Prediction: Higher Resolution MacBooks Soon to Come

The addition of a 2048×1536 pixel “retina” display on the latest model of the iPad has created an interesting conundrum: many developers will no longer be able to fit the iOS Simulator on their computer screens. If you toggle it into the mode added for the third-generation iPad, it’s too big to fit on the screen of any MacBook or iMac. According to Paul Haddad, developer of Tweetbot, it just barely fits on his 30″ Apple Cinema monitor.

If you’re not familiar with iOS development, the Simulator is used to run an Xcode project on a Mac instead of waiting for the freshly compiled binary to sync to the device and then launch. (Also, sometimes you may not have an iOS device handy while you’re making a minor bug fix…or you might not have an iPad yet at all!)

I can’t be the only one to think it strange that Apple would, in the long term, make it difficult for developers to work on their apps on anything other than a desktop Mac driving a 30″ monitor. (That’s a surefire way to cut down on software for the new iPad!)

This, to me at least, seems like a strong suggestion that a refresh of the MacBook Pro line is on the way, bringing with it screen resolutions equal to or higher than the iPad’s. Maybe the iMacs will get a resolution bump, too.

Edit: Ars Technica is now reporting (it’s uncanny, they posted just a few hours after me…) that the latest Mountain Lion beta has double-sized graphic resources, indicating that this is something Apple is at least working towards.