Adapting iBird to the new iPad Retina Display

We did some studies on enlarging the resolution of our app to take advantage of the new iPad retina display. What you get is increased detail when zooming in on illustrations. Below are two examples.

1. The first illustration is from our current iBird Pro app. On an iPad 3 I opened the Portrait and page and enlarged the head of the Acorn Woodpecker as it is now, so you can see how it pixilated on the iPad 3. (It would look this way on any iPad).

2. In the 2nd photo I made a new image of the Acorn Woodpecker so its height is equal to the height of the iPad (1536) (overall 1229 w x 1536 h). I then imported into the iPad 3 Photo Gallery and zoomed in to about the same size as the one in iBird. Compare the differences. Is it not amazing?

Since the iPad 3 is actually 264 dpi I could make the image even higher res and it would look even better.

3. Bytes wise the larger images takes up 230K which is pretty large. Let’s assume this was the average for all our images (which may be close to correct). So if you multiply this by the current 1300 drawings in iBird it would be about 300 MB for all illustrations. That might not be so bad an increase in app size since we are already at 600 MB for Pro with about half this being the sounds.

But if we also do this to photos then we have to add 3,000 files and that is another 900 MB or 1.2 GB. Add in our sounds you are talking about a 2.5 GB iBird app.

At first I thought this would be too big to try to sell then my marketing brain kicked in like this. We are planning to do iBird HD for the iPad completely over, starting from scratch. This app will have a new UI to replace the sucky one in HD. We use the SAVE algorithm (SAVE stands for Smart Attribute and Value Elimination and is covered by this patent: http://www.google.com/patents/US7363309). Let’s say we let this app be 2.5 to 3 GB.

We may call it iBird HD Ultimate.

We would let it replace the current iBird HD and it becomes our super-sized native iPad bird app (current iBird HD Pro owners see it as a free upgrade). Perhaps it becomes the King of birding apps in the iTunes app store and nothing will ever touch it.

How cool would that be?

Thoughts?

Mitch

Current iPad

Hi Res iPad

8 thoughts on “Adapting iBird to the new iPad Retina Display

  1. It’s amazing to see the detail difference in the artwork between the current and last generation iPad. Do you see that sort of difference with photographic shots as well. Could you just get away with the illustrations being upgraded? 

    2.5 Gbs does seem like a lot for an app
    Curious but how did the ibird HD app sales fair. I think many would be content with the brilliant iPhone app on the iPad (despite missing some features like the upgraded search engine and layout with the HD edition). Just seems like a bit to fork out for 100% same content, but differently structured app. Just my two cents ;). Perhaps others disagree on this.

    Either way an HD version of the app would be amazing. Keep it up Mitch!

    • James said “It’s amazing to see the detail difference in the artwork between the current and last generation iPad. Do you see that sort of difference with photographic shots as well. Could you just get away with the illustrations being upgraded?”

      We could probably pass on updating the photos and just do illustrations. You don’t notice the increased resolution as much on photos because they are more complex in terms of number of colors and have less hard edges like illustrations. But if I was a photographer with my work on iBird I would want it presented in the best quality.

      “2.5 Gbs does seem like a lot for an app”
      Well think of those people with cell plans that have a 5GB limit. That’s half their month’s allocation. There are birder’s who live out in the boondocks who have no high speed internet and use dialup or cellular so that is a lot of bytes to deal with.

      “Curious but how did the ibird HD app sales fair. I think many would be content with the brilliant iPhone app on the iPad (despite missing some features like the upgraded search engine and layout with the HD edition). Just seems like a bit to fork out for 100% same content, but differently structured app. Just my two cents ;) . Perhaps others disagree on this. ”

      Sales have been good when compared to the overall iPad app market. But iPad apps don’t have the same volume yet as iPhone’s because there are so many more phones; but that is shifting now so probably sales of native iPad apps will grow over the next few years, especially since no one has been able to take market share from Apple. I dont see it as iBird Pro HD vs iBird universal…people with iPad’s want an app to take advantage of all its resources and people with iPad’s use them for “at home” kind of birding, and use their iPhone for the outdoors.

      Thanks for the good questions and comments James.

  2. Just in case any of you didn’t notice this blog is now at a different domain. We went from wordpress hosting at ibirdblog.wordpress.com to our own hosting at ibird.com/blog.

    Mitch

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