Browsing articles from "November, 2012"

Screen technology 101

Nov 14, 2012
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Retina display. IPS. Full lamination. What does all this new speak mean?!

Lets try to demystify the new screen technology a bit and see which actually improves the user experience.

The biggest mover in the screen technology is the legendary “retina display”. This first appeared on the iPhone 4 and was a huge improvement over the iPhone 3 screen. Retina is defined as a display which, at a normal viewing distance, does not show any pixels. If you get close to a normal display, you can make out the pixels, or dots which make up the display. An exaggerated example of this is getting up close to your living room TV – you will certainly see the pixels there! If you have a look at an iPhone 4, you can get very close to the screen and not be able to make out the pixels – it is pretty amazing. For a phone, a retina screen is around 326ppi. If you look at the specifications of many Android phones, you will see that they have around 280-300ppi screens. Whilst not 326ppi, they are still very high resolution. Are they retina quality? It depends how far away you have to hold your phone from your eyes…

For an iPad or laptop screen, the resolution is less. The reason for this is that you generally hold these further away than you do with a phone. The iPad retina is 264ppi. The Macbook Pro retina is 220ppi.

So, we have established that a retina display is a high resolution screen in which the pixels are so fine that the human eye cannot make them out. Great. But what does this mean for a user? Here is an extreme closeup example which might give you a good idea. The left shot is from a iPhone 3GS, and the right shot is from a iPhone 4 retina display:

You can see the difference immediately, especially in the text. For users who spend a lot of time working with photography or kerning type, a retina display is a hot ticket.

One caveat – your software needs to be retina “ready” to take advantage of the screen. So if you use iPhoto, Aperture, Pixelmater, Microsoft Office 2011 – these are all ready to go. Adobe have announced support in Photoshop, but nothing is shipping yet. Clearly (pun intended) having a retina display along with retina ready software is a benefit.

IPS (In-Plane Switching) is a technology which improves LCD displays overall. It improves the response time, offers clearer imagery and less colour distortion over wide viewing angles. The creative director sitting alongside you will see the colours as you see them. If your screen has it – good news!

For the new iMac, Apple used a new bonding technique which brings the LED cell right up against the glass plane. It is called “full lamination”. For a user, this means a sharper display and better colour representation, and it means a much thinner computer! Apple also fully calibrates each iMac screen. This is from the Apple website for the iMac: “We put every single display through an exacting colour-calibration process using three state-of-the-art spectroradiometers: one to measure gamma, one to measure white point and one to check the work of the other two. This equipment is tuned to meet colour standards recognised around the world for precision and accuracy.”

All in all it is a good time to retire your old workhorse and check out some of the new machines with the exciting new display technologies onboard.


Auckland InDesign User Group – Swan Song for 2012

Nov 2, 2012
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The next meeting of the Auckland InDesign User Group is scheduled for November 13th.

And you don’t want to miss this meeting! No, really you don’t. Truly, you’d be mad to miss one of these meetings! So get along for one last time in 2012 to learn some more really exciting stuff in other Adobe programs. Check it out below …

Date, time, and location

Tuesday, November 13 2012
6:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Media Design School
Level 16
92 Albert Street
Auckland, CBD 1010


6:00pm – Doors open and a bit of time to network
6.30pm – Welcome & Sponsors
6.40pm – Photoshop 3D by Paul Cracknell
7.10pm – Guides Guru by Marcus Radich
7.40pm – What’s new in Acrobat XI by Heather Rennie
8.00pm – Windup and Prizes
8.15pm – Time for pizza, drinks and networking and farewells for 2012


The Auckland InDesign User Group would like to thank all our sponsors Adobe, Digital Arena, Firebrand Talent, Media Design School and InDesign Magazine, plus our many supporters.

Don’t Forget …

It is free to join and attend our meetings. To win a prize you must be a current registered member of our chapter and attend the meeting at which the prize is drawn.

Please register to attend