Apple's Wide Color screen on the iPhone 7 will lead to more faithful color reproduction

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2016
Apple has implemented many different changes to graphics presentation over the years, but none may be more dramatic and have a more lasting impact than the ongoing shift from older technologies to the new Wide Color standard as found in the iPhone 7 family.




Wide Color, as found most recently on the iPhone 7 family, is Apple's name for the DCI-P3 color space. DCI-P3 was designed as a standard for digital movie projection for American film industry.

Most displays use the older "standard RGB" (sRGB) with a narrower color space -- all of the iPhones prior to the iPhone 7 use sRGB.

Many still cameras have been storing the wider color range possible with DCI-P3, and have just not been displaying all the information possible on conventional displays.

Bringing Wide Color to iOS involved creating new software support for advanced color management in iOS, while implementing backward compatibility at the same time to ensure older apps still function. Additionally, on top of all that, new frameworks needed to be implemented for developers to be able to use the new Wide Color standard.

Wide Color
Without a Wide Color display, this box only appears to be solid orange


The above image was developed by Apple's WebKit team and utilizes the DCI-P3 Wide Color Gamut. Users on conventional displays, including all non P3 Macs, see an orange square. For users on a monitor or display that supports the DCI-P3 Wide Color Gamut, a circular logo is visible.

First seen in the iMac 5k, Apple implemented Wide Color in the 9.7-inch iPad Pro with the True Tone display, and now with both models of the iPhone 7. While the iPhone 7 screen is a Wide Color display, it is not a True Tone display with automatic white point alteration in response to the ambient lighting situation.

How much better is Wide Color than sRBG?

This is difficult to demonstrate on most monitors that don't support Wide Color. However, a standard representation exists depicting the limits of human vision, and the subset of color reproducible on a display can be outlined on that.




In the above image, the colored region represents the outer limits of perception in a human's color vision. The black triangle represents sRGB's limits of presentation.




In contrast, the DCI-P3 standard, and the Wide Color implementation, has a larger area underneath the triangle, representing the greater array of displayable color possible.

Practically, this means that a fall foliage photo will be more uniform, with less color banding and other digital approximation artifacts introduced into the picture when captured on devices all capable of the DCI-P3 color range.

When 4k video is more common, a Wide Color display will be able to faithfully display it. The 4K ultra-HD specification requires devices to display at least 90 percent of the DCI-P3 color range.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    "Users on conventional displays, including all non P3 Macs, see an orange square. For users on a monitor or display that supports the DCI-P3 Wide Color Gamut, a circular logo is visible."

    I'm seeing the logo on a mid-2010 iMac. Buh?
    singularityttollerton
  • Reply 2 of 27
    Strange here, too. I'm using a Mid-2014 15" Retina MacBook Pro. In System Preferences/Displays/Color, if I select Color LCD (the default), I see just a red/orange square, but if I select ACES CG Linear or Adobe RGB (1998), I clearly see the logo. Even stranger, if I try out all the color options and then go back to ACES CG Linear or Adobe RGB (1998), I no longer see the logo. Quitting System Preferences and then going back to System Preferences/Displays/Colors, I can once again see the logo if I select ACES CG Linear or Adobe RGB (1998).
  • Reply 3 of 27
    My 2014 iMac 21 (non retina) shows the red box only. As expected. feeling conned for having an inferior monitor to the RMPB ;)
  • Reply 4 of 27
    Im seeing orange boxes in real life now.
    king editor the gratepalegolas
  • Reply 5 of 27
    Interesting. From an area perspective you just can show about half the colors a human eye can discern. I thought it was more. Did I miss it until now? Not consciously. Will it be something like a once-you tried-you'll-net-look-back things lile Retina display?  Hmmm
  • Reply 6 of 27
    Wonder when HDR screens will become available on iPads? Oh, wait a sec... which was it, the Apple Watch or the new iPhones which have screen brightnesses over 1,000 nits? I think it was the Watch. If so, that is HDR screen level quality.
    edited September 2016
  • Reply 7 of 27
    On an old Lenovo T510, I can see the logo.

    I see solid square on Dell E7240, an old LG monitor, and a not-too-old ViewSonic monitor.
    edited September 2016 repressthis
  • Reply 8 of 27
    I see the logo in the orange box on my iPhone 4s

    so what gives?




    repressthis
  • Reply 9 of 27
    Strange here, too. I'm using a Mid-2014 15" Retina MacBook Pro. In System Preferences/Displays/Color, if I select Color LCD (the default), I see just a red/orange square, but if I select ACES CG Linear or Adobe RGB (1998), I clearly see the logo. Even stranger, if I try out all the color options and then go back to ACES CG Linear or Adobe RGB (1998), I no longer see the logo. Quitting System Preferences and then going back to System Preferences/Displays/Colors, I can once again see the logo if I select ACES CG Linear or Adobe RGB (1998).
    The internal display on your Mac is only an sRGB display, if you select Adobe RGB you will get inaccurate colour reproduction - you may see the additional colour space information (the logo) but it isn't being displayed accurately. The Adobe RGB setting should really only be used when outputting to an Adobe RGB capable external monitor - although if you can afford that you should really be using a colourimeter to achieve a better calibration rather than using a generic Apple colour profile.
    edited September 2016 Mike Wuertheleai46repressthisDeelron
  • Reply 10 of 27
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    The famous red box.
  • Reply 11 of 27
    Does this yield any benefit for pre-press work?

    The Number One "gotcha" in the world of preparing a document for production on a printing press is the inability of an RGB monitor to display what colours will look like when printed with CMYK inks. Does DCI-P3 do anything that would improve that situation, or does it just show a wider range of "wrong" colours? Anyone here know?

    Even if it doesn't improve pre-press workflow it will be a very welcome improvement to on-screen delivery.
  • Reply 12 of 27
    I'm on a Galaxy Note 7. I'm only seeing orange flames. 
    edited September 2016 greenie123king editor the gratesingularityjkichlinewatto_cobrawelshdogSpamSandwich
  • Reply 13 of 27
    but but but theres nothing new in the 7 because it has a similar shell and apple used up all their innovation already.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 27
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,692member
    I'll just wait till Samsung finally provides them with OLED display.
  • Reply 15 of 27
    I don't know about anybody else but my iPhone 6 shows a "red" box. Not an orange one or an orange one with a circle
  • Reply 16 of 27
    Some of the earlier posters see the pattern on old displays due to (inaccurate) tonal mapping.  The displays will scale the colors into a range they can display, but they won't be accurate.  
    king editor the grateai46
  • Reply 17 of 27
    On most Macs, go to System Preferences.../Displays. Select Color. Select the 'SMPTE 431-2-2007 DCI (P3)' profile. You can then see the circle in the square.
    nolamacguy
  • Reply 18 of 27
    I have two external monitors on my 2010 Mac Pro. One shows correctly, the other not. What is interesting is that I need the refresh the page when instantiated in the "Good" monitor after dragging the page from the "bad" one.
  • Reply 19 of 27
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,113member
    Based on comments above, notes of people seeing and not seeing the logo, I'm convinced that most of us will not notice the difference in a better display the same way non-audiophiles don't notice better-sounding audio on lossless tracks.  

    Flappy bird, Pokemon Go, at al will not look any different.  Neither will the web.  

    Will mu old pictures jump out as better suddenly?

    No matter.  Iphone7 Plus ordered in Blacker than Black Black.
  • Reply 20 of 27
    I get the colour representation from the charts. But I've never understood how brightness is read on these colour charts. Equally, or perhaps even more important is what happens with the colours at different brightness levels. I'm sure this is part of the Dci-p3 standards too.
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