True Tone on External Displays Doesn't Work With MacBook Pro in Clamshell Mode [Updated]

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 18, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Following in the footsteps of the latest iPhone and iPad Pro models, the new MacBook Pro features True Tone technology.


    True Tone automatically adjusts the white balance of the MacBook Pro display to match the color temperature of the light around you, which, as Apple says, provides a more natural viewing experience. The feature is similar to Night Shift, but more dynamic, continuously adapting to the surrounding environment.

    If you are standing in a dimly lit room with incandescent light bulbs, for example, the display would appear warmer and yellower. If you are standing outside on a cloudy day, the display would appear cooler and bluer.

    True Tone on iPad Pro

    We've received many questions about how True Tone is enabled on the new MacBook Pro, and we've sought out some answers from Apple.

    Apple says the new MacBook Pro has a multi-channel ambient light sensor, next to the FaceTime HD camera, that can assess brightness as well as color temperature, adding that the display should be open to enable that functionality. Apple added that True Tone does not use the FaceTime HD camera for its operation.

    Apple says the ambient light sensor in previous-generation MacBook Pro models can only assess brightness, suggesting that True Tone is not a feature that can be enabled on older machines through a future software update.

    The information also suggests that True Tone will only work on the LG UltraFine 4K, LG UltraFine 5K, and Thunderbolt Display when the display on a connected MacBook Pro is open, rather than in closed-display aka clamshell mode. Apple did not directly confirm this, though, so we'll be testing to see.

    True Tone can help reduce eye strain, so it's a feature worth considering if you purchase the new MacBook Pro. It can be enabled or disabled in System Preferences under Displays, alongside options for Night Shift and auto-brightness.

    True Tone can also be enabled on the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, 9.7-inch and 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and the 2017 model 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

    Update: As we suspected, True Tone does not work on external displays when the connected MacBook Pro is in clamshell mode.

    Eric Slivka contributed to this report.

    Article Link: True Tone on External Displays Doesn't Work With MacBook Pro in Clamshell Mode [Updated]
  2. DrJohnnyN macrumors 65816


    Jan 27, 2010
  3. Koudspeel macrumors regular


    Apr 8, 2013
  4. flowsy macrumors 6502


    Aug 16, 2009
    Yes and no.
  5. FelixDerKater macrumors 68030


    Apr 12, 2002
    Nirgendwo in Amerika
    Is TrueTone important with the display closed?
  6. mikes63737 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2005
    I know we're supposed to hate these laptops now that the i9 is probably throttling... but this makes sense.
  7. McTool macrumors 6502


    Feb 14, 2016
    “True Tone can help reduce eye strain, so it's a feature worth considering.”
    Better read the article before commenting.
  8. Koodauw macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2003
    I would like truetone to work with an external monitor when the notebook is closed. We both know that apple wont adjust the looks of the exterior of the MacBook pro for such a sensor though.
  9. -BigMac- macrumors 68000


    Apr 15, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
  10. Cryates macrumors 68020


    Nov 19, 2013
    Chattanooga, TN
    Some creative pros (video editors, photographers, etc) will require true color accuracy, but for everything else, True Tone will be a blessing.
  11. Jsameds macrumors 68040

    Apr 22, 2008
    True Tone on iPad is something I'd never thought I'd like when I heard about it.

    When I bought my iPad, I had forgotten about the feature until about a week later I saw it adjusting the colour temperature, so I quickly scurried to settings and disabled it.

    Wow. Never had it looked worse. The blue tint to everything was just so jarring in the evening sun I happened to be sitting in at the time. Needless to say I switched it straight back on and haven't looked back since.
  12. Ploki macrumors 68040

    Jan 21, 2008
    it is? :eek: i wanted to buy one... am i better off buying 2.6 i7?
  13. CrazyForCashews macrumors 6502

    Apr 1, 2018
    I love True Tone. It makes reading a more enjoyable experience. I find that my eyes get less tired and strained when it's on.
  14. DrJohnnyN macrumors 65816


    Jan 27, 2010
    Thanks for the insight. I read the article in its entirety.
    This feature won't help Apple sell more units.
  15. avanpelt macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    In other words, if you have an LG 5K display or Apple display and you use your MacBook Pro in clamshell mode, no TrueTone for you.
  16. jjhny macrumors regular


    Sep 16, 2005
    I guess if you are a consumer this is good. Not good if you have to actually have accurate colors (I imagine you can turn it off).

    I use this feature on my iPad, but that is just for surfing the web, reading emails, texts, checking the weather, not important stuff.
  17. TimmeyCook Suspended


    Jun 20, 2018

    We know that one feature is only important if Apple doesn't have it.

    Like laptops with touchscreen displays!
  18. jabingla2810 macrumors 68020

    Oct 15, 2008
    Doesn't work with the lid closed a display off?!?!

    Apple have lost it... Bring back Steve Jobs. /s
  19. FSMBP macrumors 68020


    Jan 22, 2009
    I still don't get the full appeal of TrueTone and have turned it off on all devices. I like my colors consistent. However, people say it helps with eye-fatigue. Hmm...
  20. dan9700 macrumors 68030


    May 28, 2015
    True tone just makes things look to warm yellow tint never used it and never will
  21. DrJohnnyN macrumors 65816


    Jan 27, 2010
    Yep. It's off on all of my devices as well.
  22. turbineseaplane macrumors 601


    Mar 19, 2008
    I enjoy it on my iPad, but it's not a deal breaker either way honestly.

    Nice feature for sure as an additional "thing", but as others have pointed out, it becomes less of a must have on the laptop /desktop side where many of us need to be worried about color accuracy a lot of the time.

    You can turn it off of course, but on the Mac I'd be doing that a lot (on/off/on/off), whereas on the iPad where it's casual use, I'm able to never touch the setting and it's just transparent to me - which is much more ideal.
  23. WWPD macrumors regular


    Aug 21, 2015
    Ten Forward
    I don't know what happened but when I got my iPhone X I thought True Tone made everything look dull and yellow, turning it off made it look too blue and harsh. So, I turned it on and kept it on and it seems that my eyes have adapted because I don't notice it at all.
  24. artfossil macrumors 65816


    Oct 5, 2015
    It's the Alice in Wonderland effect. (When you can reach the key on the table, you're too big to get through the door; when you can fit through the door, the key is on the table . . . .) That is:

    When Apple has a feature in a laptop, it's unimportant and only for coffee-shop sitting by effete hipsters.
    When Apple doesn't have a feature in a laptop it's critical to real work by real professionals.

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