

  • It’s probably the long awaited Apple TV. Or maybe even a larger iPad. Not really sure, what’s more likely.

    • Florian Lerch

      I think it’s the tv 😉

  • Would it not help for 3D?

    • 3D sucks

      • lol, I wasn’t endorsing it, just assumed that 2 eyes thusly 2 display’s worth of pixels useful 😛

      • David Villamizar

        You can’t be more correct

      • clearly can’t see someone asking for your opinion on 3D ?
        am I missing something ?

      • ummmm

    • notewar

      I’d love to watch 3D glasses free on my iphone/iPad

  • Johnathan Jennings

    Honestly when my face is close to the screen of my i5 I can see individual pixels.. It’d be awesome if the screen was so high res, that it’s like looking at actual objects.

    • David Villamizar

      I think that would be too much, there is no need at all for such a high resolution in a screen this size, that would only mean that apps will consume a lot of space. This is useless unless you look at your iphone with a microscope or the iphone starts featuring 3D which is very unlikely.

    • nima

      Dude u can’t see the pixels on the iPhone 5, that’s why it’s called retina display.
      Maybe with glasses if u have

  • it better be a bigger screen cause another small iPhone screen with higher resolution is just damn silly …

  • a smit

    apple needs constant change to push its newest offerings… sales is king!

    i wouldn’t put it past them (or other manufacturers) to push for a super high res, even if it’s useless and sorta ridiculous to use such a high res on a 4-5″ screen

  • Why can’t they produce Steve Job S, at least with colourful turtle necks?

  • with super retina u could see bacteria on ur iDevices

  • Well, 1136*2= 2272, 640*2= 1280, the next iPhone will have the resolution of 2272*1280? that’s 652 PPI!

  • Mohammad Ridwan

    Yes Please..

  • super ultra turbo hd retina 😀

  • CyberSkull

    By laying a foundation for pixel quadrupling early in the software they allow themselves more development time to get it working.

  • maybe apple is working on a display from which a human eye cannot distinguish pixels from any angle?

  • nima

    I think it will be called eagle display