Developers: Retina-optimized Mac apps will take time

It might be a while before apps look good on the new MacBook Pro screen

Go ahead and grab the new MacBook Pro with Retina display, but be warned: It might be a little while before most of your apps look as sharp as the screen showing them.

While Apple is already updating its own apps for Retina display, officials with third-party developers Adobe and Autodesk said they’ll need time to ship Retina-optimized apps to the public. Their Photoshop and AutoCAD applications, respectively, were shown in Retina form during Apple’s Monday keynote at WWDC, along with Diablo III from Blizzard Entertainment.

“What was shown at WWDC 2012 was an unreleased build of Photoshop,” Marissa Lee, a spokeswoman for Adobe, said in an email on Tuesday. “This updated version of Photoshop is expected to be available later this year.”

“We’re pretty much in the same boat,” said Rob Maguire, Autodesk’s product manager for AutoCAD, a 3D-rendering drafting app. “We don’t have any officially stated plans.”

Maguire said his company needed to test the updated app on the new MacBook Pro, which it had only limited access to until recently. One particular concern for Autodesk is making sure that users with multi-monitor setups can drag an AutoCAD window from a Retina display to a standard-definition display and back again, without bugs cropping up.

But, he added, developers are excited about the possibilities offered by the new display.

“You can’t get a sense of what it looks like until you actually get your hands on it,” Maguire said, later adding: “If I were a drafter, I’d drop everything and buy it.”

Neither company offered a timetable for release. Blizzard did not respond to Macworld’s inquiries.

The lagtime for Retina-optimized Mac apps shouldn’t create major problems, but users of the new MacBook Pro may notice the same issues faced by iPad users when Apple upgraded the tablet to a Retina display earlier this year—namely, that pre-Retina apps looked pixelated and blurry on the higher-definition screen.

But Apple, with its home-field advantage, is leading the way: Since Monday’s keynote, it has released a spate of upgraded software, including new versions of its Aperture photo-editing and Final Cut Pro video-editing software that are both optimized for the new Retina display. iMovie 9.0.6, released Tuesday, promises “enhancements for the MacBook Pro with Retina display,” and a Motion update also offers enhanced content for the new notebook. Apple also updated Compressor to enhance the Share Monitor feature for the new MacBook Pro.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joel Mathis

Macworld.com

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?