The Studio Display is a smart piece of kit. It has the iPhone 11’s A13 Bionic chip installed within it so it can provide features that aren’t normally associated with monitors such as Center Stage.
Boot Camp, Apple’s dual-booting feature, now includes Windows display drivers that make the Studio Display work as a regular HiDPI monitor when running Windows on a Mac. However, not everything included with the Studio Display made the jump onto Microsoft’s O. Let’s see which Studio Display features are unsupported on Windows.
1. Apple’s Siri Assistant
The Studio Display brings Apple’s Siri assistant to older Macs that don’t support it. Unfortunately, because Apple doesn’t support Siri on Windows, you won’t be able to converse with the virtual assistant through your Studio Display.
This is certainly for the better because—stop me if you didn’t get the memo yet—using Apple’s assistant is an exercise in frustration compared to Alexa and other assistants.
2. True Tone
True Tone uses ambient light sensors built into the display to automatically match the color temperature to the current viewing conditions. The continual tweaking of the display’s color and intensity makes images appear more natural under varied lighting conditions. But Windows does not understand what True Tone is. And without software support for True Tone, Windows won’t adjust the display when it’s connected to a Windows PC.
3. Center Stage
Center Stage pairs a wide-angle camera with artificial intelligence, applying dynamic zooms and crops during video calls to keep everyone in the frame. It’s like having a human cameraman that always tracks you and keeps you and anyone else with you in the shot the entire time.
Center Stage works with FaceTime and third-party Mac apps that support it, such as Zoom. Sadly, it’s yet another feature without proper Windows support. Apple could make it happen, but doing so would require releasing a native FaceTime app for Windows.
4. Spatial Audio
Both the Studio Display and Windows 11 support spatial audio technology. With spatial audio turned on in Windows, your PC uses audio effects and filters to create a faux 3D soundscape.
Apple’s monitor comes with four force-canceling woofers and two tweeters to deliver convincing spatial audio from multichannel sources such as a Dolby Atmos stream on Apple TV+ or select Netflix shows. On the software side, there are no Windows drivers to make the Studio Display’s 6-speaker system render spatial audio on your PC.
5. Firmware Updates
As Apple spells out in a support document, updating the Studio Displays software is only possible on Macs with macOS 12.3 or later. The update process uses Apple’s Software Update mechanism which is available on Windows but doesn’t support updating the Studio Display firmware on a Windows PC.
By the way, you’ll get this app as part of iTunes or iCloud for Windows or when you use Boot Camp Assistant to install Windows on your Mac.
To check the Studio Display’s firmware version on macOS, choose About This Mac from the Apple menu, click the System Report button and select Graphics/Displays from the left column. The display’s software version is listed next to Display Firmware Version.
Why Won’t Those Features Work on Windows?
Apple has designed this monitor with the Mac user in mind. It could make the Studio Display more compatible with Windows, but don’t bet on it. On macOS, the Studio Display provides an integrated experience that Apple users have come to love.
Apple hasn’t bothered to replicate that experience on the PC side because it knows that Windows is a niche market for what this pricey monitor provides to the occasional Apple fan in the Windows world.
Who Should Buy the Studio Display?
You should only consider the Studio Display if you’re a Mac loyalist with a place in your heart for a minimalist 5K screen that doubles as a USB-C/Thunderbolt dock. And with premium pricing, the Studio Display is even harder to recommend to Windows users without perks like dynamic refresh rates up to 120 Hz or support for rendering HDR video.
The Studio Display’s Smart Features Are Out the Window
While the Studio Display is packed with lots of amazing features, the only way you can actually put them to use is if you’re on a Mac. As such, perhaps pass on getting one of these monitors for your Windows PC.