After trying Vivid on my 14-inch MacBook Pro (2021), which allows for full HDR screen brightness in addition to Apple’s settings, the developers brought this to the iPhone, but as a web browser.
While you can easily enable this brightness setting on macOS, there are restrictions on the iPhone due to the way the App Store allows what features certain apps can use, so you can’t use Vivid on all iOS.
Instead, this version is only accessible through a web browser that its two developers, Jordan Bruin (opens in new tab)and Ben Harraway (opens in new tab) emerged. This takes advantage of the shine that the Super Retina Display and Super XDR Retina Display (opens in new tab) has on an iPhone X and above, but the two developers claim that there is no risk of damaging your device through Vivid.
While the app must be released together with version two of Vivid (opens in new tab) on macOS over the next few days we tested the web browser to see how it worked alongside asking Bruin and Harraway what their reason was for taking this web browser approach.
My eyes, the glasses do nothing
Using the web browser is a simple matter as it doesn’t have the ability to access or bookmark, as well as no reader preview or even the ability to use tabs – this is a method to view your favorite web pages in high gloss configuration, and that’s it.
Bruin told me that’s the intent of Vivid on iOS. “You can quickly open a website from Safari or another third-party application in Vivid if you want to lighten it up a bit. The browser itself is pretty basic, so we don’t expect users to use it as their primary browser.”
There’s also an ‘action button’ on the share sheet, so if you’re viewing a webpage in Safari and you want to see it in Vivid with a higher brightness, for example, go to the share sheet, look for Vivid, and that webpage will launch in the app.
It’s a nice touch as it saves you from having to copy and paste the web address into Vivid. Experimenting over the last week, I’ve found that this method does the job on my iPhone, and pressing the brightness button in the bottom right shows a ‘before’ and ‘after’ view of how bright your iPhone can be.
It’s only limited by what Apple allows developers to the App Store, but it’s done in such a simple and elegant way that you don’t mind it being done through a web browser. While some users might be anxious that Vivid could damage their iPhone’s screen over time, I didn’t see anything to support this, just that the battery obviously ran out faster due to the extra power needed for the extra brightness.
Hopefully future Apple updates will open up different ways for Vivid on iOS such as video and SharePlay. But if you want to take a look at Amazon’s website, for example, especially when the Prime Early Access Sale starts on October 11, you can see sales much brighter than what Apple allows, and it’s glorious.