What is True Tone on iPhone?

True Tone uses sensors in your iPhone to auto-adjust the display’s color temperature. Based on your ambient lighting, it’ll regulate the display to a warmer or cooler hue, resulting in a more natural viewing experience. It is on by default, but you can also turn it off to keep the display intensity unchanged across all environments.

Hi, I’m Devansh. Since my screen time has been increasing over the last few months, I’ve enabled True Tone for lower eye strain. In this article, I’ll first describe the ins and outs of True Tone to you, how to disable it and answer some common questions.

If you’re wondering what True Tone is, what it does, and how it affects your iPhone, keep reading!

The Magic of True Tone

Introduced in 2016 with the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, this is how Apple first described True Tone:

 “The 9.7-inch iPad Pro features advanced display technologies, including a True Tone display, which uses new four-channel sensors to dynamically adjust the white balance of the display to match the light around you for a more natural and accurate, paper-white viewing experience.”

I think that sums it up: it makes the display feel more natural and genuine rather than a collection of tiny pixels. Apple introduced True Tone to the iPhone lineup in the eighth model, but you can find a complete list of supported models here. If you want to disable it, here’s how.

Method 1: Open Settings, scroll to Display & Brightness, and toggle off True Tone.

Method 2: Open Control Center (swipe down from the top-right corner of the display, or swipe up from the bottom edge on an iPhone 8), touch and hold the brightness slider, and when the slider enlarges, deselect True Tone.

When should you disable True Tone? When you want to experience the full color of content without any filters, like when you’re watching a movie or browsing through a photo album, you could turn it off temporarily. 

Other than that, in any normal use case—checking emails, reading eBooks, or scrolling through social media—I recommend leaving it on.


Here are some questions regarding True Tone on iPhone.

Does True Tone Adjust Display Brightness?

No, True Tone only adjusts the color temperature and intensity. For brightness, there’s a separate feature called auto-brightness. Switched on by default, just like True Tone, it lowers brightness when you’re in the dark and increases it in bright environments.

Since dimming the screen extends battery life, this might allow you to use your iPhone for longer too. It’s also good for your eye health. If you want to disable it, open Settings, Accessibility, and Display & Text Size. Here, scroll down and toggle off Auto-Brightness.

How is Night Shift Different from True Tone?

Night Shift uses your iPhone’s clock and geolocation to adjust the color temperature to be warmer toward the end of the day. This minimizes exposure to blue light which can interfere with your circadian rhythm. You can adjust all related settings, like color temperature and schedule, by visiting Settings, Display & Brightness, and Night Shift.

If you use your iPhone to read or watch videos at night, I recommend enabling Night Shift. It’ll minimize eye strain and ensure you don’t disturb your sleep schedule.

How to Enable True Tone on Mac, Studio Display, and Pro Display XDR?

Open System Preferences, click on the Displays icon and then click on the checkbox next to True Tone. If you’re using an external display, click Display Settings and select the display. If you have a MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar, it’ll also be enabled on it in addition to the Retina display!


True Tone is exactly what it sounds like: it makes the display more true and natural. It doesn’t significantly affect battery life or device performance by itself, but it helps lower eye strain and make your user experience feel more natural.

In my opinion, you should leave it on for most of your iPhone usage; only turn it off when you’re doing color-sensitive work like watching a movie, browsing through a family photo album, or editing a video.

How often do you enable True Tone on your iPhone? Please share with me in the comments!

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