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Has the definition of "Universal" changed for Apple? (ie: 3rd gen ipad's resolution)

03-21-2012, 08:57 PM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 76
Has the definition of "Universal" changed for Apple? (ie: 3rd gen ipad's resolution)

So it's a simple question, the term "Universal" always meant for me "works in native resolution of iOS device". I'm not sure that's how Apple saw it but it's how I saw it. So now that we have a new ios device that uses a new resolution, will apple change "universal" to include the new resolution, or will we see a "Universal HD" to signify to us the app supports all 3 resolutions?

Hopefully we'll hear something from apple in the near future. Not a big deal, but they really do need a way to identify to the masses if an app supports the native rez of the 3rd gen ipad.
03-21-2012, 09:15 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,737
That's not what universal means. It only means that the app works on iPhones/iPods/iPads. There are plenty of universal games that don't support the retina displays on 4th gen devices. Just like 4th gen owners had to do research on games to see if they were retina-ready, iPad 3 owners will have to do the same.
03-22-2012, 05:30 PM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 76
I believe your definition is incorrect? Many iPhone apps are not universal and they work just fine on an iPad, but in 2x mode. ALL universal apps run on an iPad 1 or 2 in its native 1024 x 768 resolution.


"The code for the visual aspects of the app could determine whether the user is using an iPhone or iPad and make the needed changes to correctly display the information. In this way, a universal app running on an iPad can take advantage of the higher resolution of the display."

Here are a couple more links that further explains the term "universal"

In revisiting this, you are not wrong, you are right, it does not mean "retina" but I do think it is tied to "native resolution", however it is possible apple's definition simply means "full screen". However neither of us know this for sure.

Last edited by the loafer; 03-22-2012 at 05:36 PM.
03-22-2012, 05:37 PM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 76
Originally Posted by Dazarath View Post
Just like 4th gen owners had to do research on games to see if they were retina-ready, iPad 3 owners will have to do the same.
re-reading this sentence, I really cannot argue with it, well said.
03-22-2012, 06:14 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,737
I don't know the exact technical definition of universal, but I believe it has to do with an option the developer checks when compiling the app. I remember once a new developer chose to compile his game as universal (he didn't really know what it meant at the time) when there was no native iPad support built in. This led to the game being listed as universal in iTunes, but it would auto-run in 2x mode. And of course, there were complaints from forum posters.

I don't think there's really a reasonable way for Apple to know if a game runs at full resolution or not. Some use black borders because they don't use the entire screen. There's also no well-defined definition for retina-supported. Some games use like 90% high-res assets with some low-res ones speckled in. Other games use all low-res assets, with high-res fonts. And there are a lot of middle cases of mixing/matching high-res and low-res.

It sucks, but owners of retina display devices need to check the game's description to see if it's mentioned there, and if not, then either do a search in the game's thread here on TA or ask in the thread. As of now, there's really no other good way to know.
03-22-2012, 06:50 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 4,353
I believe you have your definition wrong loafer. Universal is the term used when a game works on both iPhone and iPad in full resulution. The definition there for will nt Duane for the new iPad. Just like it didn't change when the iPhone and iPod's display improved.

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