Tag Archive for ‘Displays’

Widescreen Laptops Are Dumb ➝

Vlad Savov, writing for The Verge:

With all of these horizontal bars invading our vertical space, a 16:9 screen quickly starts to feel cramped, especially at the typical laptop size. You wind up spending more time scrolling through content than engaging with it.

Some might argue that 16:9 is more accommodating for visual creative tasks, like video or photo editing, but I’ve done both (primarily in Adobe’s software suite) on a laptop, and the wider screen doesn’t help much. The experience is better than when I’m composing an email with acres of disused white space either side of my text, but not by a lot. Lateral space is simply not as valuable as vertical space in desktop apps or on the web.

I couldn’t agree more. After three years with an iPad Air 2 as my primary computing device, I firmly believe that widescreen displays are terrible for general purpose computing.

Why Couldn’t Apple Have Done This Sooner? ➝

Nick Heer, on this morning’s Mac Pro news:

I’m not surprised that it has taken this long to even get a whiff of an updated Mac Pro to suit the needs of all of their customers. But why would the development of an all-new Mac Pro preclude them from doing today’s spec bump update a year or two ago? I think that users’ concerns would have been assuaged by even slightly more regular updates. […]

The news of a new display is some pretty fantastic icing on the cake, as far as I’m concerned. I expected that Apple had left the display business behind; their partnership with LG seemed to confirm that. After the fiasco with the 5K displays, I couldn’t be happier to read that external displays are still in Apple’s plans.

As I wrote earlier today, I’m very hopeful about the future of pro-level Macs. But I’m with Nick on this, why didn’t Apple release minor speed improvements sooner? Why did it take them four years to do something, anything, to the Mac Pro?

And, even as someone who has never owned a standalone Apple display, I’m ecstatic about them being in development again.

Apple Working on Mac Pro and Display Updates ➝

John Gruber was invited to Apple’s campus, alongside a handful of other journalists, to discuss the future of Apple’s pro offerings. Here’s the key takeaway:

Apple is currently hard at work on a “completely rethought” Mac Pro, with a modular design that can accommodate high-end CPUs and big honking hot-running GPUs, and which should make it easier for Apple to update with new components on a regular basis. They’re also working on Apple-branded pro displays to go with them.

The new Mac Pro and displays won’t be available until next year. But, in the meantime, they’re updating the configurations on the Mac Pro to offer more performance for your money.

It’s terribly disappointing that professional users, who need these machines to do their work, have to wait another year before they can get their hands on them. But it shows a great deal of integrity on the part of Apple that they were willing to break from tradition and reveal their plans before they had products to show.

This is not how Apple typically announces products, but it was necessary for them to show the community that they haven’t just been sitting on their hands. This was the right thing to do.

My only wish is that someone would have gone on the record about the future of the Mac Mini — another machine used for niche applications that’s sorely in need of an update.

Requiem for the Thunderbolt Display ➝

Nick Heer:

Don’t let me get you down — LG’s 5K display might work just fine for your setup. But it doesn’t seem like an adequate replacement for the Thunderbolt Display. It doesn’t have the same hardware quality as an Apple product, it doesn’t have comparable functionality, and it has an ugly “forehead” to house the camera. Unfortunately, it seems like Apple won’t make a true successor to the Thunderbolt Display because they’re not making displays any longer. For a niche of Mac users, that’s a big loss.

I haven’t purchased a standalone display since I stopped using PCs in 2006. Every display I use is now built into the machine it’s connected to. And although I’m unsure I’ll ever be in the market for a standalone display again, if I was to need such a product, I don’t even know where I’d begin. I always assumed that I could just buy the one Apple makes, but that’s no longer the case. And that stinks.

Apple Exiting Standalone Display Market ➝

In case you missed it, in the storm of coverage following Apple’s MacBook Pro event last week, Nilay Patel has been told that Apple is leaving the standalone display business.

Historical iPhone Screen Sizes ➝

David Smith shares his application usage statistics for iPhone screen size. What really caught my eye is that the 5.5- and 3.5-inch form factors are neck-and-neck. I’m surprised that the 3.5-inch size is still holding strong, but I expected 5.5-inch iPhones to be more popular than they are. Perhaps I notice them more often because they’re larger, but I see a lot of Plus-sized iPhones on a daily basis — more than this graph suggests.

Large Displays in Automobiles ➝

Chris Ziegler, writing for The Verge:

Basically, the right move is for everyone to move to digital, multifunction clusters in addition to whatever else they may have in mind. In Tesla’s case, perhaps it’s a big touchscreen on a floating mount, but for something like the Toyota Prius, it could be a powertrain efficiency monitor up by the windshield. Whatever. I just need my map in front of me.

I absolutely disagree with Chris Ziegler, I hate large displays in cars. I have a 2009 Toyota Camry with a very simple instrument cluster and entertainment system — CD, AM/FM radio, an auxiliary-in jack, and a monochrome display. I specifically avoided purchasing a car with a more extravagant setup because I find their displays to be dangerously distracting. I dread the very idea of car shopping because of it. Luckily, I plan on driving this car into the ground. But when I finally start looking for a new one — when presumably most cars on the market will have these displays — I have no idea what I’m going to do.

Apple Opens Secret Laboratory in Taiwan to Develop New Screens ➝

Tim Culpan, reporting for Bloomberg:

The Apple building in Longtan has at least 50 engineers and other workers creating new screens for devices including iPhones and iPads, the people said, asking not to be identified because the details aren’t public. Apple has recruited from local display maker AU Optronics Corp. and Qualcomm Inc., which used to own the building, the people said. […]

Apple began operating the lab this year as it aims to make products thinner, lighter, brighter and more energy-efficient. Engineers are developing more-advanced versions of the liquid-crystal displays currently used in iPhones, iPads and Mac personal computers, the people said. Apple also is keen to move to organic light-emitting diodes, which are even thinner and don’t require a backlight, they said.

Wait, you mean to tell me that Apple’s trying to make their displays thinner? Incredible.