Apple released the new iPad earlier this year boasting a higher resolution screen with retina display. Ever since then, more and more app developers have started to release/upgrade iPad apps with retina display support. As you would expect, retina apps are usually bigger in size, owing to the fact that they have to meet the image and graphics quality required for the ultra-clear retina display. That’s a decent compromise considering the viewing pleasure while using these retina apps.
But what about someone like me who is happy with what my year old iPad 2 has to offer? Why should I be forced to download those considerably bigger apps (with retina support) each time I upgrade them? Of course I don’t have that pretty screen with 2048 x 1536 resolution. And according to some developers I have spoken to, those higher resolution images/graphics won’t even get loaded on my old iPad each time I load that app.
Sadly, I don’t have a choice. If I need to ensure bug free experience, I need to update my apps. As someone who owns a 16GB model, I have even more reason to fret than those who own a 32GB or 64GB variants. I’m not alone. So many users feel the same way as you can see on Apple support forums and elsewhere.
Image credit: LostinMobile.com
What can Apple or app developers do?
The retina display in the new iPad is accompanied by an impressive graphics processing unit (GPU). Many app developers, specially the game developers, would feel compelled to take advantage of the hardware and standout amongst the competition with their enhanced graphics. I believe it is Apple’s prerogative to do something here. Mind you, they are still selling the iPad 2 and must do something to help these users save their precious bandwidth and storage space.
Why not have different versions of the iPad apps on the app store? One for the older iPad 1/ iPad 2 and the other for the new iPad. Yes, it is little more work for the developers, but should be definitely useful for so many users. The only problem is to make Apple understand the issue and convince them it is big enough thing to warrant an action.
PS: Did someone say ‘fragmentation of apps’?