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CHROMiX ColorNews Issue #32 - Color On the iPhone

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Type: ColorNews
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C H R O M i X C O L O R N E W S

Issue # 32
August 25th, 2008


Table of Contents


1. CHROMiX News
2. Shows and Events
3. Color Industry News
4. Color on iPhone - an article by Steve Upton
5. CHROMiX Open Box items for sale
6. ColorNews Administration (feedback, subscriptions, etc.)



In our last issue, we announced and released Maxwell v1.0. Thanks so much for everyone's involvement in a successful launch!

We started selling Maxwell for a low monthly subscription price of $49 for 10 Tracks. However, we've had tremendous interest from larger customers asking to buy Maxwell for longer period increments.
So, starting August 1st, we now sell Maxwell for $539 for one year (the cost of 11 months, with the 12th month free).

As a reminder, a Track is any item (printer, paper, monitor, etc.) whose activity you want to monitor. Also, Notifiers within Maxwell alert you when the item associated with the Track falls outside of tolerances or fails to meet certain requirements.

For complete Maxwell product information, go to Click here. If you'd like to register for a free one month trial Track, email us at or call CHROMiX Sales at (866) CHROMiX ext 1. Find out for yourself how easy it is to use, and how much time it can save you!

IDEAlliance SWOP Industry Proofing Study Update:
Maxwell and IDEALink Verify software are facilitating the IDEAlliance SWOP Industry Proofing Study, as described in our last ColorNews. This free project is proceeding very successfully.The results will be announced at Spectrum 360 Conference September 17th & 18th in New Orleans. One benefit of the study is that participants will get an individualized Proofing Quality Report Card of how their proofing system stacks up against other study participants. They will also receive recognition at the Spectrum 360 Conference (see above Shows & Events section) and in The Proofing Industry 2008 Report. Finally, participants will receive a copy of the Proofing Industry 2008 Report. For more:

and a recording is available here: Click here

Other CHROMiX News:

PRICE MATCHING POLICY: Through the years, many people have purchased 3rd party color management products from CHROMiX because of the additional value that CHROMiX provides (pre-sales advice, post-sales help, support, and a fabulous sense of humor). In most cases, we've been able to price match (or come close) if asked. We never want price to be an issue when people want to buy from CHROMiX. In an effort to make this policy more visible, we've added a 'Price Matching Policy' starburst near the price for most 3rd party items for sale on our website. If you have any questions, call us toll free at (866) CHROMiX, ext 1.

In the last ColorNews issue, we mentioned a new monitor from EIZO, the CG222W. Well.... EIZO sent CHROMiX a unit to test. Our own Pat Herold did an internal review that we thought we would share with you. Although it's not a comprehensive formal review for publishing purposes, we thought you may still find value in it if you were considering the EIZO ColorEdge CG222W LCD monitor. Here is a link to the review: CG222W review


No more Monaco Optix XR Pros !!
When X-Rite first announced that they were ceasing production of this fabulous product, we immediately stocked up on them, so we could make them available to you long after production ended. Well, the time has come, and we are sorry to report that we have sold the last of them. We are now directing customers to two solutions we feel are worthy replacements. ColorEyes Display Pro uses the same DTP-94 sensor, but has an array of high-end functionalities the advanced user will appreciate. In our opinion, ColorEyes Display Pro is even better than the Optix XR Pro. The other solution is the Eye-One Display 2, which will fit most other users. The Eye-One Display 2 is considered the world's standard professional monitor calibration system. Below are links to both. Please call us if you would like to discuss your specific needs and requirements. Sales: Toll Free at (866) CHROMiX ext 1.

ColorEyes Display Pro ($319): CEDPro

Eye-One Display 2 ($219): eyeone display 2




September 4th - 6th, 2008 - Photoshop World Conference & Expo - Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, NV.

September 16th & 17th, 2008 - Extreme Color Management - New Orleans Marriott, New Orleans, LA. A first time, open industry event offering an array of educational sessions that provide comprehensive technical information and insights into the newest color management techniques and technologies plus admittance to the SPECTRUM Conference Keynote and a second day track designed to provide managers with information to help them make decisions regarding implementing color management techniques and technologies. Co-located with SPECTRUM and the G7(TM) Summit and G7(TM) Experts Re-certification Training. For more and to register:

September 17th & 18th, 2008 - Spectrum 360 Conference - New Orleans Marriott, New Orleans, LA.
Spectrum is an IDEAlliance initiated conference to provide a forum to explore and validate current and emerging technologies. Also occurring at Spectrum 360, IDEAlliance will release results information about the SWOP Industry Proofing Study. Those who participated in the study will receive special recognition for their contribution at Spectrum 360. (See details below in Industry News).

September 23rd - 28th, 2008 - Photokina - Koelnmesse Fairground in Cologne, Germany. Held only every 2 years, Photokina hosts more than 160,000 buyers and 1,600 exhibitors of photo equipment and imaging products. Products organized by category will be showcased in 12 halls. photokina

October 1st, 2008, Portland, OR, Oregonian Conference Room, the Pacific Northwest Color Management Users Group is proud to host popular author Mark Fitzgerald. Mark is the author of the Photoshop CS3 Restoration and Retouching Bible and the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Photoshop Workflow Bible. Mark is an Adobe Certified Expert and Instructor for Lightroom and Photoshop CS3, and is based in the Pacific Northwest. We are thrilled to finally have him share some his expertise especially for aspects of color management. The event registration starts at 6:30 and should go through 9:00 PM. For more information and to RSVP

October 26th - 29th, 2008, Graph Expo 08 - McCormick Place South Convention Center, Chicago, IL The most comprehensive prepress, printing, package printing, converting, mailing and fulfillment and digital equipment trade show in the Americas.

November 10, 2008, ICC DevCon '08 - The Benson Hotel, Portland, OR. Hosted by the ICC (International Color Consortium), DevCon (short for Developers Conference) brings hundreds of developers and high-end users of ICC based color management products together to learn the latest on proper implementation of ICC technology. This event is just following the Fall ICC meetings and a day before the IS&P Conference, also in Portland, OR. For more:

November 10th - 15th, 2008, IS&T Color Imaging Conference, The Benson Hotel, Portland, OR. Hosted by the IS&T (Society for Imaging Science and Technology), hear about the latest research in the areas of color theory, color in displays, edge-cutting printing technologies, and systems and workflows advances. This single track conference will also include the ever popular interactive session where attendees directly engage the presenters and decide which interactive paper will be awarded the coveted Cactus Award for Best Interactive Paper. There will also be a special program to honor contributions by Dr. Robert W.G. Hunt to the color imaging community on Friday, November 14th.

December 7th - 9th, 2008, PIA/GATF 2008 Color Management Conference, Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, Phoenix, AZ. Hosted by the PIA/GATF, as suggested by the name, the entire focus of this conference is Color Management. CHROMiX's Steve Upton, along with Dave Hunter and Dan Caldwell will be delivering a general session together looking back on the last 10 years of color management and forward to the next 10 years.

March 3-5, 2009, PMA 09 International Convention and Trade Show. Everything photography.
Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall, Las Vegas, NV


Color, Product & Industry News


In June 2008, X-Rite announced a new approach to optical brightener correction (OBC) for solving proof and print color matching challenges caused by optical brighteners. Optical Brightening Agents (OBAs) are increasingly used by paper mills and premium inkjet paper manufacturers to make a yellowish paper appear whiter and brighter. Until now, color measurement and management technologies have not been able to effectively compensate for the color variations caused by OBAs.
OBC technology is now included with new i1iSis measurement devices plus ProfileMaker and Monaco Profiler solutions. It is also available as a stand-alone ($300 US) if you have ProfileMaker or Monaco Profiler. Here's an interesting link to X-Rite's PDF explaining the problem and the solution:

and here is the Press Release drupapdf

In March 2007 at PMA, Hewlett Packard announced an exciting new concept in product development and manufacturing called DREAMCOLOR technology. HP DreamColor is a step toward a solution in which all devices involved in the capture, design, editing and printing process use sensor-based, closed-loop control systems for definitive color reproduction.
Two reference links:


Roll forward... just recently (at SIGGRAPH 2008) HP announced and showed one of the first fruits of the DreamColor initiative, the HP DreamColor LP2480zx 24" Professional LCD Display. The LP2480zx is touted as a color-critical LCD based on HP DreamColor Engine technology. It offers 30-bit LCD panel technology and a tri-color LED backlight. It has customizable seven color space presets for luminance, gamma, gamut, and white point. It also has analog, DVI-I, Display Port 1.1, HDMI 1.3, component, S-video, composite inputs, HDCP support for protected content, and an integrated USB hub. Impressive. List price is $3499 with an expected street price of ~$3299. CHROMiX will be acquiring a LP2480zx for testing and will provide a review for the public of our results. It's likely this model will live up to it's advertised performance, so CHROMiX will probably also carry the LP2480zx LCD when it becomes available. Specification information:
HP dreamcolor

Finally, regarding the HP DreamColor LP2480zx, there was a show floor special at SIGGRAPH that CHROMiX *may* be able to acquire postmortem and then extend to CHROMiX customers for $2299. We are compiling a list for a one-time bulk order. If you are interested in purchasing an LP2480z at $2299, please send an email of your intentions and quantity desired to

Lenovo (the company who picked up the ThinkPad from IBM) has announced a new PC laptop that boasts an integrated X-Rite monitor calibrator, an embedded Wacom tablet and much more. The ThinkPad W700 is targeted at professional photographers and is expected to range from $2949 to about $6000. It's supposed to be available September 2, 2008. Here is a link to a great review by Rob Galbraith:


Other Tidbits - (4)

Problem Printing in Mac Leopard:
Our Pat Herold has uncovered an occasional but annoying problem printing and using color management in Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard).

This applies only to those on a Mac computer printing through Photoshop to an Epson printer using an Epson driver. We have found the same issues mentioned in Issue #29 of ColorNews are still happening with Leopard. For more information:

NASA makes use of color targets:

These new versions of Web Applications include or support color management:

Flash v10: Color management is implemented using an ActionScript when the Flash content is created.

> Firefox v3: To enable color management, just set gfx.color_management.enabled to true and restart Firefox. Details at:

Safari v3.1.X: Safari has had color management capability for a while, here's one post about the latest:

And Finally....

Mark Fairchild of RIT has completed an interesting project available to the public that compiles GPS, colorimetric and photographic data of the American West (including Yellowstone). If you're into color science, we thought you would find this interesting and useful. Thanks to Roger Breton for pointing it out.

This Month's Feature Article:

Color on iPhone

by CHROMiX's Steve Upton


Color on iPhone

The iPhone has been out for over a year now and I'm surprised how long it took us to come around to writing an article about its color handling abilities (or lack thereof).

From the outset, Apple has told us that the iPhone runs Max OS X and, while it has many unnecessary pieces removed, it is essentially the same core code that we enjoy on our desktop computers. Days after its initial release I hurried over to our local Apple store and iPhone-surfed over to the ICC's profile evaluation page to see if ColorSync was something that Apple decided to leave in or take out. It was immediately evident that Mobile Safari, the iPhone's version of the desktop web browser, did not support color managing images. The desktop version does.

Fast forward to today. The iPhone is on its second generation in both hardware and software. It seems like we cannot put off a comprehensive evaluation of color on this new platform any longer. We have been experimenting with the iPhone for quite some time now. So here it is.

What to manage?
We can't evaluate the iPhone without first enumerating the components that *might* be color managed. And while we're at it, let's cover what we mean by color management.

Color Management, constrained to the iPhone's mobile platform, would consist of the following features:

Capture - images snapped with the iPhone's internal camera would either have an embedded ICC profile OR EXIF tags configured to correctly describe the color space in which they reside.

Display - images (and possibly other elements) which contain ICC profiles will be converted to, presumably, a canned ICC profile which describes the iPhone's screen.

Conduit - images which pass through the iPhone will not have their color management information stripped off or altered so they may be forwarded to other systems intact.

Printing and proofing functions are outside the scope of the iPhone's functions (at least at this time) so we don't expect these features to exist yet.

How did the iPhone do? It's fair to say that color management does not exist on the iPhone in any but the most basic form...more on that below.

I also need to say here that I didn't expect the iPhone to have any color management capabilities, nor do I think it is essential to the success of the platform. I like my iPhone very much, thank you, and we are providing this review as an informative overview for those color geeks who want to know what's going on under the hood.

iPhone 1.x, 2.x

For the record, the iPhone we tested was a 1st generation phone updated to OS version 2.0.1. We were able to perform some tests on photos from the previous 1.x OS version. We have seen no evidence that there are any color differences between the two OS versions.

The applications and functions we tested include:
- Mobile Safari
- iPhone's photo browser
- Wallpaper
- Mail - image viewing
- Mail - PDF viewing
- iPod cover art

Let's break this down by the functions listed above:

Capture - Images snapped with the iPhone's internal camera are NOT tagged with an ICC profile NOR do they contain any EXIF data. We didn't expect to see an ICC profile but we assumed there would be some EXIF data. The lack of EXIF data is not necessarily a problem as EXIF can only contain references to the sRGB or Adobe RGB color spaces and I expect neither of those represent the space of captured images. Interestingly iPhoto gets involved in the process when images are transferred from the phone. More on that below.

Display - The only way to get images onto the phone with embedded ICC profiles intact is over the web through Safari or emailing them. In both cases, the iPhone ignores the embedded profile(s) in image *and* PDF files. Transferring images via iPhoto or as cover art with music files results in stripped profiles. Again, iPhoto/iTunes gets involved (see below)

Conduit - Images & PDFs which are emailed to the phone and then email-forwarded to another account arrive with their embedded color information intact. With the iPhone 2.x upgrade came the ability to tap a picture and then add it to the images in the phone. The image is stripped of its ICC profile, resampled, and dropped into the "camera roll" list as if the iPhone's camera itself had taken the picture. The stripping of profiles and resampling of the image is somewhat destructive though. I wouldn't recommend it for anything other than the most basic snaps.

iPhoto / iTunes

We would be remiss if we didn't mention the role that the desktop applications iPhoto/iTunes play in transferring images to and from the iPhone.

First, when photos are transferred TO the iPhone through the iTunes syncing process, they are converted to an unknown color space prior to transfer. This has led some to believe that the iPhone is performing color management when test images in different color spaces (and with correctly embedded profiles) end up looking the same on the phone. Instead, all images are converted to the same space prior to transfer and, therefore, they look the same. Sometimes this process of converting all images to the same space is referred to as "normalizing" the images.

Second, images transferred FROM the phone to your computer via iPhoto/iTunes undergo a somewhat mysterious conversion and end up with the computer's system profile embedded in them. They also gain EXIF data in the process, though the color space itself is listed as "untagged". When I tried to replicate the conversion process (Generic RGB to my monitor profile, & others) I was unable to determine which profile is used to represent the iPhone's source color space.

Basically, Apple has chosen to offload much of the image processing to the desktop machine and pre/post-process images in iPhoto / iTunes instead. Overall, this makes sense though it is a bit mysterious as to which profile is used when converting to and from the iPhone's images. Also, now that the iPhone has the ability to directly email iPhone-captured images or upload them to websites* AND grab images emailed to the phone for other uses, there are ways of bypassing the desktop-sync process. This leads to inconsistent results and end user confusion. *(uploading images directly to web sites is available in some 3rd party iPhone apps)

An example of this is when an image is captured with the iPhone's camera. If emailed to my desktop it arrives without any EXIF data (so none of the new GPS information is available) and without any profile. If synced to my desktop and exported from iPhoto, it contains EXIF fields including GPS data, etc AND an embedded ICC profile - that of my desktop monitor. As a result, these images look a bit different in various applications such as Preview.

Also, iPhoto is part of Apple's iLife bundle, which is only available on the Mac. I assume that iTunes for Windows performs similar functions but was not able to test it in time for this review.

The iPhone's Display

The iPhone's LCD 3.5 inch display is 480x320 pixels at a remarkable 163 ppi. From a color standpoint I would call it hot and blue. By hot I mean that at maximum brightness it puts out 375 cd/m2 which rivals the brightest desktop displays. Granted, it's easier to obtain that brightness over 38 cm2 than the 1420 cm2 of a 21" desktop display. Also, the Auto-Brightness setting tends to keep the output down to a less scalding 33-50% overall. In our testing I was pleased to see that the white point of the display is fairly consistent over the wide range of brightness levels. At maximum brightness, the white color temperature was measured at 7855K; a very blue version of white. The white point ranged between 7680K-7960K for brightness settings between maximum and minimum, which is pretty good for varying brightness so much on this type of display. Also, though the white point of the iPhone never struck me as blue prior to this testing, in visual comparison with other displays it's a bit bluer than our 6500K EIZO display, but not objectionably.

We subjected our iPhone to a battery of measurements, and also constructed an ICC profile which is available for download from our Maxwell online color system. (more below)

The gamut of the display, as calculated using ColorThink Pro, is a respectable 576,800 which is larger than an LED MacBook Pro display's 537,500, and smaller than an EIZO CG-series display's 828,000 and sRGB's 832,000. For a hand-held device (I have trouble calling it simply a phone) it's a gamut capable of displaying a good range of natural and custom(brand) colors.

The iPhone display's gamma is 1.8, which is to be expected from Apple. The rest of the world is calibrating to 2.2 but Apple remains firmly entrenched in 1.8. THAT argument will have to be left for another article.

How to manage color with the iPhone
I expect this section to be relevant mostly to website and application designers, but anyone wanting to maximize the color fidelity of images sent to the iPhone can use these techniques.

Creating color FOR the iPhone:

Download and install the iPhone profile directly from our Maxwell online color system:

Preparing Images

When preparing images for use on the iPhone - whether they are interface components, photographs or other graphics(buttons & such), convert to the iPhone profile with the relative colorimetric intent. Then save the file without an embedded profile. We recommend saving all converted images in a separate area on your hard disk or perhaps including a note in their name about their color space. Images without profiles can create confusion, so be careful. You may want to create a Photoshop action to save time converting images.

Preparing Custom Palette Colors

To determine the best RGB combinations for iPhone interface elements or other artwork, follow these steps:

- Create a new RGB document or open an existing RGB file,
- Set the document's profile to the iPhone ICC profile using Edit:Assign Profile,
- Open Photoshop's color picker,
- Click on "Color Libraries",
- Select your color in the Pantone or other libraries supplied with Photoshop. (If you have Lab values for your colors you can enter them directly into the color picker dialog.)
- Click on "Picker" to return to the normal Photoshop color picker dialog. Photoshop will have calculated the RGB color values for the iPhone.
- Make a note of either the decimal RGB values or the hexadecimal values depending on your requirements.

You will now have custom colors formulated specifically for the iPhone.

Handling color FROM the iPhone:

For images that have been emailed from the iPhone or uploaded directly to a website (and then transferred to your desktop):

- Open image into Photoshop,
- Assign iPhone ICC profile,
- Save image to disk, embedding the profile.

The image can now be used in your color-managed workflow.

In Summary
The iPhone is a remarkable achievement in software and hardware engineering. So much has been written about using it, touching it, controlling it. It's about time we knew what to do so our creations look good ON it.

I hope you have found this article informative. If you have further questions or want to engage in other color discussions, we recommend you visit It's a great place to get answers and exchange ideas about color and color management.

Thanks for reading,

Steve Upton

There is much more information on these subjects in our ColorNews archives in previous articles and color management myths, so check out the Reserved Articles section of for more information.


ColorNews Administration (feedback, subscriptions, etc.)

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Entire Contents of CHROMiX ColorNews (c)2008 CHROMiX, Inc. CHROMiX, Maxwell, ColorThink, ColorNews, ColorSmarts, ColorGear, ColorForums and are trademarks of CHROMiX Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. CHROMiX ColorNews is intended as an informative update to CHROMiX customers and business associates. We are not responsible for errors or omissions.