We think that viewing works of art in the new Art Authority on the new iPad (“iPad 3″) will provide your eyes with just as good an experience as viewing those works in a museum. Of course no app can fully replace the museum experience, and that’s a good thing. Both museums and apps have their place in the art world, and, if you have access to a museum, we think Art Authority will only enhance your experience there. But…

Art apps already beat the museum experience in a number of ways:

  • You can view the art from the comfort of you own home, 24 hours a day
  • You can view a much larger variety of art, literally from around the world
  • You can avoid long road (or plane) trips, noisy crowds, and high prices
  • You can search for, explore, and view the art in new ways

Etc. etc. Until the iPad 3’s retina display, however, if you used an app, your eyes knew they were still seeing the art on a computer display. You still saw individual pixels, and that’s not the way the art really looks (certain Pointillism works aside, of course). The main reason to go to art museums is to look at art, and no app could provide you with as good a viewing experience.

Until now. With the retina display, your eyes will see the art just as they would in the museum. As Apple says: “Those pixels are so close together, your eyes can’t discern individual ones at a normal viewing distance. When you can’t see the pixels, you see the whole picture.” Exactly!

Of course we had to enhance the app too, to include rooms, works, and other images that match the 2048 x 1536 resolution of the retina display (which, BTW, is bigger than almost any computer screen). And we had to do so without significantly increasing load times, which is a subject for a whole other post. But we did, and the results are simply amazing.

Amazing enough, we feel, that viewing art in the new Art Authority on a new iPad is now on par with viewing it in any art museum. We’ll have to work on the noisy crowds next :)