Mac OS X Lion has made some progress towards resolution independence with a new HiDPI display mode, according to ArsTechnica.
As technology improves manufacturers are able to build displays with higher and higher resolutions. Currently, the higher resolution your monitor is, the smaller the visual elements look. Developers need a way to draw an interface element at the same visible size but with more pixels.
With Mac OS X Lion, Apple has got rid of arbitrary scalability and taken a lesson from its iOS Retina Display. A single check box now enables "HiDPI" display mode. With this mode enabled, everything is drawn with twice as many pixels as its non-HiDPI equivalent.
Unlike iOS, Mac OS X has to contend with a much wider variety of display sizes. Thus far, there has been no Mac equivalent of the iPhone 4, arriving with a double-density display and quickly selling so many units that it represents a significant portion of the installed base. Still, the ease with which iOS developers adapted to the retina display gives me confidence that this pixel-doubling approach can work on the Mac as well. We just have to wait a bit longer. By now, we should be used to it.
With this groundwork in place, Apple could release a display with a resolution of 3840x2400. In HiDPI mode, the display would show elements at the exact same size as the 1920x1200 LED display; however, they would be much clearer.
Taking a look at the screenshots below you can see that Apple needs to update some of its bitmap graphics for HiDPI display but at least progress is being made.