Apple nixes iOS version of popular brightness management tool f.lux

Posted:
in iPhone edited November 2015
Apple has shut down the iOS version of f.lux, reportedly arguing that the brightness management app violated terms of the Developer Program agreement.




An Apple representative, Richard Chipman, told f.lux co-founder Michael Herf that he wasn't allowed to turn either Xcode or the iOS SDK to f.lux's purpose, Re/code explained. The app uses private APIs, which are strictly banned at the App Store -- to get around this, however, Herf and his wife let people sideload the app for free via Xcode.

"The last six months of 'sideload' press -- which Apple didn't try to stop -- had convinced us that Apple would be receptive to an approach like this, but they seem to disagree," Herf commented. "I asked [Chipman] about open source used in a similar way, and he did not answer clearly, but he kept repeating the party line that we should make apps that could use public APIs."

While apps like f.lux are relatively unrestricted on platforms like OS X, Windows, and Android, Apple severely limits the reach iOS apps can have. Some software and hardware functions are completely off-limits, not only for the sake of security but also because Apple prefers to maintain control over the essential look and feel of its mobile devices.

F.lux first came to iOS in 2011, but only for jailbroken devices. Apple's began allowing sideloading apps through Xcode 7 earlier this year, in theory offering a more "legitimate" distribution option.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    Wow, really? I know peoplw who specifically jailbreak [I]just[/I] for this app.
  • Reply 2 of 25
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,605member
    Apple really needs to do something in this space since they have the device locked down. Make it an option and give us the choice. f.lux makes the Mac bearable to look at at night and does help with my sleep. If Apple is concerned about health the way they claim, then step up and implement a solution to help with this issue.
  • Reply 3 of 25
    I know people that moved to Android for the sole reason that they can block blue light at night while in bed.
  • Reply 4 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by aplnub View Post



    Apple really needs to do something in this space since they have the device locked down. Make it an option and give us the choice. f.lux makes the Mac bearable to look at at night and does help with my sleep. If Apple is concerned about health the way they claim, then step up and implement a solution to help with this issue.



    Coming soon... one of the best features of iOS 10.

     

    Source: #History

  • Reply 5 of 25
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,166member
    Then open source it. Oh wait... you already filed for a patent!
  • Reply 6 of 25
    This is the only app which makes me want to jailbreak. I adore it, and I'm extremely disappointed with Apple for this move. Although I did grab the code and sideload it on my phone, so for the time being I can at least enjoy f.lux without a jailbreak.
  • Reply 7 of 25
    Others are right. If Apple isn't going to allow third parties to do this useful function, it needs to build it it. I'd suggest two options. One would be like f.lux and reduce bluishness for evening use. The other would make it easier for developers to add a dark screen mode for use in theaters and to avoid waking a spouse after bedtime.
  • Reply 8 of 25
    "Side loading" is only for beta testing applications with one's customers.

    "Side loading" is not an official distribution method.

    So if side loading is one's distribution method, then Apple will shut you down - including suspending your developer license.

    Obviously, using private APIs is FORBIDDEN to developers. Apple is very up front about this.

    So a developer who flaunts this will be shut down.

    Is there anything about "no" do these developers not understand?

    Do it on Android if you want.
  • Reply 9 of 25

    Like the Camera apps that were rejected for using the volume button to take a picture.. Apple can't really let app developers get too far ahead in features and innovations, otherwise Apple might lose its competitive edge. So they hold app developer progress back until they're ready to implement the good ideas themselves. It really sucks that developers basically have to just accept this.

  • Reply 10 of 25
    sandorsandor Posts: 589member

    i suppose some people are that tied to their devices.

     

    being a photographer, the use for a desktop screen is pointless, as i want as accurate color representation as possible, not a changing display that matches the ambient "mood".

     

    for my phone? the screen doesn't bother my sleeping, as i don't have it near me.

     

    i also try to restrict my use in areas where i could impact others - elevators, theaters, etc.

    nothing i do is important enough for me *not* to take the time to quietly excuse myself from said location and interact with my device where it won't interfere as much.  

     

     

    <rant on decorum>

    don't worry, even if you screen is a bit dimmer & warmer of a color, we still notice your addictive need to access it...

    </rant on decorum>

  • Reply 11 of 25
    djsherlydjsherly Posts: 1,031member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sandor View Post

     

    i suppose some people are that tied to their devices.

     

    being a photographer, the use for a desktop screen is pointless, as i want as accurate color representation as possible, not a changing display that matches the ambient "mood".

     

    for my phone? the screen doesn't bother my sleeping, as i don't have it near me.

     

    i also try to restrict my use in areas where i could impact others - elevators, theaters, etc.

    nothing i do is important enough for me *not* to take the time to quietly excuse myself from said location and interact with my device where it won't interfere as much.  

     

     

    <rant on decorum>

    don't worry, even if you screen is a bit dimmer & warmer of a color, we still notice your addictive need to access it...

    </rant on decorum>


    Good for you. 

     

    There is obviously demand for a solution offered by Flux and I've often lamented its non-existence on non-jailbroken iDevices. I've specifically jailbroken to put it on in the past but did not know that it was able to be 'side loaded' in this way.

     

    And it's not about whether you perceive my need to access it. It is about improving my comfort while *I* use *my* device in *my own* surroundings.

  • Reply 12 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

     

    Good for you. 

     

    There is obviously demand for a solution offered by Flux and I've often lamented its non-existence on non-jailbroken iDevices. I've specifically jailbroken to put it on in the past but did not know that it was able to be 'side loaded' in this way.

     

    And it's not about whether you perceive my need to access it. It is about improving my comfort while *I* use *my* device in *my own* surroundings.


     

    then tell the developer to follow the rules of the environment they are developing in/for.  

     

    i understand there are some significant walls around iOS, but i also am a user that feels those walls do more good than harm. 

  • Reply 13 of 25
    f.lux is mostly pseudoscience and the placebo effect anyways, but whatever floats people's boats. I agree that this is kind of beyond the scope of what iOS apps are meant to be capable of though, much more of an android thing to be messing with screen colour spectra and the like.
  • Reply 14 of 25

    glad I downloaded and installed it.  still seems to be working fine for me.

  • Reply 15 of 25
    flux.io, one of the most dividing tools at work. Some, among which I, utterly hate it. Others couldn't live without it.

    In any case, developers seem nice people.
  • Reply 16 of 25
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gerrit View Post

     

    Like the Camera apps that were rejected for using the volume button to take a picture.. Apple can't really let app developers get too far ahead in features and innovations, otherwise Apple might lose its competitive edge. So they hold app developer progress back until they're ready to implement the good ideas themselves. It really sucks that developers basically have to just accept this.




    As a consumer and developer, I don't agree with you here gerrit. Fundamental functions like volume buttons should be controlled by the OS, and configured using OS settings.

     

    I think it's a nice thought that people all over the world are innovative. But I think very few end-users would like to sacrifice the iOS safety and stability just to allow 3rd-party devs to be innovative outside their framework (ie the app sandbox). The phone is a hardware device that's designed and invented by Apple. So, I want them to be in charge of maintaining the original design intent, that's how I came to trust them in the first place.

     

    I like the fact that all code I've installed is contained within an "app" or "plugin" context, and that the basic functions of the platform are owned by the device maker (here Apple). In this way, I always know where I have the not-quiet-so-professional functions, and how I easily uninstall them. This is a key advantage of iOS as compared to other OS:s. Android on the other hand, is more of a "kit" for developers to freely design almost any handheld solution, and as such I can see it has some merits. But as a functional utility it utterly sucks — because it's too wild, too confusing, and lacks any top-level coherency. Let's not go there.

  • Reply 17 of 25
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,311member
    Since Apple's being an idiotic OCD child over this, anyone have a .zip of the source?

    Pretty sure if someone wants to distribute code, as long as it doesn't contain any of Apple's copyrighted material, there's f*ck all Apple can do about it. API calls aren't copyrightable, so I don't see how Apple has a case here. If someone wants to sideload an app on their phone, so be it.
  • Reply 18 of 25
    ylonylon Posts: 48member
    What a shame for such an invaluable app. Dark mode apps like Eclipse 3 are also likewise invaluable. iOS simply is not usable any longer without these aids, especially in the studio and at night.
  • Reply 19 of 25
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,397member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MrMiyamoto View Post



    f.lux is mostly pseudoscience and the placebo effect anyways.

    Circadian rhythm. Have a read up about it.

  • Reply 20 of 25
    iaeeniaeen Posts: 588member
    mrmiyamoto wrote: »
    f.lux is mostly pseudoscience and the placebo effect anyways, but whatever floats people's boats. I agree that this is kind of beyond the scope of what iOS apps are meant to be capable of though, much more of an android thing to be messing with screen colour spectra and the like.

    The effect of light on the circadian rhythm is a real phenomenon studied by real scientists.

    OTOH, dismissing an idea about which you know nothing is about as unscientific as you can get.
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