Late yesterday, Apple seeded the first beta of OS X 10.9.3 to Mac developers. The beta seemed insignificant, with no mention of any changes or new features; just a brief request that devs focus their testing on audio and graphics.
But as it turns out, there is at least one notable difference in the beta: a new ‘Native’ Retina resolution option for 4K displays. This enables users with compatible displays to use OS X in a noticeably sharper Retina mode at 60Hz…
“The compatibility was first discovered by Twitter user @KhaosT, and was tested with both the Late 2013 Retina MacBook Pro and redesigned Mac Pro in conjunction with Dell’s UltraSharp 24 Ultra HD Monitor.
To this point, OS X compatibility with 4K displays has been known to be somewhat erratic, as AnandTech revealed in December that Sharp’s 32” 4K display supported only one scaled resolution at 2560 x 1440. Furthermore, it was discovered that Apple had chosen to render text, menu and UI elements in the same manner as the Retina MacBook Pro, resulting in small and difficult to read on-screen elements on a 4K display. Various other 4K monitors were also found to be not properly supported.”
The enhancement not only bodes well for current 4K display users, but it could also serve as an indication that Apple plans to release higher-resolution hardware of its own soon. Both the iMac and Thunderbolt Display are due for updates.