Thanks for the link, and for using a quote from my blog in this well-written and accurate post. Only inaccuracy I could spot was my name. It’s Bill Hill, not Bill Hills
I think you’re absolutely right, no matter what some of the commenters here believe. Higher resolution is a key computing advance.
Since personal computers first appeared, humans have had to adapt to their idiosyncrasies - and one of the least noticable impacts of low-res was that our brains had to perform lots of extra work doing the pixel interpolations needed to turn blocky asemblies of coarse pixels into text and pictures our brains understand.
With this breakthrough into higher resolution, and a much easier and more intuitive UI, Apple has adapted the computer to humans, instead of the other way around.
Of course, higher resolution has nothing to do with some arbitrary number like 1024 x 768, or 2560 x 1920. It’s about the number of pixels you pack into an inch.
Human vision has a vernier acuity of 600 pixels per inch (ppi). That’s edge detection. However, in practice, there’s a strong Law of Diminishing Returns, which means that the improvement a user sees starts to fall off dramatically by around 200ppi. Throwing more ppi at the screen brings scarely-noticable improvement. And the math is killer. To go from 100ppi to 200ppi means four times as many pixels to compute. You need a much faster, harder-working graphics card and that uses a lot more power. To go to 300 ppi is 9x, to 600ppi, 36x!
This killer math is why high-res displays made it onto mobile phones long before a 10" iPad.
I’'m amazed that Apple managed to double number of pixels in the iPad display, and still retain the same battery life (which I think is also key - a student or worker can use it for the entire day without requiring a power cord and an outlet).
Yes, more pixels per inch would be nice. But Apple has broken through a threshold with the new iPad, and I’m prepared to stay at this level forever if need be. And I’m certainly never going back!
I’ve written about all of these issues in other posts on my blog, The Future of Reading:
As you kindly say, I’ve been pioneering readability onscreen for a long time; I created my first eBook in 1985, when I wrote the user manual (remember those?) for Guide, the first Macintosh hypertext authoring program.
I’ve been a writer for some 56 years. And I’m writing this now on my iPad, which has just become the best and most flexible writing system I’ve ever used in my whole life - with the addition of an Apple wireless keyboard and an Origami iPad stand/keyboard case costing a total of $110.
I write about this in my latest post:
Once again, thanks for focusing on this topic.