First look: Night Shift mode eases nighttime eye strain

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2016
With its latest iOS 9.3 beta, Apple is for the first time allowing users to access and control display temperature on their iPhones and iPads, albeit in limited fashion, through a feature called Night Shift.


Composite series showing iPhone 6s running iOS 9.2 atop iPad Pro running iOS 9.3 with Night Shift.


According to Apple, the cleverly named Night Shift shifts an iOS device's display color temperature to help ease physiological side effects of being exposed to cool blue light -- a default temperature for most LCDs -- at night.

When activated, Night Shift uses the device clock and geolocation tools to calculate local sunset, automatically shifting display colors toward the warmer end of the spectrum for optimal night time viewing. Colors return to normal in the morning.

In iOS 9.3, Night Shift is found in the Display & Brightness settings menu under "Blue Light Reduction," and comes toggled off by default. Users can dynamically preview cool and warm tones via a slider control, though an exhibited setting will only by applied when Blue Light Reduction is switched on.

In practice, the slider's midpoint is not actually the factory iOS device setting. Sliding all the way to the "Cooler" end of the spectrum reproduces a normal operating color temperature, while the slider midpoint is halfway between that and Cooler's extreme "Warmer" opposite.

For those familiar with the Kelvin-based color temperature index, Apple's warmest setting appears to border on a CCT of 2,700K, normally associated with warm white LEDs. A good real world example is a deep yellow-orange or ochre sky at sunrise or sunset.

There are few customizations offered with Night Shift, though users can schedule their device to make color changes from sunset to sunrise or create custom schedule, perhaps just before before bed to sunrise.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    mvigodmvigod Posts: 172member
    Looks like they are doing what f.lux has been doing for quite some time on PC's, Mac's and Android's platform. I've been using f.lux for a few months and its great. https://justgetflux.com/ Apple would not let them control the display so unless you would jailbreak your phone/ipad you couldn't use this app on iOS. Now looks like apple copied and making it native. f.lux was free and open source btw
  • Reply 2 of 30
    mvigod said:
    Looks like they are doing what f.lux has been doing for quite some time on PC's, Mac's and Android's platform. I've been using f.lux for a few months and its great. https://justgetflux.com/ Apple would not let them control the display so unless you would jailbreak your phone/ipad you couldn't use this app on iOS. Now looks like apple copied and making it native. f.lux was free and open source btw
    FYI, f.lux is not and the iOS version was not open source.
    nolamacguy
  • Reply 3 of 30
    roakeroake Posts: 624member
    I'm honestly unsure if I will utilize this feature or not.  I like that Apple pays attention to details such as this, though, and I'll certainly give it a try.
    nolamacguy
  • Reply 4 of 30
    mvigod said:
    Looks like they are doing what f.lux has been doing for quite some time on PC's, Mac's and Android's platform. I've been using f.lux for a few months and its great. https://justgetflux.com/ Apple would not let them control the display so unless you would jailbreak your phone/ipad you couldn't use this app on iOS. Now looks like apple copied and making it native. f.lux was free and open source btw
    f.lux is doing the same kind of display color adjustment that's been baked into OS X since the beginning.  
    System Preferences > Displays > Color
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 5 of 30
    Why not just do a dark theme like people have been asking for years?? Jesus
    stevie
  • Reply 6 of 30
    Apple thought a piss yellow screen is better then black/dark mode? Wow
    stevie
  • Reply 7 of 30
    Tyleryy said:
    Why not just do a dark theme like people have been asking for years?? Jesus
    ya i am with you on that one
    netmage
  • Reply 8 of 30
    Just FYI, this appears to be exclusive to 64-bit devices. 
  • Reply 9 of 30
    I have used f.lux didn't really used much but this looks really nice been using it for two days really like it setting r sun set to sun rise  or I can set my prefer time  running on iPhone 6s Plus iOS 
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 10 of 30
    Tyleryy said:
    Why not just do a dark theme like people have been asking for years?? Jesus
    It's not just about changing the "theme", it's about doing something that has real scientific research behind it to help you get to sleep if you're addicted to using iDevices all day including before bed. Not really sure what Jesus has to do with it, but if you don't like it don't use it. Thought we had moved past the whole "themes" phase from the 90s and early 2000s but apparently not. 
    morecksully54redgeminipapmzigorskymike1nolamacguy
  • Reply 11 of 30
    My experience with F.lux is that even though in isolation, as in the photo above, the display looks very yellow, your brain compensates and does a white balancing so you don't really notice it, especially as F.lux does this gradually as you are using the screen. For those who want the "dark" theme, remember the problem is blue light and any non-black pixel will still have an element of blue in its RGB rendition on the LCD display, and your brain sees and processes this blue (even though you may not explicitly see it) when setting its circadian rhythms. So a dark theme in and of itself is not the whole solution, because there will still be pixels with a significant component of blue.
    anton zuykovlostkiwimoreckfastasleepdbhpmz
  • Reply 12 of 30
    Tyleryy said:
    Why not just do a dark theme like people have been asking for years?? Jesus
    Not really sure what Jesus has to do with it, but if you don't like it don't use it.
    Yeah.. neither was I. Somehow I don't think Jesus is a fan of "dark" theme. :)
    lostkiwinolamacguy
  • Reply 13 of 30
    Tyleryy said:
    Why not just do a dark theme like people have been asking for years?? Jesus
    It's not just about changing the "theme", it's about doing something that has real scientific research behind it to help you get to sleep if you're addicted to using iDevices all day including before bed. Not really sure what Jesus has to do with it, but if you don't like it don't use it. Thought we had moved past the whole "themes" phase from the 90s and early 2000s but apparently not. 
    Plus a darker theme is best for an OLED display, which is why watchOS is very dark and iOS is not. When Apple shifts to OLED on the iPhones, then expect the UI to darken. 
    stevie
  • Reply 14 of 30
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,251member
    Just FYI, this appears to be exclusive to 64-bit devices. 
    Ugh LAME. 
    stevie
  • Reply 15 of 30
    cornchip said:
    Just FYI, this appears to be exclusive to 64-bit devices. 
    Ugh LAME. 
    That may change but from the reports I've seen its only showing up on those. There's a display driver update involved among other things.
  • Reply 16 of 30
    Will this make Maps smarter about shifting to night mode a little more in sync with ambient conditions?  (On occasion, I've seen it remain in daytime mode in near-dark conditions, which can be distracting whilst driving.)
  • Reply 17 of 30
    netroxnetrox Posts: 717member
    Tyleryy said:
    Apple thought a piss yellow screen is better then black/dark mode? Wow
    Apparently, you don't know much about f.lux. The dark theme will NOT address the problem associated with sleep. Dark theme still emit a lot of blue light while "piss yellow" reduces the amount of blue light significantly not to disrupt your natural production of melatonin. I do want the dark theme too but that does not help with the circadian rhythm.
    edited January 2016 revenantnolamacguy
  • Reply 18 of 30
    Tyleryy said:
    Why not just do a dark theme like people have been asking for years?? Jesus
    You can already do that in iOS 9. General/Accessibility and scroll right down to the bottom to Accessibility Shortcut. You have a choice for triple clicking the home button and one of them is Invert Colours. Voilà, a dark screen.
  • Reply 19 of 30
    jonljonl Posts: 210member
    Glaringly inaccurate colors, yay! I would never use this, and I say this sitting in front of my calibrated PC monitor at 2 AM, about to go to bed and sleep like a baby as always.

    stevie
  • Reply 20 of 30
    djsherlydjsherly Posts: 1,016member
    jonl said:
    Glaringly inaccurate colors, yay! I would never use this, and I say this sitting in front of my calibrated PC monitor at 2 AM, about to go to bed and sleep like a baby as always.

    With flux, you just switch it off for an hour when you're editing your photo collection at 2am. Flux is awesome. Hopefully daylight robbery/night shift/whatever will be just as effective. 

    So glad Apple invented this. 
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