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Hidden iPhone 3G firmware "fixes" yellow screens

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Early adopters of iPhone 3G have discovered an updated firmware build hidden from iTunes' update system that appears to fix several issues, including the yellow screen tint that some believe is a flaw.

Even as Apple itself claims that the shift in color balance on the display to yellow is a purposeful move to improve its warmth and contrast, Ars Technica's readers and now others claim to have discovered that the golden hue may have been an error after all.

Although clicking "Check for Updates" in iTunes continues to reveal no new firmware, touching "Restore" installs firmware two builds newer than what was loaded on to the new iPhones in the factory, bumping them from 5A345 to 5A347.

Many of those claim the lengthy process brings iPhone 3G's color point back to a more neutral position, eliminating the tint altogether.

Whether the new build was ever intended as public is unclear, but its existence as a later build suggests Apple may have ultimately chosen to scale back the tinting in a last-minute revision.

Separately, reports have also been received by AppleInsider that the newer build may also fix recurring app crashes experienced by some users, though this may also be due to the nature of the restore process rather than any particular updates in the 5A347 build.
post #2 of 35
Has anybody read this article from arstechnica or whatever it is?

Quote:
We have confirmed that updating the firmware from 345 to 347 changes the color calibration to be less yellow. We did this by taking an iPhone purchased at an AT&T store on Friday (5A345), restored and updated its firmware, and compared it to other iPhone 3G models running the 5A345 firmware and 5A347.

The whole premise is totally flawed. They are comparing to iphones, one with the update and one without and saying the one without the update looks yellower. Unfortunately two iphone 3Gs displays don't look the same. There are multiple accounts of this including my own. I applied the update and it did nothing to my 3g iphone which is much more yellow than my wife's 3g iphone.

Here is a pic of the two 3g iphones, tilted to EXAGERATE the difference, but even slightly off angle one looks greenish. If these displays are going to have color variance, there should be a way to adjust the white temp

post #3 of 35
I've had several apps crash today, apps from the App Store. AIM was one of them. I have even have the newest firmware. I put it on Friday when I was trying to get the thing activated. I ended up having to restart the phone.
post #4 of 35
I tried this and it may have reduced the yellow a little but by no means completely and not even really enough to be noticeable.
post #5 of 35
I think this is what Apple was afraid of at first - for 3rd party developers. Not every developer looks over their code as carefully as they should (Even Apple). Though this seems to be a consequence for eager adopters - and rest assured there will be more to come. Though one thing I really hope for in the next update is Dvorak Keyboard support on the iPhone!
post #6 of 35
*shrug* if that matters to anything
post #7 of 35
John Gruber has suggested that the difference in tint is the result of a hardware change rather than a software one, but even if this is the case, I can tell you that it is certainly possible to calibrate the output of any display with software alone (after all, ColorSync has been built-in since at least System 7), so if it turns out that people don't like the tint of the newer display, Apple can easily correct it at any time with a software update. From the sounds of it, they already have.

One of the first things I do when I get a new Mac is calibrate the display with SuperCal. I'm currently using a PowerBook G4 (Oct 2005) with an Apple Cinema Display (20" aluminum), and with the default profiles, the same desktop picture on both displays looks very different. Even after calibration, they don't look *exactly* the same, but it's significantly better. I'm reminded of the difference everytime I reboot, as my custom profiles don't "kick in" until a short time after I log in.

That said, it must be kept in mind that the colors we perceive are the result of light reflecting off countless sources. The fact that my display sits on a walnut colored desk has a noticeable effect on the hue of colors I perceive on the display. Even if I turn off all the lights around me, the light coming from the display will reflect off the desk, around the room, and back onto the display. If I so much as tilt the angle of the display, replace a lightbulb anywhere in the room with a slightly different coating or wattage, or put a new poster on the wall behind me, I should ideally recalibrate it every time. But that gets a bit silly.

While it is no doubt worth making an attempt to synchronize the color output of all our various devices, beyond a certain point it becomes futile to worry about it any further. Especially with a portable device that is continuously used in different environments.
post #8 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlsniu View Post

I've had several apps crash today, apps from the App Store. AIM was one of them. I have even have the newest firmware. I put it on Friday when I was trying to get the thing activated. I ended up having to restart the phone.

AIM crashes on me every time I open it now UNLESS I am concurrently logged in on my laptop when I open it. How frickin' weird is that?


Quote:
Originally Posted by not_too_shabby View Post

Has anybody read this article from arstechnica or whatever it is?

The whole premise is totally flawed. They are comparing to iphones, one with the update and one without and saying the one without the update looks yellower. Unfortunately two iphone 3Gs displays don't look the same. There are multiple accounts of this including my own. I applied the update and it did nothing to my 3g iphone which is much more yellow than my wife's 3g iphone.

Here is a pic of the two 3g iphones, tilted to EXAGERATE the difference, but even slightly off angle one looks greenish. If these displays are going to have color variance, there should be a way to adjust the white temp

As for color temperature; my iPhone 3g with the build 45 is much closer to the phone on the right than the phone on the left in the message a few above this. My brightness slider is in the same position as those phones. Even though ambient lighting and the likes may be an impact, this suggests to me that that post is accurate when saying it's not just software, but some hardware difference.

I've got three iPhones, one from last June, one from last February, and now the 3g. They all have different white points, with the oldest being the bluest. It seems that after three days of use, this 3g one is not nearly as yellow as I'd thought it was on day one, but I'm willing to concede I may just have gotten used to it.

At any rate, given the lack of stability that many of my "Apple sanctioned" third party apps seem to have, I think I'll upgrade the firmware to the 47 and see if I get better app stability with it.

It would be interesting if someone with the know-how actually compared the code in the two builds to see what really was changed...
post #9 of 35
What I find hard to understand is the fact that Apple releases a "fix" to the yellowish color right after an official spokesperson of the company stated that the yellow tint was "deliberate." Am I the only one who is bothered by this contradiction?
post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by not_too_shabby View Post

Here is a pic of the two 3g iphones, tilted to EXAGERATE the difference, but even slightly off angle one looks greenish.

I'd greatly prefer the calibration of the left iPhone. Though I don't especially like how overly hot it is towards the bottom, it's has far better contrast.
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post #11 of 35
Someone here on AI posted a link to macrumors.com 2 days ago - regarding this update. Some there reported a difference, others said no difference. If the warmer hue was intentional, why was a "fix" for it available before anyone even had a chance to complain about it? If it is a way to adjust the hue, why not just communicate that to us and give us a choice?==I was just looking at a comparison on youtube and I have to say from this one video, I like the look of the 3G better.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iydS0f65o2I
2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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post #12 of 35
I restored my iPhone as soon as I got home and have been using the new version unaware that there was a diferent version available and have experienced Multiple crashes in the fiew days that I have owned it. alwayse a restart of the iPhone fixes it

the crashing only ever happens on app store apps eg... Super Monkey Ball
post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRsneezy View Post

I restored my iPhone as soon as I got home and have been using the new version unaware that there was a diferent version available and have experienced Multiple crashes in the fiew days that I have owned it. alwayse a restart of the iPhone fixes it

the crashing only ever happens on app store apps eg... Super Monkey Ball

I have firmware 5A347 too. After powering down the iPhone 3G (not just putting it to sleep), and powering it back on Super Monkey Ball and others started working just fine.
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post #14 of 35
How can something that was available the day before the iPhone was released be considered hidden?
post #15 of 35
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post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by not_too_shabby View Post

Has anybody read this article from arstechnica or whatever it is?



The whole premise is totally flawed. They are comparing to iphones, one with the update and one without and saying the one without the update looks yellower. Unfortunately two iphone 3Gs displays don't look the same. There are multiple accounts of this including my own. I applied the update and it did nothing to my 3g iphone which is much more yellow than my wife's 3g iphone.

Here is a pic of the two 3g iphones, tilted to EXAGERATE the difference, but even slightly off angle one looks greenish. If these displays are going to have color variance, there should be a way to adjust the white temp



I'd be curious to see what happens if you swap the positions of the phones in that picture and take it again. I think the left/right viewing angle may be exaggerating the issue in your picture...
post #17 of 35
I've seen quite a number of different iPhone 3G unit at local ATT, Apple store and from friends, it seems to be normal to have screen look a bit tinted from steep angle either facing up or its flip side. When facing straight on or within 120 degree, the the screen clarity looked fair, crisp and sharp, no yellow issue.

In fact, out of many units, the slight warmer color makes the photo, movie, and colors more vibrant. I don't think anyone would be viewing iPhone from such tilted angle for regular use!

It would make another good comparison if both black and white iPhones can flipped the viewing direction with connector pointing up from the above image.
post #18 of 35
i did a side-by-side with my old iphone with both brightness settings max-ed. no doubt new one looks more yellow, old one more blue. especially with a blue menu up. restored new phone to new firmware, and side-by-side comparison is EXACTLY THE SAME. the new phones are just more yellow tinted with either firmware (at least from my experience). i only really notice it when comparing side-by-side with old phone on a blue menu. if you compare other screens like the main menu and pictures, 3g iphone invariably looks better.

i am thoroughly enjoying the new phone. i actually really like the feel and look of the new back of the case, the gps is scary accurate, the reception and volume is way better, and the 3g makes a big difference on the road.
post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by salbenacci View Post

What I find hard to understand is the fact that Apple releases a "fix" to the yellowish color right after an official spokesperson of the company stated that the yellow tint was "deliberate." Am I the only one who is bothered by this contradiction?

Probably. Not everything done deliberately is the right thing to do, and maybe Apple decided to back off their previous change.

Since the iPhone is based on MacOS X, I assume it has fairly sophisticated color balancing available to it if they choose to include that software. It's probably a decision that was made like this: "Well, the new color temperature's a lot nicer on the eyes, but if customers REALLY want it that way, let's change it back..."
post #20 of 35
5A347 is the version if you manually downloaded 2.0 Thu night.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tpbrown View Post

*shrug* if that matters to anything

way harsh. I downloaded v2.0 to my gen 1 phone saturday afternoon, did the update, and i've got the new firmware. I think that means any 3G customers who update or go through a restore will also have the new firmware. And i think it means the update's there now for anyone who chooses to restore now. Aren't those all significant matters to the issue at hand? or am i missing something? (doesn't installed software frequently lag the newest releases, on macs as well as phones?)
post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by salbenacci View Post

What I find hard to understand is the fact that Apple releases a "fix" to the yellowish color right after an official spokesperson of the company stated that the yellow tint was "deliberate." Am I the only one who is bothered by this contradiction?

No, you are not...
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post #22 of 35
A second point. This new firmware is only available with a restore. if you just plug in your fresh iphone 3g, itunes will say the phone software is up to date (2.0) and will not try to update to the newer firmware. if this really were a yellow screen fix, wouldn't they package it up in an update (2.01 or something) that itunes could notify you about? to get this firmware you have to restore your phone which requires you to set the whole damn thing up again. not only that, you have to be "in the know" to realize there even is a newer firmware out there. i'm skeptical about this firmware being related to the yellow screens whatsoever.
post #23 of 35
I suppose the net is the newer one is more yellow. But looking at various photos, there's actually more green pigment and a little red versus heavy blue with the original (if you're following the RGB scale). The update did nothing for me and I had run it as soon as I got my phone on Friday.

I'm getting used to it and it is easier on the eyes. I think it's mostly us who are upgrading and comparing. What's better is that the whites have more depth to them rather than being washed out. YMMV.

What I don't buy is the fact that it's hardware based. It's mostly software in terms of screen calibration and white point adjustment.
post #24 of 35
I got picked up my phone Friday and noticed a yellow tiny to it and updated it to 5A347. Big mistake.....it slowed down my phone horribly. When browsing contacts, it would not respond to my input for about 7 seconds. When using the keyboard, it would slow down tremendously. Scrolling was also very slow. It also failed to fix the yellow tint issue. I got my phone replaced with a new one, no more yellow tint as far as I can tell and no sluggishness using 5A345.
post #25 of 35
I'm holding off on this firmware upgrade for a few days until I see how buggy it is.

Always a good idea with Apple software -- unless you don't mind the masochistic pain of early adoption.
post #26 of 35
Has anyone noticed lagging performance with video podcasts? I also noticed that they changed the way a video fast forwards. Now its a choppy/flip-book style, instead of a smooth foreword motion. This new chop forward makes it extremely difficult to see if you are past the part you didn't want to watch. The old way gave you audio and you could see and hear where you were in the video. New 2.0 way is crap!
post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Early adopters of iPhone 3G have discovered an updated firmware build hidden from iTunes' update system that appears to fix several issues, including the yellow screen tint that some believe is a flaw.

...

Although clicking "Check for Updates" in iTunes continues to reveal no new firmware, touching "Restore" installs firmware two builds newer than what was loaded on to the new iPhones in the factory, bumping them from 5A345 to 5A347.

M

I downloaded the Build 5A347 (so I could do a restore from my old iPhone) and it DOES NOT change the yellow screen tint.
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

Probably. Not everything done deliberately is the right thing to do, and maybe Apple decided to back off their previous change.

Since the iPhone is based on MacOS X, I assume it has fairly sophisticated color balancing available to it if they choose to include that software. It's probably a decision that was made like this: "Well, the new color temperature's a lot nicer on the eyes, but if customers REALLY want it that way, let's change it back..."

I doubt the decision was made so casually.
I think a big factor in the success of the iPhone as a platform is the uniformity of the hardware.
Developing for other phone platforms can be a real pain because devices vary so much(screen resolutions, button layouts, etc).
I would think if it was a simply a color profile in the OS then it would be the same for all iPhones running the 2.0 iPhone OS.
My guess is the 3G use a different screen.
I think it would be in Apple's best interest to try to calibrate all iPhone screens to be as uniform as possible.
post #29 of 35
LMAO! I do so enjoy the hue and cry of the Early Adopters™. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside...

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post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

LMAO! I do so enjoy the hue and cry of the Early Adopters. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside...

Hue? Pun intended?
post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimDreamworx View Post

Hue? Pun intended?

I suspect yes. As was "warm".
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post #32 of 35
OK, I'm going to admit to being more bothered by the back of the plastic case on the "black" G3 iPhones looking blue-ish, than by this yellow tint thing (which actually sounds like something that can be adjusted in software).
post #33 of 35
I have measured the difference with my colorimeter and there is a difference.
Here is a link to my blog where I write about it in detail:http://dimak.blogspot.com/2008/07/co...rts-claim.html
Sorry for the shameless self promotion.
post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkitsov View Post

I have measured the difference with my colorimeter and there is a difference.
Here is a link to my blog where I write about it in detail:http://dimak.blogspot.com/2008/07/co...rts-claim.html
Sorry for the shameless self promotion.

Good hands on analysis! I restored mine for other software application issue. Similar to your experience, I really can't tell much difference visually before/after the 5A347 firmware update. The coloration from default 5A345 firmware worked for me quite well indeed.
post #35 of 35
I had the same issue and applying the update boosted the default brightness (e.g. despite being in the same default position for the setting; say the middle it was brighter than before the update for that same position.

I did discover one fact though which may put to reset the screen differences. My eyes get really sore reading on the my iPhone3G (Black 16gb) despite reading for hours on my old 2G. When I took it out to the sun one day, I noticed the screen was really horrible and hard to read at certain natural angles -- something that didn't occur with my 2G otherwise I would haven't noticed so evidently as I did.

If you take your wife's white 16gb out to the sun along with yours you should see a big difference in the screen's clarity -- hence two screen manufacturers; one with obviously less quality than the other. For me, I can't lose my reading device so I am returning and either buying a white 16gb or waiting a few months until this all gets corrected.



Quote:
Originally Posted by not_too_shabby View Post

Has anybody read this article from arstechnica or whatever it is?

The whole premise is totally flawed. They are comparing to iphones, one with the update and one without and saying the one without the update looks yellower. Unfortunately two iphone 3Gs displays don't look the same. There are multiple accounts of this including my own. I applied the update and it did nothing to my 3g iphone which is much more yellow than my wife's 3g iphone.

Here is a pic of the two 3g iphones, tilted to EXAGERATE the difference, but even slightly off angle one looks greenish. If these displays are going to have color variance, there should be a way to adjust the white temp

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