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Not very impressed with this new update.
There’s some huge differences under the hood. If nothing else, it adds colour management support that is now better than iOS. I’d go as far as saying Android now has the best colour management of any OS.
My opinion is based on the technical details of how the various operating systems work. iOS and macOS are good, but I prefer Android’s approach.
Android Oreo uses 16bit float per channel sRGB extended buffers for render compositing. A fixed depth and colour space is more efficient in terms of when conversions take place, and how many conversions are needed. That also means it is less prone to clipping and rounding errors that can occur with colour space conversations.
iOS and macOS take a different approach. They allow for buffers to be tagged with any colour space, and the buffers are converted as required when doing the window manager compositing. Also, the window manager composting on iOS is 8bit int per channel, so wide gamut iOS devices can have more prominent gradient banding in low frequency image areas. macOS’ window manager is 8bit int per channel or 16bit int per channel (Apple’s wide gamut devices, like the 5K iMacs and newer MacBook Pros use deeper buffers).
Would you take some time to explain this in terms the rest of us can understand?
I started getting curious about colour management when I switched to the new MB Pro and noticed Sketch doesn't have colour management at all (luckily I don't use it), and I'd be interested to know how it works.
I can. Colour management is a pretty big and complex topic though. Is there anything specific you’d like info on?
Thank you, what I'm looking for is an introduction to what colour management is (how it works) and what role design software has in it.
I am working on some articles on the topic right now.
Probably the simplest explanation I can give is: Colour management means colours are defined within a colour space. It helps different devices attempt to represent the same apparent colour, even if the values used on those devices are different.
A colour with a colour space (“#ff0000 in sRGB”) means it can be mapped to a precise location in the visible spectrum.
A colour without a colour space (“#ff0000”) doesn’t have much meaning. It’s probably a bright red, but we can’t really know unless we also know the colour space it is defined in.
I hope that makes some sense.
to my knowledge, a monitor has 3 LEDs for each pixel, one for red, one for green and one for blue, and depending on the intensity at which each of them shines, you get a specific colour.
Where do the differences come from? What other factors are there in the way displays render colours?
You can definitely consider each pixel to be three little lights. There’s many subpixel patterns used in displays, so they’re not all red, green and blue elements alongside each other.
LCD displays (branded as IPS, TN and “LED” for related tech) have a white backlight with filters to block the light, so each pixel doesn’t generate light, it blocks the light behind it. OLED is closer to your description, where each element produces light (organic light emitting diode).
There’s many reasons why there’s differences between displays. Maybe the best way to explain it is with light bulbs. If you bought lots of different kinds of white light bulbs, they’d all look a bit different. This would be especially true if you the bulbs were based on different tech — LED, compact fluorescent, tungsten. They’d have different maximum brightnesses, some would be more orange, some would be bluer. And, if you attached them to a dimmer, they would have different characteristics as you changed the dimmer’s position.
That’s not a perfect analogy, but should help demonstrate that different displays have different abilities.
Colour management is an attempt to get the same actual colour to appear across many displays, despite the differences in the displays.
That is helpful, thank you for taking the time to explain this.
Not a problem at all!
The articles will be published here, when they’re done: https://bjango.com/articles/
How is this effect by all the different screens that android phones use?
Android Oreo’s colour management should help ensure consistency across the wide range of displays and display tech used on Android phones. Ultimately it’s up to the manufacturers to calibrate their devices well, but at least they have the tools they need to do that.
Will this allow apps to skew colours on particular devices to get true tone/colours? Like less vivid reds on samsung devices?
Yep, it should, but it really does come down to the manufacturers correctly calibrating their devices. Right now, they seem to be intentionally choosing brighter and richer colours over making their displays more accurate, similar to how most TVs are badly set up by default.
As far as day to day use, colour management isn't on the top of my list. But I guess it's important to some people.
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