Gamma Board Test Flight

Gamma Board is a bit hard to market given most people will want to experience it before purchasing, but at the same time the App Store is a bit in the way when you want to offer a trial.

Here’s the solution I came up with: I’ll occasionally open beta testing to all. For instance, right now I’m working on version 1.3 and you can try it out using TestFlight.

I think this will work for a tech-savvy audience.

Red Stripe 3: Repainting Colors

Red Stripe has been a good help for red-green color blind people needing to differentiate between those two colors. Red-green is the most common form of color blindness, but there is also a blue-yellow one (tritanopia) that could benefit from its own kind of stripes.

With Red Stripe 3 you can now display stripes over blue. This makes the stripe offering pretty complete.

One principle I had in mind when first making the app is that superposing stripes would help because it would tell you on which side of the spectrum the color is (red or green) while at the same time it would not alter the color between the stripes. I don’t think there is much remaining to research on this front though, so I looked at other kinds of filters that could be useful.

Red Stripe now includes three color alteration filters:

  • Hue Shift will rotate the hue 180° (looking at a standard RGB color wheel). Blue and yellow exchange place, red exchange place with cyan, green becomes purple. This shift color details to some other colors you may be more sensible to.

  • Luminance Flip will invert what is dark and what is light, without changing the hue. This one is probably more of a general vision helper than something related specifically to color blindness. You may also combine this filter with Hue Shift to get a fully negative image.

  • Vibrancy Boost will make all the colors pop out of your screen!… figuratively. This is mostly an increase in color saturation, but it’ll also make less saturated colors slightly darker too. This should be useful for those with a partial color blindness.

All these filters are now available in the iOS and the Mac version of Red Stripe.

Red Stripe 3 for Mac is $4.99 USD and the iOS version is $2.99 USD. Version 3 is a free upgrade for those who own a previous version.

macOS Mojave

Apple is due to release its latest upgrade to macOS today. Most interestingly, it adds a dark mode, where all your windows get a dark background and white text. I expect some will like it and others will not. The major issue of course will be compatibility: apps that where built with support for dark mode will work, others will not. So you’ll need to update all your apps or tolerate a mix of dark and light windows.

What about the apps I publish? Black Light, Black Light Pro, Gamma Control, and Counterparts Lite are all ready, just make sure you have the latest update I released earlier today. I’ll have updates to Sim Daltonism and Red Stripe ready a bit later this week, but since the main window border is already translucent dark, this is mostly to get the preferences window to support dark mode.

So feel free to upgrade to Mojave and enjoy the dark mode (if that’s your thing). But I’ll also continue to support older macOS versions for a couple of years so don’t worry if you can’t or don’t want to upgrade right now.

Other fixes

The new releases of Black Light and Gamma Control will also fix a problem that could occur during screen reconfigurations, when plugging a new monitor or a dual GPU MacBook Pro switched GPU. The effect on the gamma curve would be applied twice, resulting generally in something darker. The way to extract the base gamma curve has changed and should be more stable now.

Black Light Pro (launched last week) already had support for dark mode. The 1.0.1 version fixes an issue where fading transitions wouldn’t work correctly in some situations.

The Counterparts Lite update fixes an issue where clicking on a text cell and quickly typing could result in the first typed character being deleted.

Black Light Pro

Here comes a more advanced version of Black Light.

Wouldn’t it be cool if Black Light was able to change its effect as time passes on? Or how about applying a different effect on each screen? Maybe some apps are playing tricks and temporarily resetting the effect, dazzling your eyes with “normal colors” you’d rather not see.

Those are the problems Black Light Pro should help you with. It’s an entirely new version of Black Light that can do much more:

  • Multiple effects
  • Each screen can have its own effect
  • Hot key for each effect
  • Custom activation and deactivation time for each effect
  • Can use sunset or sunrise as activation or deactivation time
  • Smooth transitions with custom transition duration that can differ for manual and timer actions

The preference window should give you an idea of what’s possible:

This new Pro version applies its effect using a color profile, meaning colors are much less at risk of being temporarily reset by another app. When doing astronomy or running a grading suite, this can be important. This takes more CPU however, so if you find your computer is suddenly laggy after a transition, feel free to deactivate the Apply Effect to Color Profile checkbox.

Black Light Pro is not available in the Mac App Store. The reason: the sandbox does not allow setting a color profile. If the sandbox allows setting a color profile in the future, I’ll probably make it available there, but for now you’ll have to purchase from this website.

Download Black Light Pro to get a free 30-day trial. You can purchase it at $24.99 USD when you’re ready.

Note: the regular version of Black Light remains available for those who do not need all the fanciness of the Pro version.

  • © 2003–2019 Michel Fortin.