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What to Do About Graphics

iPad can present a surprising challenge to you when you move a FileMaker database solution to it. This applies to any of the tools you might use: FileMaker web publishing, Bento, and FileMaker Go. The challenge stems directly from one of the great achievements of iPad: its remarkably clear screen. (That screen also accounts for the crispness of the installed fonts.)

The issue is inherent in iPad and iPhone 4 and later. Apple promotes its Retina Display (first launched on iPhone 4) as using pixels so small that they cannot be seen by the eye: Only the overall effect is visible. The flip side of that statement is that images stored in databases also are shown in amazing detail. Just as with the advent of high-definition TV, flaws and imperfections are noticeable. (More than one TV station had to rebuild or at least seriously touch up its news and other local programming sets as part of the transition to high-definition.)

If you have an existing database that contains graphics, it is time to start thinking about what you are going to do about the quality of those graphics. The first step is probably to recognize the issue and to move to higher-quality images for all future data entry into the database. Depending on your database and your users, you might want to launch an ongoing project to upgrade the existing images. In some cases, that is a matter of converting images, but in many more cases, it is a matter of reshooting photographic images or otherwise starting from scratch. Because this can be a long-term process, and because it is inherent in the use of high-resolution devices such as iPad and iPhone (in other words, it is not just a FileMaker issue), it makes sense to formulate a strategy and get started on it as soon as possible.

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