Apple's iPad 3, Part 1: The Complete Retina Display And A5X Review

Safari Downsamples Your Images, No HD

Web-browsing on any iOS-based device is often a less-than-satisfactory experience. Specifically, when it comes to pictures and images, the mobile version of Safari automatically downsamples any image when it hits the 1024-pixel limit. When an image exceeds that threshold, it's downsampled by every nth pixel, such that n is the smallest divisor that yields an image less than or equal to 1024 pixels.

Apple does this to optimize rendering speed and improve overall browsing performance. The behaviour is also inherent to older iPhones and iPads. However, the implication on an iPad 3 is more serious, especially if you are a photography enthusiast. It means that you can't view HD-quality online pictures from sites like Flickr, Smugmug, or Zenfolio in their true native glory because the iPad 3 will reduce the viewable resolution. This also happens if you try to view the JPEG file directly using the iPad 3’s Safari Web browser.

Pictures Hosted On Website, From Camera
Actual Resolution
Rendered On iOS' Safari
Phase One IQ180
80.1 Megapixels
(10328 x 7760)
1.25 Megapixels
(1291 x 970)
Nikon D800
36.2 Megapixels
(7360 x 4912)
1.45 Megapixels
(1472 x 982)
Canon 5D Mark III
22.3 Megapixels
(5760 x 3840)
1.38 Megapixels
(1440 x 960)
Canon 7D / 60D / T3i / T2i
18.0 Megapixels
(5184 x3456)
1.12 Megapixels
(1296 x 864)
Canon 50D / T1i
15.1 Megapixels
0.94 Megapixels
(1188 x 792)
Canon Rebel T3 / 1100D
12.2 Megapixels
(4272 x 2848)
0.76 Megapixels
(1068 x 712)

As far as we have been able to determine, photographers have to import photos directly into iPhoto if they want their images displayed at a higher resolution. In theory, Apple should be able to fix this problem by allowing users the option to disable resizing in Safari's settings panel.

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  • theconsolegamer
    Gaming in a 2500x1440 panel @ 1280x720 resolution..... Genius!

    Watching movies in a 2500x1440 panel @ 1920x1080..... Revolutionary!

    Bragging about a 2500x1440 panel that won't be really used..... Priceless!
  • mi1ez
    Got to have the hardware before the software makers will design for it. Also, hopefully this will push Android and W8 tablets to push up their resolutions. Maybe even desktop monitors!
  • testerguy
    theconsolegamerHaving the choice to game in a 2048x1536 panel @ 1024x768 resolution..... with 4x the FPS of the fastest equivalent Android tablet. Genius! As well as having the ability to game at the highest resolution on any tablet ever created.

    Watching movies in a 2048x1536 panel @ 1920x1080..... necessary if you want to have the appropriate format for portrait use which is the majority of the time. !

    Bragging about a 2048x1536 panel that won't be really used..... except for everything including web browsing, photo editing, emails, recording videos, gaming, and every single app which comes out which is designed specifically for that resolution, Priceless!
  • techpops
    Brilliant article. Finally I get some real details. After spending so much on a PC upgrade recently, I'm not in a position to spend on an ipad3 but eventually I'll get around to it if there isn't a suitable alternative by then with equally high resolution.

    What I'd like to know, not having owned an ios device before is how satisfying is it to use an ipad3 as a device for managing and reading all your comics, technical manuals, magazines and books in a variety of different formats. All my magazine are in PDF format but books are mostly mobi, comics in a variety of formats. How well does ipad support all these formats?

    Really for many years now I've wanted a tablet like device that would allow me to read my huge collections of comics and PDF's in a resolution high enough to do them justice. This is the first device that seems to fit that dream spec at least in terms of hardware but just how much fun is it living in the Apple universe managing all your content? Under Windows I have such a great time accessing anything with the written word in it . With Directory Opus I've been able to create libraries of my stuff that's instantly searchable, looks beautiful with huge thumbnails of everything and is all arranged in sensible hierarchies of folders so I can jump straight to main categories of stuff I want. How does ipad compare here and if it's lacking with file management, is that something that can get better once you jail break the device?

    Finally I'm really curious how well ipad handles accessing data beyond the memory of what's built into the ipad itself. My comics collection is 50gb alone so it's not like I'd be able to copy everything onto the ipad locally. Can it deal with stuff on a network? I'd be buying into the cheaper lower memory ipad as the premium on the higher memory models seems absurd. I'd much rather use cheap memory cards and usb sticks for storage.