SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Google has whipped up a bit of a storm by changing the default colour temperature in its Android 2.3.3 update to Nexus S smartphones.
Google started delivering Android 2.3.3, the latest version of Gingerbread, to Nexus S devices last week and it didn't take long for users to notice that the colour reproduction on their devices had changed. And they weren't wrong, with Google admitting that it had changed the colour temperature in order to "more accurately reflect darker colours at all brightness levels".
Apparently responding to testing feedback, Google lowered the colour temperature as users were claiming that greys were displaying "a reddish tone". The problem was made worse, said Google, because the Gingerbread user interface is darker. Judging by feedback on its forums, Nexus S users are now complaining that images appear washed out and seem to have a yellow tint.
Colour temperature is a major problem for those who work in the imaging industry and Google seems to have been caught out by the popularity of warmer display settings. These settings typically include higher colour temperature and increased colour saturation, which give a sense of warmth but might not be an accurate representation of colour, as anyone who has calibrated their PC monitor might know.
However if Google has indeed lowered the colour temperature, it is surprising to see users complain about a yellow tint to pictures. Lowering the colour temperature usually means a paler picture that appears to have a blue tint.
Google might bow to popular pressure and resort back to a higher colour temperature in future versions of Android. After all, most PC monitor manufacturers produce glossy screens simply because the majority of punters believe, albeit incorrectly, that colours are more vibrant looking on them. µ