There were only a few apps specifically for the iPad when it was first introduced! Both the iPhone and iPod Touch have been upgraded to high resolution Retina Displays since the introduction of the original iPad. Apple could have used the Retina graphics from apps which have been upgraded to work with the iPhone 4 and 4S’s 960*640 display, but thus far, they haven’t. The iPad 1 and 2 still continue to pixel double the 480*320 display from the original iPhone’s screen. There is even a Cydia app known as Retinapad that enables the use of iPhone Retina graphics on the original iPad filling the functionality gap.
However, the latest third-generation iPad displays Retina graphics of apps designed for the iPhone in both 1x and 2x mode, which has according to a user on the TouchArcade forums, have significantly improved visual experience. The issue of user experience still exists, in 2x mode, the interface elements are twice as big but it looks much better.
He informed that he just tested this with NBA Jam, which the iPhone version looked like crap on his iPad 1. However, it looked great on his Retinapad when he had it jailbroken since it was tricked into loading the iPhone 4’s Retina enabled graphic assets. However, on his new iPad third generation, it looks amazing, even without the Cydia app Retinapad, just by enabling the 2X option from the bottom right of the screen.
If you see the image above, the graphics of the iPhone version of Cut the Rope are compared side-by-side on iPad 2 (left) and the new iPad (right). The iPad 3 version uses the iPhone Retina graphics found in Cut the Rope for iPhone, resulting in a sharper image.
The above iPhone version now looks nearly identical to the native iPad version of the game:
This game hasn’t been updated to support the iPad Retina display, and the native Retina apps will look even better on the new iPad. The iPhone apps running on the new iPad will also see much visual improvement.