New Cinema Displays will bring resolution independence?

published on February 21, 2008

It’s been almost a year since the last Apple Cinema Displays update. And that was just a price drop. So … what’s taking Apple so long?

If you’ve been following all things Apple a bit lately, you’ll definitely have noticed that they’ve been filing a lot of multi-touch technology patents. It’s already on the iPhone, the MacBook Air and on the MacBook Pro soon.
More interestingly however, it appears they’re planning on bringing it to the desktop too!

The last piece of the puzzle is the resolution independence technology. It was already available in Tiger, but only in preview(ish) state, i.e. very incomplete, buggy and unsupported.
In Leopard on the other hand, it’s an official feature. It’s not being marketed yet though. The reasons for that are two-fold:

  1. Apple didn’t make all of their apps compatible yet (the Dock and menubar are working nicely, System Preferences is partially ok, but the Finder is a complete mess).
  2. (virtually) None of the 3rd party application developers made their applications compatible.

It obviously doesn’t make sense to promote a feature that requires wide support to be successful.

So here are my prediction:

  1. One of Leopards’ updates will make all of Apple’s apps fully support resolution independence. Silently.
  2. New Apple Cinema Displays, with much higher resolutions than today, probably 216dpi. The promoting of resolution independence begins.
  3. After this (or perhaps simultaneously?): multi-touch input for all Macs, taking further advantage of resolution independence. (Imagine scaling a window to 3 times its normal size with simple gesture!)

An excellent source with more information is this article over at Ars Technica.

Update on April 1, 2008

It seems it will not be until 2010 before we will see multi-touch enabled Macs, so Apple Cinema Displays might be coming a little bit late, too.