We're working with Photoshop CS5 on Mac (OSX Lion) and would like to see the colors on the Mac exactly like they will look on the iPhone. Does anybody know what color profiles we should use and how to set them correctly? Or is there any other trick?

I googled quite a lot and tried several suggestions but none of the seems to do the trick. Any hints are much appreciated!

Update: So after doing more research and talking with several app designers and devs we basically had to give up. We the color profile "Web RGB" and do the color matching manually. Not very elegant but there doesn't seem to be a real solution (please tell me that I'm wrong!)

  • This is basically impossible. Since it depends on how the monitor/iPhone settings are set by the client. Brightness/contrast/gamma etc. Somebody correct me if i am wrong please.... since this is how it works for PC.
    – Luuk
    Oct 20, 2011 at 12:06
  • 1
    Hey Luuk - If I'm not mistaken you can't set the colors, gamma and contrast on iOS, just the brightness and that shouldn't affect the colors...
    – Phil
    Oct 20, 2011 at 12:25
  • This has got to be possible somehow. Given the way Apple is with all of its products and the "closed system" they design for, it's got to be possible. I am very interested as well, my company has just made the investment to develop for the iPad. Oct 20, 2011 at 15:17
  • @Phil ofcourse brightness influence your colors. Apart from that every monitor is based on RGB. Dont know if that helps you...
    – Luuk
    Oct 21, 2011 at 8:06
  • @Luuk If you set the brightness the same between the Mac and the device, brightness shouldn't be an issue. Oct 21, 2011 at 13:40

5 Answers 5


If you can calibrate your hardware (monitor), then it should - aside from print jobs - also be possible to be done for a mobile device. If you don't have hardware calibration tools, then I'd say: No chance.

Aside from that: sRGB profile.

  • 3
    That would have to be iRGB, wouldn't it? :-D Oct 22, 2011 at 8:33

There's more to the question. You want the colors to match whose iPhone, and which model(s), and for how long? Like any electronic display, the color will drift slightly over time, and you never have control over the user's settings.

The question you have to ask is whether the time invested in trying to match a something that will change immediately is worth the opportunity cost of not doing something else.

Attempting to color manage what is not under your control is not the most productive use of your time.


Display manufacture's don't adhere to any standard, only to what is eye candy to consumers. Consumers don't realize overly bright and vivid colors are u realistic, not to forget contrast and brightness values get lost. Shadow detail is lost or clouds seems less detailed. It's about quantity of monetary numbers versus quality of goods.

sRGB or Rec709 are base standards to follower with a happy medium. Use a colorimeter or spectrophotometer. Xrite is a good place to start. SpectraCal, Lightspace, Chromapure, and HCFR are great software platforms to use to calibrate displays and printers.


What you need is color management in your app. There is a good color management library available. It's open source. Have a look at little CMS :- https://github.com/mm2/Little-CMS

From IOS 9.3, apple has built in colormanagement across the devices.


I found that Linux in my laptop automatically recognized color profile of laptop's screen: Aspire 5750ZG.
And if i activate it in system settings and use this color profile in programs (Gimp, Inkscape) and enable color management there i get the colors close to view in smartphone.

So now my gradients looks as ugly as in my Android screen 😄️.

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