Developers foresee ‘Retina War’

Designer Wells Riley has in a blog post claimed that a 'Retina War' is now upon the web design community, sparked by iOS devices and other smartphones with high-res screens, and further exacerbated by the new MacBook Pro. Riley said many websites and apps will "make the leap to hybrid Retina + 1x sooner [rather] than later", and he asked how long it will be before designers abandon 1x.

Riley noted historical precedent, with designers dumping older versions of IE despite the Microsoft browser still having a large market share, or imposing a development 'tax'. He asked: "How long before designers start imposing a '1x tax' on consumers with non-Retina computers because it's too expensive and laborious to maintain two separate asset libraries?" Riley also stated that it's effectively impossible to design with 1x on a new MacBook Pro, that existing software doesn't help, and that few strong solutions are available for web designers to rapidly rework images between 1x and 2x.

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