As more users install the recent Android 2.3.3 update on their Nexus S phones, reports are arriving that some phones are suffering from a yellowish tinge to their displays after completing the update process.
It seems that some Nexus S users either aren’t being affected, or they just don’t recognize that a change has occurred. Users who have noticed that something’s off report that in addition to the yellow tint, their screens now seem brighter and feature lower contrast. Some have been able to get the contrast and color issues sorted out, but only be cranking up brightness as high as it will go.
We haven’t seen an explanation from Google as to what’s going on, or why it made the changes it has, but there’s already speculation that altering the default screen settings is an attempt to increase the smartphone’s battery life. We don’t know of any tests that have attempted to measure current draw, compared between a Nexus S with and without the latest Android update.
One theory we’ve heard is that this is a corrective measure, fixing a display with too high a color temperature (whites seemed blueish). What we like better: adding user-definable color temp controls to Android’s display settings. Let the users decide how they want their screens to look. You up for it, Google?
Update: Google’s responded to the issue.
With your new OTA complete, you may notice a slight difference in the way colors are displayed on your Nexus S. For Nexus S, we have adjusted the color temperature settings to more accurately reflect darker colors at all brightness levels. The Gingerbread UI being darker, we found that the colors were not as accurate when the device was being used at lower brightness levels. For example, some users reported that the initial color temperature was too high leading to some darker greys having a reddish tone; with the new color temperature this is no longer the case
Makes sense, but really, leave this kind of thing up to your users.