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Forward > Blog > Retinafy Your Website! – A Rising Trend
posted by Ryan Magallanes

Retinafy Your Website! – A Rising Trend

17 July 2013

Retinafy Your Website – A Rising Trend - Forward Solutions“Retinafy” has seen a dramatic increase in mobile browsing usage especially since smartphones, tablets and notebooks dawned in the market. These devices do not only provide instant access to information but also flexibility in terms of use. According to a report from Canalys, a multi-national technology research firm, mobile device shipment went beyond 300 million units just in the first quarter of 2013. It only means that in the coming years, more and more people will shift to mobile computing.

Today, browsing the internet with the use of handheld gadgets is the new status quo. As a result, web developers and designers are forced to adapt to the rising trend; and this gave way to responsive websites to answer the issues with mobile browsing compatibility.


High Resolution Images

The age of mobile computing is already here. Screen sizes may have shrunk but it does not mean that the quality of the display is decreasing, too. A number of mobile gadgets that support high definition graphics technology already; one of which is the Retina Display, a brand used by Apple for liquid crystal displays which have high pixel density; and that make human eyes unable to notice pixelation at a usual viewing distance. The birth of the Retina Displays also gave way to the development of Retinafy, a light-weight plugin that allows the use of high resolution graphics on a website. When Retinafy is installed on your website, it checks if there are images that are not optimized for retina display and then checks if a higher resolution version is available to automatically switch out the file.


To Retinafy or not to Retinafy?

When tablets and smartphones that support Retina Display were introduced, such as iPads, iPhones, Samsung Galaxy phones, among others, a new battle for web designers and developers started. This is primarily because of the low resolution images that look blurry on the gadgets’ high resolution display. Apparently, when the fad today is about high definition images, “Retina War” is looming among the tablet and smartphone manufacturers. Thomas Fuchs, the maintainer of script.aculo.us, a JavaScript library for web user interface enhancement and other widely used open source libraries, appears to be on the same boat with those developers who see high-res as an inevitable transition; and one that is bound to happen soon. He is set to release a publication that enables you to do exactly what the book title says: Retinafy Your Websites & Apps.

“Everything is spread out in a gadzillion blog posts and forum entries, or hidden deep in Apple’s or Google’s documentation. A lot of the information out there is also technically incorrect or out of date. And then there’s lots of bad advice, causing unnecessary work,” said Fuchs. He also said that his book is a “no-nonsense, fluff-free” guide to make your site or app look great in high density screens based on his research in getting results without having to write extra CSS or use extra image versions when it is avoidable. “After the iPhone 4 and the new iPad, the Retina MacBook Pro and the upcoming release of Windows 8 with 1.4x and 1.8x scaling modes, high-ppi resolution has now firmly arrived on the desktop. You simply can no longer afford to ignore Retina resolution in your websites and web apps,” said Thijs Van Der Vossen of fingertips.com.

With the potentials that Retina Display has, it is best to start “retinafying” your website or apps as early as now; imagine the capabilities that your site will bring once the plugin is implemented. If you rely mainly on your website for business purposes, you would not want your visitors to see blurry images. People will most likely zoom in or even print your images. You might be thinking, “Why use larger images?” – Higher resolution, more detail, means better experience on any browsing platform that supports it. So why not start Retinafying your website now? Or you can contact your web designers and developers to do the job for you. Whether you like it or not, in a few years, most screens will be Retinafied.

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