The Retina display on the new iPad(s AAPL), available Friday, is absolutely stunning. However, the increase in resolution actually makes some older apps appear all pixelated and gross. You don’t want to show off your brand new iPad and leave your friends with the impression that the screen on your new tablet is any less clear than a shimmering pool of unicorn tears.
Here are several iPad apps that have been updated with Retina-ready graphics so everyone within eyesight can witness the pixel-pushing power of your new Apple tablet.
Besides the titles that were featured in the iPad introduction event, Apple has set up a new section on the iTunes App Store to highlight Retina-ready titles. I’ve handpicked a few titles from this list and from other updates I’m aware of for you to try out. Keep in mind that this list is not comprehensive, and there should be new Retina-optimized apps coming to the App Store pretty quickly.
Motion graphics in games are particularly impressive on the new screen. Apple showed off the game apps Infinity Blade II and Sky Gamblers: Air Support at the introduction event. In addition to those, I would check out Flight Control Rocket (a new space-themed update to the beloved Flight Control series) and Real Racing 2 HD. Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation looks interesting too if you like shooters.
- Infinity Blade II
- Sky Gamblers: Air Support
- Flight Control Rocket
- Real Racing 2 HD
- Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation
iPhoto and iMovie are pretty much must-buy apps for the new iPad. While the iPad’s built-in camera is much improved over the last version’s, you might want to load up iPhoto with some hi-res images from a Digital SLR just to put on a show for your jealous friends on the hi-res screen.
I would recommend SketchBook Pro, but I think you still have to display some actual talent for drawing to make this a true showpiece for your Retina display iPad. If you can draw (and I don’t mean you’ve scored some points in Draw Something), then by all means show off with this amazing app for artists.
Education / Science
Star Walk is already a gorgeous app. Updated for the Retina display, this will be an absolute stunner. Solar Walk, too.
A few of the major Twitter apps have been updated, including the official Twitter app, Twitterrific, and TweetBot. Facebook’s app is expected to be updated soon as well. These aren’t necessarily great showoff material, but people seem to love looking at Twitter and Facebook streams (I know I do).
The Retina display is actually really useful for showing off how sharp and crisp text is rendered onscreen. iBooks is a good place to start. The Kindle(s AMZN) app was updated Thursday so that text would render correctly, but otherwise the graphic elements are still standard resolution. The Daily has been updated as well if you already own that news app. Instapaper should be updated in the next week or so.
More Apple Apps
I’m a huge soccer fan, and MLS MatchDay 2012 is awesome for keeping up with U.S. soccer action. The Colorado Rapids aren’t quite set up to make another run at the league cup, but I still like to follow all the games.
Don’t forget to pick out a full-resolution image for your lock screen and wallpaper. Apple provides some, of course, but you might want to check out this Reddit thread to find some hi-res wallpaper images to show something a little different from the built-in choices.
If you find something else to show off your beautiful new iPad screen, be sure to share it in the comments below.