At the Peek Performance event on March 8, Apple revealed that its new Studio Display packs an A13 Bionic chip to power the 12MP FaceTime camera. While the camera’s performance has been disappointing, it turns out that the A13 Bionic is running a full-fledged version of iOS 15.4.
Daring Fireball’s John Gruber went into the System Information menu > Graphics/Displays, and discovered that the Studio Display is running software “version 15.4 (Build 19E241).” This happens to be the same build number associated with the iOS 15.4 updates you are running on iPhones.
At the launch event, Apple revealed that the A13 Bionic had been built into the Studio Display to power the FaceTime camera, six-speaker sound system with Dolby Atmos, and Spatial Audio. It is particularly surprising to see Studio Display running the same version of iOS 15.4. In the past, we have seen that Apple’s smart speakers such as the HomePod and HomePod Mini also run a version of tvOS.
However, in the initial wave of reviews of the Studio Display, several reviewers highlighted that the A13 Bionic, FaceTime camera, and software linking the two weren’t working as intended. The reviews were clearly disappointed by the camera’s grainy, over-smoothened image output. In his review, Gruber said the camera is “crushingly disappointing” and “astonishingly poor” for a $1,600 monitor.
Apple subsequently told some reviewers that it intends to fix the issue with an upcoming software update, but it did not say when we could expect this update. Gruber notes that “multiple (independent little birdies” familiar with the Studio Display say the camera’s poor output can be attributed to software, perhaps “a bug introduced at the last minute.” He believes that Apple’s promised fix will bring the Studio Display’s camera performance on par with the new iPad Air 5 and last year’s iPad Pro models.[Via Daring Fireball]