Hidden iPhone 3G firmware "fixes" yellow screens

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    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



  • Reply 2 of 34
    jlsniujlsniu Posts: 7member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 34
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 34
    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!
  • Reply 5 of 34
    *shrug* if that matters to anything
  • Reply 6 of 34
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 34
    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...
  • Reply 8 of 34
    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?
  • Reply 9 of 34
    ringoringo Posts: 328member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 34
    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
  • Reply 11 of 34
    mrsneezymrsneezy Posts: 47member
    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
  • Reply 12 of 34
    brianpbrianp Posts: 11member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 34
    How can something that was available the day before the iPhone was released be considered hidden?
  • Reply 14 of 34
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,603member
    deleted
  • Reply 15 of 34
    heywireheywire Posts: 4member
    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...
  • Reply 16 of 34
    hfuhfu Posts: 55member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 34
    pete_01pete_01 Posts: 4member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 34
    boogabooga Posts: 1,081member
    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..."
  • Reply 19 of 34
    rtdunhamrtdunham Posts: 428member
    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?)
  • Reply 20 of 34
    messiahmessiah Posts: 1,689member
    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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