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2024-02-22 06:16:37
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iOS 10 Supports Color Spaces

Color gamut is going mainstream!

My workhorse display, the NEC PA302W, still has the best gamut and neutral grayscale out there.

Bill C writes:

I’m one of your subscribers, and I’d like to let you know that Safari on iOS 10 is now colorspace-aware. I checked Safari on my iPhone 7 running iOS 10.0.1 against some of your web pages and some at other sites, and all the results showed that it was paying attention to embedded profiles. The pages I checked were:

Web Browser Display of Image Color: Color Space and Gamut

Web Browser Color Display

Not surprisingly, my iPad Air 2, also running iOS 10.0.1, passed too.

As a control, I viewed those pages on an iPhone 5s running iOS 8.1.2, and it clearly failed all of them.

As for display gamut, the iPhone 7 exhibited a larger gamut than that of the iPad Air 2 and of my mid-2014 15” Retina MacBook Pro.

Wide Gamut Displays and Calibration

Color Gamut Example: Green Shirt in Sunlight

Installing the DCI-P3 Color Profile for Use with Photoshop / Lightroom

In the photo of the “NEXT SERVICES” sign on the first of those three pages, the “” was dimly visible on the iPhone 7 (I recall it being plainly visible on my NEC LCD2690W2). It’s not at all visible on the iPad Air 2 or on the MacBook Pro. It’s slightly more visible on the iPhone 5s / iOS 8.1.2, but that’s no doubt due to the lack of colorspace awareness, and indeed the road sign is distinctly purple rather than blue on that device.

In the green shirt photos, the iPhone 7 shows a clearly richer green in the ProPhotoRGB and AdobeRGB variants (these two appeared the same) than in the sRGB variant. On the MacBook Pro and the iPad Air 2 (I didn’t check on the iPhone 5s), all three variants show the same washed-out sRGB-ish green.

On the last page, the photo of the Golden Trout isn’t strikingly different between the iPhone 7 and the MacBook Pro or iPad Air 2. The iPhone 7 might have some more saturation in the reds, but I’d want to do a careful adjustment of luminances before saying that for certain.


Apple has also fixed how Safari on OS X handles untagged images (those without an embedded color space). Checking your article:

Web browser color display, Untagged Images

On my late-2009 27” iMac (OS X 10.11.6, Safari 10.0) with an NEC LCD2690W2, I see no differences between the tagged and untagged sRGB images, on either the built-in display or the NEC display. The NEC does show differences (the built-in shows them only slightly) between the tagged ProPhotoRGB and the tagged sRGB versions of those images in your article:

Web Browser Display of Image Color: Color Space and Gamut

so I’d expect that improper handling of untagged sRGB would be apparent on the NEC.

DIGLLOYD: this is awesome news. Now the images I present will have the right color, even if iOS still mangles them by resampling (TBD).

Apparently iOS 9-something added support for color spaces a few months ago, but I hadn't noticed and there was no wide gamut display for iOS devices to make full use of it.

Mouse over to compare; if a web browser manages color, the images will look the same.

Bill C continues:

I’ve done some examination of the metadata in photos shot by the iPhone 7 / iOS 10, using both the native Camera app and the ProCamera third-party app. The native app doesn’t offer raw shooting (yet), but ProCamera does take advantage of the new API. When set to shoot raw, ProCamera records both a DNG file and a rendered file in your choice of JPEG, TIFF uncompressed, or TIFF LZW, saving both in the normal iOS photo albums.

Using the third-party PhotoSync app to send some photos from the 7 to my MacBook Pro and running exiftool ( on them, I see that JPEGs from the native camera app and from ProCamera are tagged as “Display P3,” which I take to mean DCI-P3. The DNGs from ProCamera do not have an embedded profile (makes sense).

And, I’m happy to see that transport via Apple’s iCloud Photo Library leaves the JPEGs’ embedded profiles intact (at least for the P3 profile) according to exiftool. I tested with photos shot on the iPhone 7, which then showed up on my iPad Air 2 (iOS 10.0.1) via iCloud Photo Library, and then sent by PhotoSync from the iPad to my MacBook Pro. In fact, the Mac’s (UNIX) ‘diff’ and ‘cmp’ commands show that the versions sent to the MacBook directly from the iPhone and via the iPad are bit-for-bit identical.

Apple is being quite civilized about color management!

DIGLLOYD: more good news! I don’t know what ProCamera is as yet, but I assume it is this app.

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