Since there has been some confusion about HDR, rumored details and a bit of ‚hear-says‘ i wanted to share my thoughts on the topic.
As of today Apple has introduced 4K/HDR Content on iTunes and so far only the newest iPad Pro models are confirmed to show HDR titles on the Store. Also in these iPads appear an option to download HDR Videos under >Settings>Videos. It seems you need to have the latest iOS 11 Public Beta installed, it wasn‘t implemented in earlier iOS 11 builds.
As of now there is no other content for HDR Videos available but Netflix, and Amazon Instant Video some time later this year, will update their iOS mobile applications to stream HDR content both in HDR10 and Dolby Vision.
Netflix silently enrolled HDR-Support for its mobile apps a few weeks ago, enabling some Android-Flagship-Phones to stream HDR Content. The Netflix guys shared some info about the current status regarding HDR. The availability of HDR on mobile devices will be possible without the need of a 4K-Resolution. That means on iOS devices like our iPad/iPhones there will be an HDR-Stream with Full-HD resolution.
Here is a link to the topic on the Netflix Help center:
There you can find some interesting information regarding HDR/Dolby Vision and iOS devices. It says HDR content will be available on iPhone X and also on iPhone 8/8 Plus models.
If you look at the specs of iPhone X and iPhone 8 i found this:
iPhone X is said to feature „High Dynamic Range with Dolby Vision and HDR10 content”. iPhone 8 only „supports Dolby Vision / HDR10 content“. To me this clearly means there is HDR Support embedded in iOS 11 for a device not having an HDR-Display.
The display of the iPhone 8 is the still the same as the one built in iPhone 7. It specs the same contrast-ratio of 1400:1 and 625cd brightness. The True-Tone feature though is missing on the 7-models…
The 2017 iPad Pro 9.7 has a display that meets about the same quality regarding contrast ratio, P3 wide color gamut and True-Tone. It seems to have a slightly lower peak brightness. iPad Pro 10.5 meets Apple‘s HDR requirements with the same brightness as iPhone X, iPhone 8 and also the iPhone 7.
If you put all this info together it seems to me there might be a way to enable some kind of HDR-Support on older iOS devices, especially on the 2017 iPad Pro 9.7 with it‘s P3 Wide Color Range and state-of-the-art contrast ratio. It is nearly the same as in iPhone 8 models…
Might it be possible for the Dev‘s to support this somehow only app-driven. Netflix seems to be on the way to this solution…
Of course there is also the possibility of having the HDR support only on the hardware side. This could limit everything to the current A10X and A11 Fusion chips.
Perhaps it is worth looking a bit deeper into the code and Dev-Kits, there might be some good news buried for us iPad Pro 9.7 and iPhone 7 users.
Really looking forward to the next update… you are doing an awesome job guys!