Tech Q&A: iPhone 12 videos washed-out on some iPhones, iPads

Question: When an HDR video taken with an iPhone 12 is shared via text message only to me, the color is washed out when viewed on my iPad 6th Generation with iOS 14.3.

But when I view the same video on my 10-month-old iPhone SE (with the same operating system), the video looks fine. To make matters more complicated, when the same video is shared to three other iPhones, it looks fine on my iPad.

Is this caused by an iPad setting? — B.S., Hastings, Minn.

Answer: No, the video problem is an iPhone 12 flaw, and only Apple can fix it. It’s apparently one of several quality issues with the iPhone 12 (see and

The culprit in this case seems to be a video recording setting called “HDR” (high dynamic range) on the iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max. HDR gives a high-definition boost to each of the iPhone 12’s three choices for video recording quality.

At its maximum setting, the iPhone 12’s HDR produces what video enthusiasts call “Hollywood-quality video.” Apple describes it as “Dolby Vision” at up to 30 frames a second, which can “capture true-to-life color and contrast.”

However, the iPhone 12’s HDR appears to be incompatible with either the screen displays or the HDR software on many earlier Apple devices (see While iPhones are supposed to automatically reduce the quality of incoming video to a level they can play, that doesn’t always happen (see “compatibility issues” at As a result, when HDR videos from an iPhone 12 are viewed on some iPhone and iPad models, they appear either washed out or the wrong color (usually blue-green.)

Unfortunately, the best temporary solution for iPhone 12 owners is to turn off HDR video until Apple fixes the compatibility issue. Without HDR, iPhone 12 videos should be compatible with other iPhones and with iPads. To turn off HDR video recording on an iPhone 12, owners should go to “settings,” choose “camera,” then select “record video.” They will then be given the option to turn off “HDR video.”

What kind of video quality will the iPhone 12 get without HDR? Its videos will be high-definition, just not as good as they would have been with HDR on. The recording choices are 4K (which is 2160p at 24, 30 or 60 frames per second), 1080p HD (high definition) at 30 or 60 frames per second, and 720p HD at 30 frames per second. (For those not familiar with high-definition terminology, 2160p means that the picture is made up of 2,160 lines from top to bottom, and that they are replaced each time a new “frame,” or picture, is generated. In general, video quality improves with an increase in the number of lines and the number of frames per second.)

Question: The navigation voice on my Apple Maps gets cut off while giving me driving directions. I’m using Bluetooth to connect my iPhone to the car. What’s wrong? — J.A., Eden Prairie, Minn.

Answer: Others have experienced this, apparently because Bluetooth connections between phones and cars are easily interrupted. Try turning off Bluetooth and listening to the driving directions directly from the iPhone.