An Apple E Ink display can be a game-changer – even without a folded iPhone.
Earlier this week, supply-chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested that Apple was investigating the E-Ink display for future foldable iPhones. Now, Apple certainly investigates a lot of things এবং and most of them don’t even cross the finish line to become real products.
But as a longtime fan of E Ink as a technology, I’m excited about the possibility that Apple could use it in future devices. E-Ink is a special technology that has some practical limitations, but also some huge advantages.
What is ink?
E Ink is a display technology that is fundamentally different from LCD, OLED and other display technologies. It works using electricity to set up tiny capsules of pigment to show or hide. The result is a surface that works more or less like conventional ink on paper, hence the name.
Since an e-ink screen uses power only when the screen is rewritten, this is great for applications where the display is not often updated. Most people know e-ink displays from e-readers like Amazon’s Kindle and Rakuten’s Kobo. The battery life of these devices can be long because they usually use only battery power when you turn the page.
E ink cropped in a few more places. There is a lot of digital signage (think of price tags on supermarket shelves) that E-Ink has started using – in another case where the text is fixed most of the time, so there is very little power draw. (My favorite e-ink project might be that it’s like a flat original Mac.)
I like E Ink because it feels easy on the eyes and feels natural in natural light. However, technology has a lot of responsibilities due to which it is not being widely used. For starters, it does not emit light. In sunlight, e-ink screens are reprehensible, but in the dark, they are not readable. (To compensate, most e-readers now carry a built-in ring of LED lights around the screen.)
The worst is the slow refresh rate of e-ink screen 7 The refresh rate has increased over time তে on sophisticated displays, it’s now 350 milliseconds কিন্তু but it’s nothing like the super-fast refresh rate on computer displays. This means it is unsuitable for any interface designed for animation, video and fast animation. (Last year I reviewed an e-ink Android tablet and it was painful to try to use the Android interface at such a low refresh rate.)
E-Ink displays also do not offer the ultra-high resolution of modern Apple displays. And while e-ink displays have begun to support color (only a few years after grayscale shades), the quality is now only getting better and the refresh rates are still quite slow.
Where Apple E Ink can be used
According to Kuo, Apple E Ink is testing “for future foldable device cover screens and tablet-like applications.” It makes sense. Folding devices typically fold inwards to protect their displays – leaving an outer surface uninformed. To counteract this, phone makers are adding complementary “external screens” to things like displaying time and basic information widgets while others have full-size OLED displays that obviously use a lot of battery life.
Due to its ultra-low-power profile, an E Ink display would be a good fit for a cover display. (Imagine how the Apple Watch display, which is always on, has a low-power mode that doesn’t often update the display, things like second-hand to save energy disappear.) With a colorful e-ink external display, Apple can touch a device’s external screen Display time, notifications and even widgets.
However, auxiliary e-ink displays are not just for foldable phones. Consider a MacBook of the future that includes a low-power e-ink screen on the outside so you can see notifications and other basic information without opening it.
E-ink technology may allow for the creation of some attractive accessories, especially when combined with something like a smart connector port on the iPad, which can transfer data and provide power. For example, imagine an iPad smart cover with an e-ink display (the reader cries out to Adam L for the idea), to display widgets, status information and even a static display from the app, all of which will be bright and even visible. Sunlight. Alternatively, how about an iPhone case that includes an e-ink display on the back for status widgets?
E-Ink is probably never going to be mainstream display technology. The world’s OLEDs and LED / LCD displays provide high resolution and refresh rates that cannot be missed. But there are many niches that e ink can serve well. I would like to point out that Apple has put the unique features of E Inc. in some creative ways.