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How to Control and Tweak a True Tone Display on iPhone and iPad

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Apr 12, 2001
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Last year, Apple brought a display feature called True Tone to its flagship iPhone line-up for the first time, following the technology's debut in 2016 with the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

True Tone works by adjusting the color temperature of a device's screen to match the surrounding ambient light, so that images on the display appear more natural and are less apt to contribute to eyestrain.


If you stand in a dimly lit room illuminated by a table lamp, for instance, a True Tone display appears warmer and yellower, much like a piece of paper would in the same light. Stand outside on an overcast day, however, and the same display looks cooler and bluer, as would the same piece of paper.

In this article, we'll run through how to quickly enable or disable True Tone from within Control Center as well as via the Settings app. We'll also explain how to tweak your device's color settings to help acclimatize you to True Tone's warmer extremes, which some users find too intense under certain conditions.


Click here to read more...

Article Link: How to Control and Tweak a True Tone Display on iPhone and iPad
 

RedKite

macrumors regular
Dec 19, 2017
172
546
True Tone is by far one of the most forward thinking and interesting features on new devices! I tried to find out how it works with little luck.... like does it change the color of the backlight LEDS? ... Or is it just adding a color overlay to the OS like night mode? How is the temperature decided? Apple are tight lipped for sure!

I am so glad the technology made its way into phones. I don’t read on my iPhone or iPad as I much much much prefer my kindle voyage for such tasks but it’s nice to have in general.
 
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BMcCoy

macrumors 68000
Jun 24, 2010
1,654
3,272
It’s an interesting feature, certainly. But I’m still not sure I understand it fully. I go between switching it off and on on my iPad, and whilst it makes a visible difference, I’m undecided if I prefer it or not.

There would be an easy counter argument that a quality display should maintain colour accuracy, despite the environmental colour light falling on the display, so the colour adjusts slightly in the opposite direction to the ambient light, in order to maintain a consistent visual colour appearance on the display.

So that would be opposite to how TruTone works.
And might make eye-strain worse.
So probably the way they have it is correct for functional use, even if it is incorrect for colour accuracy.
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
34,646
36,071
True Tone is by far one of the most forward thinking and interesting features on new devices! I tried to find out how it works with little luck.... like does it change the color of the backlight LEDS? ... Or is it just adding a color overlay to the OS like night mode? How is the temperature decided? Apple are tight lipped for sure!

I am so glad the technology made its way into phones. I don’t read on my iPhone or iPad as I much much much prefer my kindle voyage for such tasks but it’s nice to have in general.

I think one of the most important details is it a much easier transition on your eyes when reading. The iPhone and iPad I have very bright displays, by correcting the white point on the display based on the ambient lighting in the room, it doesn’t strain your eyes as much.
 
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jacjustjac

macrumors regular
Feb 12, 2008
225
325
New York, NY
I only use color filters to make my display more red, for a super night shift mode...
I also have reduce white point and Zoom for making the display even darker when I want to check my phone before/after bed.
 

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alex00100

macrumors 6502
Mar 17, 2011
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Moscow, Russia
There would be an easy counter argument that a quality display should maintain colour accuracy, despite the environmental colour light falling on the display, so the colour adjusts slightly in the opposite direction to the ambient light, in order to maintain a consistent visual colour appearance on the display.
I think it automatically turns off if you’re watching a video or browsing your photos so it’s only used to improve reading.
 
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Avieshek

Suspended
Dec 7, 2013
701
1,128
India
True Tone should only act on white background.

Had to turn-off on iPhone X, there’s a constant piss-colour even if surround by White LED lights.
 
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jayducharme

macrumors 68040
Jun 22, 2006
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The thick of it
The article implies that True Tone is merely an extension of the Night Shift mode, and that makes sense that Apple would leverage the earlier technology and rebrand it. I have True Tone turned on and haven't really noticed much difference, which is probably a good thing. I don't even notice Night Shift that much any more.
 
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Marconelly

macrumors 6502
Jul 5, 2008
390
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I would suggest against the color tint tweak in general, because on iPhone X at least it kills the maximum brightness by a good 20% (eyeballed) when enabled. If you use the phone outside in the sun a lot, that makes a big difference, as well as if you like watching HDR movies on the device, so the high brightness is preferred.

As for the truetone, I had to keep it off because it makes the phone look incredibly different than any other screen I own. If I work on a MacBook Pro for example, and then switch over to the phone to test something quickly, the difference is shocking, no matter what the outside light conditions are. iPhone X screen with truetone also looks totally different than the 10.5" iPad Pro screen, with or without truetone enabled. More on this topic, I really wish Apple would allow slight (much smaller than what's possible with color tint tweak) color calibration option. My screen has a very slight green push, and I'd love to correct that, but there's basically no good way to do it. The best method I came up with is to enable the night shift mode on the lowest intensity, but that also looks somehow wrong during daytime light. So I just keep it on that lowest setting scheduled after 5PM until the morning. I wish there was a lower than lowest setting for night shift mode just to correct this green push permanently.
 
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groove-agent

macrumors 65816
Jan 13, 2006
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If Apple was truly concerned with eye strain they wouldn’t be doing glossy screens standard on the macs. Remember when they were an option?

I get eye fatigue after 2 hours on a glossy screen, can work indefinitely on a matte screen.
 
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Millah

macrumors 6502a
Aug 6, 2008
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Here is the best approach to True Tone. Leave it on. Don’t monkey around with settings like this article suggests, you’re defeating the point.

Leave it on for 2 weeks on every device that’s capable. Your eyes adjust to white balance remarkably well if you let them. Just pretend like True Tone doesn’t exist and this is simply how the screen looks.

After 2 weeks, every other display will now look too blue and hard to look at.

That’s what I did. I’m usually very picky about the color temperature. But I let it go, stopped being OCD about it, and now I can’t live without True Tone. My Mac display just looks wrong now and causes me to squint. I now turn on night shift permanently to how my iPhone looks in the same room. And my iPhone X/iPad Pro no longer look too warm. They feel natural and just right. The temp adjustment while the ambient light changes is also completely invisible now, and once again the display always feels just right and comfortable to look at.
 
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Marconelly

macrumors 6502
Jul 5, 2008
390
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Here is the best approach to True Tone. Leave it on. Don’t monkey around with settings like this article suggests, you’re defeating the point.

Leave it on for 2 weeks on every device that’s capable. Your eyes adjust to white balance remarkably well if you let them. Just pretend like True Tone doesn’t exist and this is simply how the screen looks.

After 2 weeks, every other display will now look too blue and hard to look at.
That entirely depends on how much you use each screen - because your brain keeps compensating for what it knows is supposed to be white. The only thing that's really jarring is when none of your screens look similar, which is ironically the case if I keep true tone enabled on iphone x, ipad pro and use Macbook without it, as it doesn't have it.
 
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dumoore

macrumors member
Nov 30, 2017
50
234
If Apple was truly concerned with eye strain they wouldn’t be doing glossy screens standard on the macs. Remember when they were an option?

I get eye fatigue after 2 hours on a glossy screen, can work indefinitely on a glossy screen.

So you can work for 2 hours on a glossy screen but also you can work indefinitely on a glossy screen...
 
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groove-agent

macrumors 65816
Jan 13, 2006
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So you can work for 2 hours on a glossy screen but also you can work indefinitely on a glossy screen...

First thing in the morning... obviously it should read I can "...work indefinitely on a matte screen".
 
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dampfnudel

macrumors 68040
Aug 14, 2010
3,216
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Brooklyn, NY
sadly had to turn it off on my iphone. i keep switching between different devices through out the day and then it's just weird to have a different color profile on one device...

True Tone was excellent on my 8 Plus but not on my X. Made the screen too yellow for my taste regardless of lighting so I decided to turn it off.

I tried to get used to True Tone on my X, but after three weeks, I turned it off. Going back to using my iPad mini 4 and 6s was jarring. It also looked too much like Night Shift lite to me. Maybe someday when all of my devices are True Tone capable, I’ll give it another try.
 
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ignatius345

macrumors 68040
Aug 20, 2015
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If Apple was truly concerned with eye strain they wouldn’t be doing glossy screens standard on the macs. Remember when they were an option?

I get eye fatigue after 2 hours on a glossy screen, can work indefinitely on a matte screen.

If you are in a position to dim the ambient light in your work space, that will definitely cut way down on reflections.

I think there are also aftermarket matte filters you can apply to your screen? They probably screw up the clarity of the screen, though.
 
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Doug0915

macrumors member
Jul 20, 2011
38
14
I think it automatically turns off if you’re watching a video or browsing your photos so it’s only used to improve reading.

Not true. I just tested that on an app that did video (Playstation vue for IOS) and the truetone tint was visible while the video was playing.
 
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