Apple Studio Display Runs Full Version of iOS 15.4

The Apple Studio Display runs a full version of iOS 15.4, Daring Fireball's John Gruber has highlighted.

iOS 15
In System Information, under "Graphics/Displays," the Studio Display's software can be seen, showing that it runs "Version 15.4 (Build 19E241)." This is the exact same build number as iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4, indicating that the Studio Display runs the full version of iOS.

The Studio Display contains an A13 Bionic chip, the same chip from the iPhone 11 lineup, 2020 iPhone SE, ninth-generation iPad, to support its 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front-facing camera with Center Stage and six-speaker sound system with Spatial Audio. While the presence of the A13 chip indicated that the display likely ran a variant of existing Apple software, in much the same way that the HomePod and HomePod mini run a version of tvOS, the device's exact software was unknown until now.

studio display firmwareThe Studio Display's firmware in System Information (via Daring Fireball).

Yesterday, the first reviews of the Studio Display were released, with a common complaint among reviewers being that the built-in webcam's image quality ranges anywhere from an "old BlackBerry" to downright "awful" in their hands-on testing. In his detailed review of the Studio Display, Gruber said that the camera is "crushingly disappointing" and "astonishingly poor," with the image being "terrible" and Center Stage being "glitchy."

Even without harsh sunlight, all images from the Studio Display camera, in all lighting conditions, are grainy, lacking in contrast, and make skin tones look cadaveric.

[...]

... How can the image quality from the camera on a $1600 display be so much worse — laughably worse — than the image quality from a $600 iPad Air that uses the exact same camera hardware? Let alone comparing it to the front-facing camera on the $430 iPhone SE, which makes the Studio Display camera look like a toy. And we waited years for Apple to ship this display. Again, it's usable. All sorts of people use way worse cameras for videoconferencing every day. But this image quality is embarrassing from a company that considers itself the leading camera company in the world... I expected to be impressed by the Studio Display camera. Instead, I'm baffled. I don't understand how this shipped.

It gets even worse. The Center Stage feature on the Studio Display should be called Off-Center Stage. Move around a bit or turn your head to the side and you get framed off to the side, even though you're sitting directly in front of the center of the display. It takes up to 5 seconds for Center Stage to catch up and re-center you in the frame, which it does slowly and sheepishly, as though it's embarrassed...

Apple told reviewers that it "discovered an issue where the system is not behaving as expected" and will be "making improvements in a software update." Apple did not specify what "improvements" will be made, and no timeframe was provided for the update. Gruber concluded:

The Off-Center Stage thing is obviously a bug, and I expect that to be fixed. The overall image quality, I'll bet, can and will be improved to some degree via software updates, but I'll be surprised — happily surprised, but surprised — if a software update can turn this camera into something Apple should be proud of. Maybe, though, given that it's the same camera hardware as the front-facing camera on the new iPad Air and last year's iPad Pros. But I'm not holding my breath.

Gruber later posted an update saying he has heard that the "the image quality problems really are a software problem, not hardware — a bug introduced at the last minute — and a future software update might not merely somewhat improve image quality, but raise it to a level commensurate with the ‌iPad‌ models equipped with the same camera."

With the confirmation that the Studio Display runs iOS, Apple's planned update to improve the quality of the webcam will presumably come as part of an iOS update. Other information about how software updates for the Studio Display work is as yet unknown.

Related Forum: Mac Accessories

Top Rated Comments

UltimateSyn Avatar
14 weeks ago
I wish it ran full-fledged tvOS so you could use it when a Mac isn't connected - or supported wireless Sidecar / Universal Control. There are a few really cool features that Apple's team was uniquely positioned to implement, with their software and the A13, yet passed up on.
Score: 63 Votes (Like | Disagree)
n0va Avatar
14 weeks ago
excited for the jailbreak
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
azentropy Avatar
14 weeks ago
Shame it doesn't run tvOS. Would have put it in a whole other category if it could also function as a standalone AppleTV too.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Abazigal Avatar
14 weeks ago
Imagine if it came with an M1 chip instead and people could side load macOS on it. That's your 27" iMac right there. ?
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AmazeSE Avatar
14 weeks ago
Apple gave iOS to a display but they can't give a proper OS for the iPads to make it more like a computer.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Spock Avatar
14 weeks ago

I wish it ran full-fledged tvOS so you could use it when a Mac isn't connected - or supported wireless Sidecar / Universal Control. There are a few really cool features that Apple's team was uniquely positioned to implement, with their software and the A13, yet passed up on.
I was really expecting this feature when the rumors were going around. Seems like a lot of extra hardware to power some speakers and a camera.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

studio display mount options

Studio Display Add-On Height-Adjustable Stand Costs an Extra $400, Nano-Texture Glass is $300

Tuesday March 8, 2022 12:37 pm PST by
Apple today introduced the Studio Display, a lower-cost display option that's meant to go along with the Mac Studio. The Studio Display is priced starting at $1,599, making it much more affordable than the Pro Display XDR, but not at the attractive $999 price point of the long-discontinued Thunderbolt Display. Though the base Studio Display is $1,599 for the display itself and an included...
studio display power cable

PSA: Studio Display Power Cable is Non-Removable

Thursday March 17, 2022 6:46 am PDT by
Apple's Studio Display features a built-in non-removable power cable on the back that, even when attempted to be removed with force, does not come out, despite the Pro Display XDR featuring a removable power cable. British YouTuber Oliur demonstrated the unique quirk about Apple's $1,599 starting price display in his review of Apple's latest display. Apple's Studio Display also features...
studio display

Apple's $1599 Standard Studio Display Does Not Come With a Polishing Cloth

Wednesday March 9, 2022 3:19 am PST by
Apple's brand new standard Studio Display does not come with a polishing cloth included in the box, unlike the Pro Display XDR which offers a cloth in both the standard and nano-textured models. On its website, Apple says that only the nano texture Studio Display will come with a polishing cloth in the box, alongside the display itself and a one-meter Thunderbolt cable. Apple's...
mac studio studio display duo

First Mac Studio and Studio Display Orders Begin Arriving to Customers in Australia and New Zealand

Thursday March 17, 2022 3:02 pm PDT by
It is officially March 18 in Australia and New Zealand, which means that it's Mac Studio and Studio Display launch day. Customers in these countries are always the first to get their hands on new devices, and Apple's new studio devices are being delivered. The Mac Studio and Studio Display are starting to arrive to customers who pre-ordered when the devices went up for sale following the...
studio display webcam

Apple Says Improvements to Studio Display's Webcam Coming in Software Update After Several Poor Reviews

Thursday March 17, 2022 6:53 am PDT by
The first reviews have surfaced for Apple's new Studio Display, and one common point among reviewers was that the built-in webcam's image quality ranges anywhere from an "old BlackBerry" to downright "awful" in their hands-on testing. The Studio Display features a 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera that can be used for the likes of FaceTime and Zoom calls. While the camera is a welcomed ...
apple studio display 1

Apple Unveils $1,599 27-Inch 5K 'Studio Display' External Monitor

Tuesday March 8, 2022 10:54 am PST by
Apple today unveiled the 27-inch 5K "Studio Display" external monitor, alongside the new, high-end Mac Studio desktop computer. The Studio Display features an all-screen design with narrow borders in a slim, all-aluminium enclosure like the 24-inch iMac. The display can be tiled up to 30 degrees thanks to its built-in stand. To customize the display, customers can choose a more versatile, ...
apple thunderbolt 4 pro cable 3m

Apple's New Studio Display Includes 1-Meter Thunderbolt Cable With 3-Meter Option Coming Soon

Tuesday March 8, 2022 2:29 pm PST by
Apple today introduced the Studio Display, a lower-priced 27-inch alternative to its Pro Display XDR. The standalone monitor includes a one-meter Thunderbolt cable in the box, and for customers looking for longer options, Apple has started selling a 1.8-meter Thunderbolt 4 Pro cable for $129 and has a three-meter option coming soon for $159. Apple says the Thunderbolt 4 Pro cable supports...
maxresdefault

Everything Apple Announced Today in Just Over Seven Minutes

Tuesday March 8, 2022 12:54 pm PST by
Today's "Peek Performance" event was more exciting than we initially thought it would be, with Apple debuting a new Mac Studio machine and Studio Display alongside a 5G version of the iPhone SE with A15 chip and an M1 iPad Air with 5G chip. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. It took Apple an hour to go over all of today's announcements, but we've summarized all of the ...

Popular Stories

2022 back to school apple

Apple Launches 2022 Back to School Offer: Up to $150 Gift Card With Mac or iPad

Friday June 24, 2022 5:08 am PDT by
Apple today launched its annual "Back to School" promotion for college/university students in the United States and Canada. This year's promotion offers a free Apple gift card with the purchase of an eligible Mac or iPad, rather than free AirPods like last year. Apple is also offering students 20% off AppleCare+ plans during the promotion. Apple is offering a $150 gift card with the purchase ...
airpods pro 2 1

AirPods Pro 2 Said to Feature Upgraded H1 Chip, Find My, Heart Rate Detection, USB-C and More

Friday June 24, 2022 9:48 am PDT by
The next-generation AirPods Pro could come with a long list of new features that include heart rate detection, the ability to function as a hearing aid, and a USB-C port according to a report from 52Audio. The site claims that it has received new information on the AirPods Pro 2, and it has used that information to provide some renders on what the earbuds might look like. Design wise, there...
m1 mac mini screen

Gurman: Apple Planning M2 Pro Mac Mini, New Apple TV With A14 Chip, Revamped HomePod With S8 Chip, and More

Sunday June 26, 2022 6:31 am PDT by
In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman outlined additional M2 Macs on Apple's product roadmap, including new Mac mini models with M2 and M2 Pro chips, new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, and a new Mac Pro tower with M2 Ultra and "M2 Extreme" chips. Following the M2 series of Macs, Gurman said the first M3 series of...
apple ar headset concept 1

Apple Rumored to Announce 'Game-Changer' AR/VR Headset in January 2023

Friday June 24, 2022 2:52 am PDT by
Apple is "likely" to announce its long-rumored mixed-reality headset as soon as January 2023, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reiterated. Concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo In a detailed post on Medium, Kuo explained that Apple's headset will be a "game-changer" for the augmented-reality and virtual-reality market. Describing some of the headset's...
widgets ios 16 feature

Gurman: iPhone 14 Pro to Feature Always-On Display Showing iOS 16's New Lock Screen Widgets

Sunday June 26, 2022 7:36 am PDT by
iPhone 14 Pro models are widely expected to feature always-on displays that allow users to view glanceable information without having to tap to wake the screen. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman said the feature will include support for iOS 16's new Lock screen widgets for weather, fitness, and more. "Like the Apple Watch, the iPhone 14 Pro will be...