Whoops! A rumor that iOS 12 wrecks screen calibration on iPhones with OLED screens — no idea personally if true

First reports indicate a screen calibration problem after iOS 12 is installed on iPhones that have OLED screens (iPhone X and later models), but not on iPhone 8s and before which have LCD screens instead). The most up-to-date information for the moment will probably be found on Twitter and news stories reported there.


Apple iOS 12 Has A Serious Problem

iOS 12 is crucial for Apple AAPL -1.08%. It focuses on performance and stability after numerous high profile problems undermined the credibility of both in recent years. In my iOS 12 Upgrade Guide, I said Apple mostly succeeded (and threw in some great secret features), but warned users to wait a week in case any problems arose. I hope you did…

Spotted by DPreview, a large number of iPhone owners (particularly iPhone X) have reported iOS 12 significantly degrades the quality of their displays. Specifically poor contrast levels, unbalanced colours and overexposed black levels. And this has a dangerous side effect.

Apple iOS 12APPLE

Complaints about this are spreading fast across with notable hubs on Reddit and the popular MacRumors forum, as well as numerous tweets on Twitter. As one user explained:

“The OLED panel on the iPhone X had such wonderful colours and contrast on iOS 11. After the iOS 12 update, the colours and the contrast have been ruined on my iPhone X”

While some of the responses are understandably angry, frustrated and even conspiratorial, the general consensus is summed up by MacRumors forum member ‘magicschoolbus’ who said when you look at an iPhone display running iOS 12 “It just does not look [to be] calibrated correctly.”


And, as Pixel 2XL users will know, poor calibration has a very nasty side effect on your photos.

As most of us select, discard and edit photos on the phone where we took them, poor calibration can mean good shots are deleted and colours are tweaked in a way which ruins the shot when you see it on another screen. This can be embarrassing if you post to social media, or heartbreaking if it was an important shot.

Interestingly, some users are pointing out this problem existed in the iOS 12 betas (1,2), so for it not to be fixed before the final version was rolled-out to millions of devices (there were a record-breaking 12 betas) is very strange.

iPhone X has one of the best displays on the market, but not after upgrading to iOS 12…APPLE

Fixes? None as yet. Some users have found the problem was made worse by a separate bug in iOS 12 which automatically turns on enhanced contrast in the Accessibility settings, an option designed for people with poor eyesight (Settings > Accessibility > Contrast). But this hasn’t happened in most cases.

So what should you do?

If you haven’t upgraded, sit tight. Historically Apple rolls out a minor point update (eg iOS 12.0.1) within a few weeks of generational releases. If you have already upgraded, however, my tip is to be very careful when you edit or evaluate photos on your iPhone and use a different display, if possible.

All of which is a shame, because iOS 12 does bring genuinely impressive performance improvements and overall system stability is solid. But this problem is a biggie and Apple needs to roll-out a fix ASAP…

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