Without a Retina Display, your iPad 2 can’t play true high-def video natively without downsizing… but come iOS 5, it’ll be able to output it like a champ. Cool, but what we’re really excited about is what this means for the next Apple TV and iPhone 4S: 1080p.
9to5Mac notes that with iOS 5 beta 1, 1080p video now syncs and plays smoothly on the iPad 2. Prior to iOS 5, iTunes wouldn’t even sync true HD video: now it handles it like a champ.
What’s interesting to us about this feature is that it implies that Apple is happy enough with the processing speeds of its A5 chip that they are going to enable 1080p video on devices with an A5 minimum spec. For right now, that’s just the iPad 2, but come iOS 5’s release in September, two other devices will fit the bill: the iPhone 4S and the next Apple TV.
For the Apple TV, all this means is that Apple’s set-top box will finally catch up with the feature set of the competition and be able to handle 1080p video natively. Yawn. Long overdue. The repercussions for the next iPhone are even more interesting though: a smartphone with the processing power not only to decode true high-definition 1080p video, but with a display that packs enough pixels to actually render it without downsampling.