Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Business realities are impacting all college newspapers. But what happens when they’re for-profit?
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
March 20, 2012, 7:50 a.m.
LINK: cloudfour.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   March 20, 2012

Anyone who (like me!) got a new iPad over the weekend can tell you two things about the new Retina screen:

1. It looks amazing.

2. It looks so amazing, in fact, that its crispness paradoxically makes anything non-crisp look bad.

Because the new screen contains four times the number of pixels in the same space, web graphics that look fine on your laptop can look a little fuzzy. You see this most within apps, where developers will have to upgrade their graphics to new Retina-ready versions. But what to do on the web?

One solution — the one Cloud Four’s Jason Grigsby details here, and the one Apple itself is using on its webpages — is to build in some logic that checks if the page is being viewed on a new iPad. If so, a higher-res image is sent. The problem is it’s sent alongside the smaller image, which really ramps up the page weight — in the case of Apple’s home page, it goes from 500K to 2.1MB when viewed on a new iPad.

In other words, Apple hasn’t yet found a bandwidth-friendly solution to the responsive images question — one that a lot of news sites will be increasingly interested in as more of their audience shifts to mobile or Retinaesque screens.

Of note: Top Apple blogger John Gruber recently increased the size of his header graphic to 3x actual display size (resized in html). But Gruber only serves one graphic on his minimalist page; that strategy is less likely to work well on, say, a news site’s homepage.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Business realities are impacting all college newspapers. But what happens when they’re for-profit?
Gannett owns two college newspapers in Florida — it’s closed one and cutting costs at the other.
Where does local TV news fit in the digital age? Tegna, a year separated from Gannett, has some ideas
“By following the lead of our employees to create content that is digital first, it frees them up from the sameness of format that is plaguing local television news.”
Report: The New York Times is expanding to Australia and Canada
Having faced some difficulties with an earlier era’s attempts in large non-English markets, the Times is turning its focus next to more familiar territory.