Android Oreo Lets Apps Specify Screen Calibration Mode
After the OnePlus 3 debacle which led to pitchforks raised and demands for an sRGB display profile, we’ve seen more and more arguments on our forums as to why sRGB is a superior display mode, or why it should always be included. Nearly all of these arguments come down to one thing- colour accuracy. Other devices have had sRGB for a couple of years now, namely Samsung devices such as the Galaxy S7.
If you are a photographer or designer, sRGB is probably extremely important to you. It’s important that your display accurately represents the actual colours of the image you are working with, and Google knows this too. If colours are inaccurate, an image which looks amazing to you may look awful to a friend on another device with a different screen calibration. With one of the most recent additions to SDK26, Google has introduced a “colorMode” flag for applications, in the hopes to combat this problem.
Apps can request a colour calibration if the device can support it according to this addition.
Many devices support a number of colour calibrations. The OnePlus 5 supports their calibration, sRGB and DCI-P3. With this addition, even if your OnePlus 5 is using DCI-P3, a Gallery application, for example, could request a different screen calibration, such as the sRGB colour space. This means that applications which rely on their colour being represented accurately can now request the correct colour space they need when they run. This parameter for applications only exists in SDK26 however, so applications only built for Android Oreo can request this. This means we may not really see this in use or widely adopted in mainstream apps for a number of years. Maybe phones launching with Android Oreo may add such a parameter to their built-in Gallery apps.
For now, it’s good to see that Google is yet again adding small improvements to the OS. I personally enjoy the saturated colours on my OnePlus 3 but I do switch to sRGB when I am taking photos. This could mean a flag enabled in a camera app could automatically switch my screen to sRGB when taking photographs, then go back to default when I leave the app. This addition is ideal for me and I assume many others.