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Why SaaS Companies Need Retina

Posted by C.S. Hsia on · Comments

In 2010, Apple raised the bar, or rather the pixel density, for what our eyes perceive as "Quality." From that day on, iOS developers had no option but to quickly adopt Retina graphics, or face customer perception that their app was inferior. While what you spent months building prior to the iPhone 4 launch might be a revolutionary, magic app, if it looks fuzzy to me, my first impression is ruined and it can't possibly be good.

Fast forward a couple years to 2012 and the new MacBook Pro with Retina. Apple has spoiled our eyes and raised our expectations about what to expect in a laptop screen. Spend a few minutes on a new rMBP, and going back to a "normal" laptop screen is quite an unpleasant experience.

MacOS applications are undergoing a transformation, similar to that experienced by iOS apps: Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop gaining Retina support in December 2012. No new MacOS app would be caught dead without Retina support.

Yet somehow websites seem slow to adopt the new standard. It's as if most web designers want Safari, Chrome, or Firefox to do the heavy lifting. Fact is, when you load a website unoptimized for Retina on a new MacBook Pro with Retina, you see a fuzzy mess in the middle of your an incredibly sharp Retina browser.

People might not really care if the banner looks a bit fuzzy when they're looking at a food blog, but if you expect user to pay for your service, or your income depends on eyeballs on your site, then it's time to raise the pixel count.

Looking around the Internet today, companies like Facebook, GoPro, Stripe (awesome payment processor) and of course Pay4Bugs have began to make the necessary asset upgrades to support Retina graphics, while more old-school (but still tech) companies like Internap now sport a fuzzy look.

GoPro is now Retina

Internap looks fuzzy

Some might say that the number of users on the new MacBook Pro is tiny, and probably not worth the effort. If you look at the populace as a whole, it might be true. However, take a look inside any tech company like Google and you'll spot more MacBook Pros than on display at an Apple store. Even in non-tech companies, many decision makers wield a combination of iPhone 5, New iPad, and the top of the line rMBP. Trying to sell a service to them with fuzzy graphics is like trying to sell an unwashed new car in a showroom. Don't believe me? (you might not if you're not on Retina yourself) Go to your local Apple store and try it out.

Pay4Bugs before and after

In the coming months, more Macs and PCs are going to support Retina graphics. Is your site retina-ready? If you need to test your Retina-website, we can help you with that on Pay4Bugs too. Got a Retina conversion story you want to share, chime in below with some screen shots and we'll link to your before and after shots.

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