Apple’s Pro Display XDR and newer MacBook Pros are capable of hitting up to 1600 nits of brightness, but only when playing HDR videos or running specific apps – until now.
A Mac app called Vivid aims to combat these limitations by making your screen up to two times brighter. The app uses standard Apple APIs to boost the default brightness from 500 nits to over 1000 nits.
The Pro Display XDR and the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro (2021) models are capable of sustaining 1000 nits of brightness and hitting 1600 of peak brightness when streaming HDR content, meaning regular content will be capable of hitting similar levels of sustained brightness.
Not only will this make your social media scrolling, photo editing and Netflix binges brighter, but it’ll also improve the visibility of your display in sunlight, making it easier to work in your garden on sunny days.
According to Vivid’s FAQ, the app “does not use low level display hacks to push your display to levels it shouldn’t go”, meaning it shouldn’t break your display or reduce its lifespan.
“The temperature of your displays will increase by between 5-10%, but macOS will limit the max brightness if necessary”, the developer notes.
However, the app does warn that it can’t be held responsible for any damage that occurs to your display as a result of using the software.
The app can affect colour accuracy and create glitches and unexpected visuals caused by HDR rendering on macOS, so that’s something you may want to note if you’re considering picking up a licence.
It’ll also cause your battery life to drain faster, but that’s to be expected when you pump up the brightness.
Vivid comes as a free trial, allowing you to check out the difference you’ll see in different apps and programmes using Splitscreen Mode.
However, if you want both sides of your display to get a boost, you’ll need to pay €15 (or around £13) for the privilege.
From there, you can toggle Vivid on and off from your Mac’s menu bar and use your usual brightness keys to adjust the brightness levels beyond what Apple offers out of the box.
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