A Few Thoughts On True Tone

Back when I received the 9.7" iPad Pro I published some of my thoughts regarding the True Tone display technology. And while I won't really be going over the topic in great detail again, I do have some additional thoughts on the technology after having using the new iPad Pro for quite some time.

Something I wanted to clarify from my original article is the purpose of my greyscale measurements. Some readers interpreted it as evidence that True Tone didn't work as intended. In actuality True Tone works exactly as intended by providing good relative accuracy. As you move to different environments the color temperature of the display shifts to match how your eye adjusts its perception of white depending on the temperature and brightness of the light around you. This obviously leads to inaccuracy relative to the sRGB standard, but that's missing the point of True Tone entirely. My tests were simply meant to demonstrate how much shifting occurs in different environments, along with a clarification on some misunderstandings I had heard regarding the relationship between True Tone and the DCI-P3 gamut, which are really unrelated technologies.

True Tone works very well, and in a way Apple has proven me wrong here because I was initially skeptical. I've seen this attempted before, particularly by Samsung, and the implementations have not been good at all. When I first got the 9.7" Pro I felt like the True Tone mode shifted too far toward the red. However, after using it for some time I began to realize that this was the product of me using other devices that all shift toward blue, which ruined my perception of the display. When using the iPad Pro on its own for reading or doing work, pulling out another device with a blue shifted display is absolutely jarring, as the iPad has adjusted to match how my eyes perceive things in different lighting, while all my other displays are forever blue. In a way, the biggest problem with True Tone is that it's not in everything, and I think this is something Apple should be bringing to all of their portable devices. 

Apple's Simulated True Tone Image

It's difficult to photograph True Tone, as depending on where your camera's white balance lands the iPad Pro will look too red, or the other display will look too blue. I really recommend checking out True Tone for yourself, although if you decide to do it in an Apple Store you probably won't see the benefits because Apple's other products are designed to look neutral under the same sort of fluorescent lighting as those stores. If you have a chance to try the 9.7" iPad Pro outdoors or somewhere with warmer lighting I think you'll see why this tech is one of the small things that nobody really asks for, but everyone appreciates once they have it.

Display Analysis: Uniformity Camera Performance


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  • UtilityMax - Friday, June 3, 2016 - link

    The thick and bulky Surface Pro 4 is hardly a tablet.. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - link

    I have no issues using it as a tablet and I also own an ipad mini 4. Reply
  • ragingfighter - Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - link

    I think the surface pro line depending on how one uses it makes it a competitive choice as opposed to a new Apple tablet. Many people go for the higher-end storage of the surface tablet and that regard it's price is ridiculous when you start talking $1500 for a tablet to me at the feats the purpose for $1500 you can get yourself an amazing laptop. Still would have more memory at least by double maybe even triple and the specs will be as well if you opt for mid tier say 128 GB storage solution if you have an external hard drive plugged in because it has USB three you can save yourself a lot of money. In that regard it's a small use of what the surface provides as an option and also it's an idea of saving money that makes it viable choice. Obviously the recovery partition and the operating system take up a lot of space in comparison to something like iOS or even the android platform built in storage does take a bit of a beating because of it but if you can use everything on a portable hard drive that's plugged in the USB three and run the surface and such in the way it will make the base cost far less and much more approachable. I just think in general tablets beyond I would say $800 becomes problematic specifically because you get into an upper mid tier of what a laptop can offer you for $800 and beyond and you get a lot still you can still have a decently portable laptop with a decent amount of power. Laptops though in this price range and below take a hit in quality and the most important aspect and that is the screen usually this price point or below have very crappy screens the color and their sharpness and infidelity are really not phenomenally up there. When you get in the laptops beyond $1000 point you start getting sharper queen or technology implemented into them. I feel it is important when it comes to a comparison of options out to complete a task. It comes down to really what is cost-effective for your workflow how much you need portability and how much of a solution a tablet aspiring to be a laptop killer a replacement can become Closest tablet to achieve such your feat is the Microsoft surface. Reply
  • ragingfighter - Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - link

    Though I am a Mac user I must admit that in regards to any kind of a portable keyboard Apple they dropped the ball when I came to the iPad keyboard. It is a step behind Microsoft smart cover keyboard one because it's not backlit but also because of the way out the bun travel is smaller and the buttons are smaller not necessarily a favorite for everybody. The biggest design thing that I think Apple completely messed and I have to give kudos to Microsoft is the built in stand. I'm not a super fan of windows though I know how to use Windows and use a Windows it is nowhere near my primary platform which is the Mac. But I have to give credit to Microsoft where credit is due the surface pro line is and where the tablet but even I have to met there are many different kiosks I have been to where the tablet has malfunctioned during time of demoing it is much more rare to see an iPad completely not work for kiosk purposes that it is for surface tablet I've seen their tablets not even turn on even with the power cord extend it to them plugged in fully lights show it is fully charged but outside of doing a direct comparison to the different pros and cons of each wall smart enough to know what fits our needs the best for me and iPad is a good tablet and it doesn't basically what I needed to and for others the Microsoft surface pro line suits their needs as well. Trust me we want to open a can of apples and Microsoft comparisons here. Just say they're equally respectable types of tablets based on their own individual merits the only reason I bring up the prior points in general are because a tablet should have a stand and not needing a case to provide such or solution is a very added and welcome bonus the people on a surface tablet. Myself I don't want to surface tablet but I will give them credit for that addition Reply
  • Meteor2 - Thursday, June 2, 2016 - link

    I'd like to see the Pro 4 in the charts where possible, please. They are aiming at similar users. I'd love to see the Dell 7275 tested though, as it looks (and feels, after using one for an hour) in many ways better than the MS Pro. Reply
  • blackcrayon - Monday, June 6, 2016 - link

    Why would you think a 9.7" iPad Pro is aiming at similar users as a Surface Pro 4? Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - link

    The word 'pro' is being used. Blame Apple. Reply
  • Tikcus9666 - Saturday, June 4, 2016 - link

    In the UK the ipad pro 9.7" with 128GB is priced only £100 less (or a few £, if you opt for cellular version) than the Surface Pro 4 entry level with m3, 4GB and 128GB.

    I think comparison is very valid, also for a "Pro" device, to be considered as a "Pro" device we need more than web benchmarks, and battery life..... until it runs photoshop, lightroom, muse, sony vegas to name a few, it aint replacing a PC for real Pro's
  • tipoo - Wednesday, June 1, 2016 - link

    I've been curious - it has less memory bandwidth than the 12.9", but not halved, despite half the pinout width and half the DRAM capacity. Does the chip reintroduce the L3 cache? That could explain it. Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Wednesday, June 1, 2016 - link

    No. It has half the memory bandwidth. CPU benchmarks just don't show the full effect. Reply

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