Google gets up to speed: Android Q will support wide-color gamuts natively

Google today announced that Android will be gaining system-wide support for wide color gamut images starting with Android 10 Q. The next version of Android will allow you to capture, view, and easily share pictures with wide color gamuts. This will introduce more richness in terms of color reproduction compared to the standard sRGB color space.

All things considered, Android's adoption of wide color gamuts comes across as a rather logical move that reflects on the advancements we've witnessed in imaging technology, in terms of both camera and display improvements. As more and more devices these days come along with screens excellently calibrated to the sRGB standard, but also support wider gamuts, supporting these more realistic color spaces right off the bat in stock Android signals an important milestone for Android as an operating system and its gradual shift towards quality-of-life enhancements.

What color spaces are we talking about? Android Q will most certainly support Display P3 and Adobe RGB, with the door being left ajar for other wide-color gamuts as well.  Of course, developers will have to update their apps and make sure they support wide-color gamut content once Android Q launches this summer, and in order to ease up this change, the company has rounded up a few do's and don'ts of adapting to wide color gamuts. Probably the most important requirement is that apps should never assume an sRGB color profile of any external image it gets and should check the ICC color profile embedded in the image file. 

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Of course, not every app would end up adopting wide-color gamuts, and Google advises that developers at least be color-correct, meaning that they should take the necessary steps to decode wide-color images to sRGB.

You can test if your device is Display P3 compatible by opening out this image - if you see a faint Android logo, your display supports the Display P3 color space; otherwise, if you see a solid red square, then either your device or your browser is not compatible. Some devices that should display the image correctly are Apple's latest iPhones, which will do that straight in the browser, while others like Samsung's Galaxy S10 series will only do that if you download the image and view it in the stock gallery. You can also check out this website for more comparison images

Here's what you'll see if your device can display a more extensive color space:

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