The new Apple TV's interface is simply too bright for some viewers watching TV in darkened living rooms
Eye on Apple
By Jim Lynch, CIO
Apple has usually gotten praise for its user interfaces over the years. But one area where it has stumbled at times is in the sheer brightness of its software. The recent release of the new Apple TV has resulted in a reddit thread about the lack of a dark mode in tvOS. Some Apple redditors feel that the new Apple TV’s interface is simply too bright for darkened living rooms.
I’ll share my own thoughts below, but here’s a sample of the discussion thread:
Masterbrew: ”As nice as the new interface is, I can’t get used to how bright it is. I was hoping it would be time of day aware like the screensavers, but no. I find myself turning the brightness of the TV down further than I’d like for actually watching content.”
Omghov: ”I just setup my ATV4. WTF was Apple thinking? Bright white being projected from a 60″ screen in a dark room?”
Stevie: ”I have a 120 inch projector in my home theater. Turning on the Apple TV was akin to being blinded by an atom bomb. ”
PrettySlick: ”If it won’t come to iOS, then i wouldn’t hold my breath for tvOS.”
CommanderRikers: ”Maybe this is Apple’s play to get people to turn off the horrid “vivid” mode that most TVs come in by default, and actually do a proper screen calibration. The brightness on my TV is on 2 out of 20.”
MasterBrew: ”Mine’s about the same in the evening, even then, tvOS is still too bright.”
Dark mode should be available in all of Apple’s software
I don’t have a new Apple TV, but I find myself in complete agreement with those who want a dark mode included in it. It’s not just the new Apple TV’s tvOS that needs dark mode though, it’s also the iPhone and all of Apple’s other software products.
For some reason Apple is deeply in love with the color white and other bright colors as backgrounds. But many people prefer a dark background with white text for easier viewing, particularly in dark rooms. But Apple seems woefully oblivious to this preference, and we can see that reflected in the new Apple TV’s interface.
Think about how much money, time and development efforts were needed to create the new Apple TV’s interface. Didn’t anybody at the company stop to think of how such a bright screen would annoy Apple TV users who watch their television programs in a darkened room? Nobody wants to be blinded by a user interface while trying to find content to watch.
Frankly, I’d be very upset if I was trying to use the new Apple TV on a big screen TV and then was blinded by white or other bright colors while trying to access content. I ranted on my other blog a while back about being blinded by Netflix’s idiotic logo on a bright white background, and it seems like Apple has made a similar mistake. When are these companies going to learn not to irritate customers by forcing them to view bright colors in interfaces?
Hopefully Apple is taking notes about this issue and will offer a software fix for the new Apple TV that will include a dark mode. But the company needs to go way beyond that and also offer dark mode for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, as well as for all of its Macs.
Let’s face it folks, some of us just don’t like interfaces that use bright colors. It’s way past time for Apple to realize that and begin integrating a dark mode option into all of its software.
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