Sunday, September 23, 2012

iPad color management

When working with drawing and painting applications on the iPad, I have noticed that the colors sometimes appear different when I transfer the files to my iMac– they look more saturated or the color balance is inaccurate. I noticed that the files don't contain embedded color profiles and I wondered if I had overlooked a setting within the app or the iPad itself.

With some research I found  a statement from an Adobe Ideas engineer verified what I had suspected- that the iPad doesn't support color management. Frank Stokes-Guinan states that:

"Adobe Ideas currently does not do any color management. This is mainly because there is currently little support in iOS for retrieving or using color profiles when rendering colors to the screen. As such, only raw RGB values are used in the app and stored in the Ideas file. When brought into the desktop apps, those raw RGB values are  reinterpreted based on the default RGB color profile for the app."

He also suggests setting the default RGB color profile in Illustrator to sRGB, but I have found that I still have to adjust the colors. If iOS doesn't support color management then this will be a problem for all drawing and design applications on the ipad. While it's not too difficult to make these color corrections, I hope that color management will be implemented in future versions of iOS.

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