Trying to display color corrected images on an iPad
A couple of weeks ago i bought the Spyder4Elite so I could color calibrate my Retina MacBook Pro 15“ and my Asus PA246 24” monitor. And the calibration works really well.
There is no way of color calibrate your iPad, because Apple has not given developers the ability to create or change the calibration of the screen. But Datacolor, the makers of the Spyder4 line of calibrators has solved the problem by making an app that connects to your Mac via your network and use the calibrator to calibrate their app called SpyderGallery. This enables you to see calibrated versions of your pictures inside the viewer. But the calibrated data only works in the SpyderGallery app.
After downloading SpyderGallery from the AppStore, you can have a link for the accompanying Mac application sent to you via email. Unfortunately the link doesn’t work and gives you a server error 500. After searching using Google, I found the software and tried to install it on my Mac. It uses the horrible Vise X installer software and immediately complains that you don’t have enough permission to install the application in your Applications folder. The workaround is set the destination to the base directory of an attached drive and then move it to the Application folder manually. This is an annoying bug that doesn’t give much confidence in the product.
After that you can start calibrating your iPad and the data is sent from your Mac (that has the calibrator connected to it) to you iPad.
The iPad cycles through a couple of colors like red, green, blue and different shades of gray, just as it does when calibrating on your Mac, but it seems to not do an as exhausting test as it does when calibrating a monitor connected to the computer. Maybe that’s why the result is pretty appalling. After comparing images that looks great when viewing them using the uncalibrated view setting, the images turns into a red tinted image with obvious banding in the highlight. The worst example is a test on a black and white picture. Uncalibrated it looks good, but as soon as you turn on the calibrated view you now have a banded red colored image. So the application is effectively unusable. I’ve tried to do recalibrations with the lights turned off just to make sure that no stray light enters the hardware calibrator. But it still gives appalling results.
Thankfully the Mac monitor calibration works very well and I’m very happy with the Spyder4Elite, but it’s unfortunate that they’ve released such a poor application for the iPad. Maybe this is a problem with the API for iOS devices, but then why release an inferior product at all?
I have deleted the SpyderGallery from my iPad because frankly it’s unusable in its current form. This is unfortunate because the iPad is a great device to display images on. Hopefully they’ll fix this and makes it usable.