What Is True Tone on iPhone? Your Guide to a More Natural Viewing Experience

Have you ever observed how the colors on the display of your iPhone appear to change subtly in response to the surrounding lighting? True Tone in action, indeed. Automatically adjusting the screen's white balance to correspond with the surrounding light, this cutting-edge functionality is present on most modern iPhones. 

Consequently, the viewing experience becomes more natural and comfortable, thereby mitigating eye strain and enhancing the accuracy of color reproduction across diverse environments.

This article explores the subject of the iPhone True Tone. We will examine its nature, advantages, comparative analysis with Night Shift, and suitability for all individuals. A step-by-step guide to activating or deactivating True Tone on your iPhone will also be included.

What is True Tone on iPhone?

iPhone users can benefit from the sophisticated multi-spectral sensors that True Tone incorporates. Color temperature, denoting the "warmth" or "coolness" of the light source, is detected by these sensors in the surrounding environment. Cooler light, such as daylight or fluorescent bulbs, has a bluer hue, whereas warmer light, such as incandescent bulbs, has a redder tinge.

By analyzing this data, True Tone dynamically modifies the white balance of the display on your iPhone to correspond with the lighting conditions in your surroundings. This causes the screen to appear marginally warmer in warm lighting conditions and more relaxed in chilly lighting conditions.

The continual adjustment guarantees that the colors exhibited on the iPhone display remain consistent and precise, irrespective of the illumination conditions. To illustrate, in the absence of a yellowish or bluish cast, a white background will exhibit an authentic white appearance when light from both warm and cold sources.

Benefits of True Tone on iPhones

True Tone provides various benefits that improve how you interact with your iPhone. Here is a complete analysis of its main advantages:

Improved Color Accuracy Across Lighting Conditions

True Tone goes beyond merely making the display seem good. It actively works for color integrity, ensuring that the colors on your iPhone screen closely resemble their real-world equivalents. 

This is accomplished by analyzing the ambient light's color temperature and altering the display's white balance accordingly. True Tone reduces color casts that can misrepresent genuine colors, whether you're perusing images taken outdoors in bright sunlight or altering graphics in warm interior lighting. This fidelity is especially useful for:

  • Photographers and graphic designers: Accurate color representation ensures their work looks good on other devices. True Tone enables them to edit photographs and graphics confidently, knowing that the colors on their iPhone screen accurately represent reality.
  • Content creators: True Tone's realistic colors aid social media, presentation, and other visual content providers. It ensures that the colors in their films, photos, and designs are accurately presented across various devices with varying screens.
  • General users: True Tone's true colors make browsing the web, reading emails, and watching social media information feel more natural and pleasant.

Reduced Eye Strain During Extended Viewing Sessions

Many modern displays, particularly smartphones, emit large amounts of blue light. While blue light helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle, extended exposure can lead to eye strain and weariness, particularly at night. 

True Tone's ability to modify the display's white balance is critical in resolving this issue. True Tone provides a more balanced and comfortable viewing experience by gradually lowering the amount of blue light under warmer lighting settings. This is very good for:

  • People who spend much time using their iPhones: If your profession or lifestyle requires a lot of screen time, True Tone can help alleviate eye fatigue and pain. This is especially true while reading ebooks, visiting websites, or utilizing social media before bedtime.
  • Individuals with sensitive eyes: True Tone can relieve people with pre-existing eye issues or more sensitive to blue light. Decreasing blue light intensity can significantly reduce eye strain and make using your iPhone more comfortable.

A More Natural Viewing Experience That Simulates Real-World Color Perception

Our perception of color is not static; it changes depending on the lighting circumstances around us. For example, a white piece of paper appears brighter and cooler under the midday sun than it does under incandescent lighting. 

True Tone replicates this natural phenomenon by matching the display's white balance to the surrounding light. This results in a more realistic and comfortable viewing experience corresponding to how we perceive colors in the real world. This benefit is especially valued by:

  • People who seek a natural aesthetic: True Tone's ability to simulate natural color shifts makes for a more appealing and realistic viewing experience for users who enjoy a natural aesthetic.
  • Artists and Designers: True Tone, which adjusts the display's color temperature gently, gives artists and designers a better feel of how their work will appear in varied lighting circumstances.

In addition to these significant advantages, True Tone can also:

  • Improve Sleep Quality: According to studies, exposure to blue light before bedtime can reduce melatonin production, a hormone that governs sleep. True Tone, by minimizing blue light emission under warm lighting, can improve sleep quality, particularly for individuals who use iPhones before bed.
  • Reduce Screen weariness: Combining reduced eye strain with a more natural viewing experience can reduce screen weariness. This allows you to use your iPhone for extended periods without feeling uncomfortable.

True Tone vs. Night Shift

While both True Tone and Night Shift aim to improve your iPhone's viewing experience, they achieve this differently. Here's a breakdown of their fundamental differences:

  • Focus: True Tone focuses on adjusting the white balance of the entire display to match the ambient light. Night Shift, on the other hand, primarily aims to reduce blue light emission from the screen.
  • Color Adjustment: True Tone subtly adjusts the display's white balance, maintaining a natural color spectrum. Night Shift applies a visible yellow tint to the screen, making it appear warmer.
  • Use Case: True Tone is ideal for everyday use in various lighting conditions to ensure color accuracy and reduce eye strain. Night Shift is best suited for low-light environments before bedtime, as the reduced blue light emission can promote better sleep.

Is True Tone for Everyone?

True Tone offers significant benefits for most users. However, there are a few situations where you might prefer to disable it:

  • Professional Color Work: If you're a professional photographer or graphic designer who relies on precise color calibration on your iPhone display, you might want to turn off True Tone for tasks where absolute color accuracy is paramount. Using a calibrated external display for critical color work is recommended in such cases.
  • Personal Preference: Some users prefer a cooler or warmer display tone. True Tone can be disabled to achieve the desired display temperature based on individual preference.

Turning True Tone On and Off

Enabling or disabling True Tone is a simple process:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Display & Brightness.
  3. Locate the True Tone toggle.
  4. Slide the toggle to the ON position to enable True Tone or to the OFF position to disable it.


On iPhones, True Tone is a valuable feature. Through the dynamic adjustment of the display's white balance, these benefits are realized: improved color accuracy, decreased eye strain, and a more natural viewing experience. 

Although not universally crucial in all circumstances, True Tone substantially benefits most users. Therefore, the next time you use your iPhone, evaluate whether or not enabling True Tone improves your viewing experience.