August 20, 2018

What is Apple’s True Tone Technology?

Apple’s True Tone TechnologyThe iPad Pro, new MacBook Pro, iPhone 8, and iPhone X all feature sensors that measure the ambient light color and brightness. The device then uses this information to adjust its display in order to correct white point and illumination based on your environmental lighting so it can render the right kinds of white under any condition. The Apple technology enabling this is called True Tone. Here is more about Apple’s True Tone technology.

The new MacBook Pro was announced on July 12 and for the very first time, True Tone technology has been incorporated into a Mac’s display. What is the True Tone technology? First introduced by Apple in 2016 in the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, True Tone is Apple’s system for keeping the white balance of the same in appearance to the user, regardless of the ambient light around the screen. As a result of this, the user perceives the screen to be the ‘same’ at all times even if the device is shifted from one environment to another.

In addition to the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and the new MacBook Pro, the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X also feature Apple’s True Tone technology. So, why should you give two hoots about it? The human optical system is constantly comparing near-white to perfectly white, and a ‘better’ white can affect our perceived contrast of whatever we’re looking at, which means that an adjusted white point like the one provided by True Tone can be more comfortable on your eyes.

It also means that the above-mentioned iPhones, the latest MacBook Pro, and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro should be more readable than their predecessors in direct sunlight, thus improving the device’s usability. The primary objective of Apple’s True Tone Technology is to make the experience of using the Apple device more comfortable for the user.

Matching the environment’s light scheme can help prevent any strain or discomfort to the user viewing a suddenly bluer or more orange screen, and one that constantly changes if the user is moving around. Perhaps the technology is best explained by Apple’s statement introducing the 9.7-inch iPad Pro in 2016:

The 9.7-inch iPad Pro features advanced display technologies, including a True Tone display, which uses new four-channel sensors to dynamically adjust the white balance of the display to match the light around you for a more natural and accurate, paper-white viewing experience. The advanced Retina display is 25 percent brighter and 40 percent less reflective than iPad Air 2, making content even easier to see indoors and out. It uses the same wider color gamut as the iMac with Retina 5K display, delivering 25 percent greater color saturationfor more vivid colors. A custom timing controller, photo alignment and oxide TFT deliver incredible color, contrast and clarity.”[1]

The Creative Element to the True Tone Technology

Another important element of the True Tone technology which will make the creatives sit up and take note of the technology is the ability of the technology to ensure that colors displayed remain consistent and accurate.In the above-mentioned Apple devices, particularly the new MacBook Pro, True Tone makes for a natural viewing experience that’s not skewed by ambient light.

In addition to the above, as True Tone handles the environment lighting problem, it should be easier for the creative users to see their work in different conditions and perceive it in the same way. A technology that affects the display, True Tone does not interact directly with apps or files in any way, it only changes what the screen eventually shows to the user.

What does it mean for the creative professionals? It means that they can work under a variety of lighting conditions, without vastly affecting color-related tasks. For example, when applying color to an illustration, the same ‘red’ color perceived in one environment will still appear to be same ‘red’ if the user opens the file up under different conditions.

Where Can You Try It Out?

The pricing on the new 15-inch MacBook Pro starts at $2900 but you don’t need to dish out that much to use Apple’s True Tone technology. Instead, you can try out True Tone on iPhone 8, iPhone 8 plus, iPhone X, or the 9.7-inch iPad Pro which are much cheaper to buy than the new MacBook Pro. True Tone has been available for some time in the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, which the iPhones with this technology were released in September of last year.

On the three iPhones, you can enable and disable True Tone from the Settings menu. There are rumors and speculations that Apple will incorporate the technology in all its future iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks so you may not have to search for an Apple device with True Tone technology in the future.

Checking What True Tone Does

You may want to check what the True Technology does in your phone or how it affects what you see on your device’s display. If that is the case, the following is how you can check the True Tone feature in your iPhone, iPad, or MacBook Pro:

  • Swipe up to access the Control Center and then press and hold the Brightness slider
  • On the next screen, you will see the brightness slider under which the button controls for Night Shift and True Tone are present
  • Tap True Tone to Off
  • You will see what your display looks like without True Tone

Generally, True Tone ensures warmer and consistent colors and less strain on the eye. If you want to find out more about the True Tone technology and how it can benefit you, then get in touch with us today!

by Bobby J Davidson

We love our company and we love what we do.  Check out the ‘Why Percento‘ page to learn more: Love of Technology and Business!  As the President of Percento Technologies International, I provide day-to-day leadership to the company’s senior management and I am personally involved in the strategy, business development and sales activities of the firm.

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