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I have a rMBP running OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

I normally use the display at a 1680x1050. Is there a way to have the display automatically change resolution to the default retina when on battery, and revert to 1680x1050 when power is reconnected?

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Your best bet would be to use ControlPlane (free) to detect when the power source has switched, and then fire off a shell script to change the resolution.

There's no built-in command line utility for changing the screen resolution, but someone came up with one that works well. You can download an installer here.

Then it's just a simple matter of setting ControlPlane to run screenresolution set 1440x900 or 1650x1050 as appropriate. Note that you may want to experiment with the screenresolution get command first to double check how it handles retina resolutions.

  • ControlPane's 'about' page says it supports Snow Leopard through Lion. While I can check this out myself, but do you know if works well with Mountain Lion as well. – Himanshu P Apr 14 '13 at 10:36
  • okay, reading more through the app's website, and I see mountain lion mentioned in a couple of places. so ML seems supported (the developer probably forgot to update he about page). the app looks really nifty, thanks for pointing it out! – Himanshu P Apr 14 '13 at 10:46

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