Tag Archives: iPad

Xrite ColorTRUE Review

ColorTRUE iconWhile on Apple’s App Store recently, I happened to notice Xrite’s ColorTRUE app. It promises to bring color management to your iOS device assuming you have a recent Xrite device such as:

  • ColorMunki Smile
  • ColorMunki Display
  • i1 Display Pro
  • i1 Pro 2

Fortunately, the Professional Photography Dept. at Langara College had purchased an i1 Pro 2 earlier in the year so I was in luck.

The setup is remarkably simple. Connect the device to the computer you normally use it with. Ensure it is on the same WiFi network as your iOS device. For my test I used an iPad Air. The larger gamut of the Air compared to the Mini should be noted if you’re a photographer.

When I started the ColorTRUE app on the iPad Air, it automatically went out and looked for the computer with the i1 Pro 2 attached. Connecting was simple and quick. Next, you need to calibrate the i1 Pro 2. After placing it on the calibration plate, a push of the button on the device started the calibration process.

The app flashes white, then red, until you place the device on the iPad’s screen. It auto detects the device when it’s in place and starts reading the patches the app presents on-screen. Total time was roughly three minutes. It looks similar to a monitor calibration sequence with a series of red, green and blue patches followed by several shades of grey.

ColorTRUE screenshot
The ring of circles surrounding the large red circle in the screeshot above shows the number of patches being read.

Once all the readings are taken, the brightness is adjusted and the profile is saved to Xrite’s server for use by the iPad being profiled. To get the benefit of the app, you need to view images from the Camera Roll on the iPad. The ColorTRUE app gives you options to view the image calibrated vs. uncalibrated, change the RGB profile (sRGB, Adobe RGB, and Pro Photo RGB) and adjust the white point.

The ColorTRUE page on Xrite’s website mentions that any ColorTRUE aware app will make use of the profile so that more accurate color can be obtained. The reality is that other than images on your Camera Roll or those being viewed in the Camranger app will not get the benefit of the profile you just created. Xrite has made an SDK available to developers. Whether the photographic community petitions the developers of their favorite apps to incorporate the ColorTRUE technology remains to be seen.

Evaluating a couple images left me with the impression that the app has a certain degree of usefulness in particular applications. If you can conveniently transfer your images into the Camera Roll (if they’re not already present) and you are in an environment with relatively controlled lighting, then the slightly improved rendering will be of interest. Should you have images that are in either Adobe RGB or Pro Photo RGB color space, then this app will allow you to see correct color rendering. You are also able to apply a print simulation. This will be of interest for those photographers creating images destined for a printing press. It does not include profiles for inkjet printers.

The ColorTRUE app is one of those bonus add-ons that adds to the value of an existing purchase. It wouldn’t motivate me to purchase a new colorimeter or spectrophotometer, however it will be useful from time to time in my workflow. I’m hoping the developer of the ShutterSnitch app chooses to incorporate the ColorTRUE technology.