F.lux says it is 'original innovator' of nighttime display color tech, asks Apple to open Night Shi

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2016
Developers behind popular screen brightness and color control software f.lux issued a formal statement in response to Apple's debut of "Night Shift" in the latest iOS 9.3 beta, calling on the tech giant to allow a proper version of f.lux into the iOS App Store and open API access to Night Shift's display management tools.




In its carefully worded response, f.lux lauded Apple's Night Shift beta launch, an iOS feature that automatically shifts display color temperature towards the warmer end of the spectrum to ease physiological effects of being exposed to cold blue light at night.

"Apple's involvement in fixing this problem is a big commitment and an important first step," writes f.lux cofounder Michael Herf.

According to medical research cited by f.lux, exposure to blue light before going to bed suppresses the natural production of melatonin and can delay sleep for an hour. Apple's iOS 9.3 preview page says much the same, noting bright blue light can affect normal circadian rhythms.

Herf says his app, designed in 2009, was the first to employ automated display settings management to limit exposure to bright light -- especially in the blue spectrum -- for a better night's sleep. The app was first available on Mac and in 2011 made it to iOS, but because it utilized private APIs, f.lux was limited to jailbroken devices. With the advent of sideloading in Xcode 7, f.lux for iOS was available in a legitimate capacity, but Apple shut down the project in November, again for using private APIs.

"Today we call on Apple to allow us to release f.lux on iOS, to open up access to the features announced this week, and to support our goal of furthering research in sleep and chronobiology," Herf says.

Apple's introduction of Night Shift just two months after f.lux sideloads were banned is reminiscent of Sherlock, the Mac OS file and Web search tool succeeded by Spotlight. Some believe Sherlock (specifically Sherlock 3) was an Apple clone of Karelia Software's Watson, though others claim Watson copied Sherlock 2. In the end, Sherlock 3 effectively killed Watson, spawning the neologism "Sherlocked." In this case, the proper terminology would by "Night Shifted," but "f.luxed" does have a better ring to it.
latifbp
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,462member
    Had to chuckle at the last bit.  I'll be interested to see how this plays out.
  • Reply 2 of 52
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,388member
    I wish I would have known about this tech years ago. I'm been using it on my Mac since the word of Night Shift for iOS arose a few days ago. I love it. I do wish there were more options in F.lux, so I'd hope that Apple does open up the API so I can buy F.lux for iOS on the App Store, as I'm sure Apple's version will be much simpler and less configurable, not unlike comparing Apple's Keychain passwords to 1Password.
    lostkiwiargonaut
  • Reply 3 of 52
    If the feature is going to be built into iOS, is there a need for f.lux at all? Count me confused. It is a shame that Apple tramples on the little guy like this.
    dasanman69steviemacguiargonaut
  • Reply 4 of 52
    If the feature is going to be built into iOS, is there a need for f.lux at all? Count me confused. It is a shame that Apple tramples on the little guy like this.
    It's not like F.lux is a for-pay app. 
  • Reply 5 of 52
    "Some" say Watson ripped off Sherlock? I'd never heard of that before and it's certainly not the way I remember it unfolding back in the day.
  • Reply 6 of 52
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Innovators.... Come on. This kind of thing existed in non smartphone format before... There is no innovation.

    As for trample... Good grief. They had nothing that could be protected through IP... So, that's how it is.
    They should just be happy everyone has something they popularized on smartphones; their job is done.


    nolamacguystevie
  • Reply 7 of 52
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,985member
    foggyhill said:
    Innovators.... Come on. This kind of thing existed in non smartphone format before... There is no innovation.

    As for trample... Good grief. They had nothing that could be protected through IP... So, that's how it is.
    They should just be happy everyone has something they popularized on smartphones; their job is done.


    So when Apple puts existing tech in a smartphone it's innovative, when someone else does it's not? 
    singularityicoco3techloverafrodristeviezozmanargonaut
  • Reply 8 of 52
    foggyhill said:
    Innovators.... Come on. This kind of thing existed in non smartphone format before... There is no innovation.

    As for trample... Good grief. They had nothing that could be protected through IP... So, that's how it is.
    They should just be happy everyone has something they popularized on smartphones; their job is done.

    So when Apple puts existing tech in a smartphone it's innovative, when someone else does it's not? 
    Who is saying this is innovative? And f.lux has little to no valuable IP around this. This was a feature not a product. They had to know Apple would eventually incorporate it as an OS level feature.
    Rayz2016nolamacguyjbdragon
  • Reply 9 of 52
    If an "innovation" can be reduced to a slider two levels deep in the settings, then it's probably not all that innovative.

    In the case of flux it was someone else's research turned into a basic app. It seems that Apple at least are giving consumers the option after preventing flux from side loading on iOS. 

    And flux are wrong here, we don't need an api for this. The App Store doesn't need 100+ screen tinting apps in the same way it didn't need hundreds of "flashlight" apps. 
    SpamSandwichRayz2016wonkothesanenostrathomasmike1nolamacguypscooter63
  • Reply 10 of 52
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,388member
    If Apple brings this to the Mac, which seems like a logical step, I also hope they include this feature with the backlit keyboard and the light on the MagSafe connector.
  • Reply 11 of 52
    latifbplatifbp Posts: 544member
    If the feature is going to be built into iOS, is there a need for f.lux at all? Count me confused. It is a shame that Apple tramples on the little guy like this.
    Apple has an App Store rule that apps that replicate core OS operations get denied a place in the App Store.
    sergiozRayz2016
  • Reply 12 of 52
    So when Apple puts existing tech in a smartphone it's innovative, when someone else does it's not? 
    I remember some occasion when Apple payed developper who had great idea. CoverFlow was one, and Apple did not used one single line of code of the developper, they just bought the idea. 

    Also, back when the Mac OS did not display the time at the upper right corner, Apple bought the idea from a developper, and once again never used a sigle line of code of the original program.  The clock is still there, and even if the idea seem basic, Apple Payed for it. 
    netmagestevie
  • Reply 13 of 52
    So when Apple puts existing tech in a smartphone it's innovative, when someone else does it's not? 
    I remember some occasion when Apple payed developper who had great idea. CoverFlow was one, and Apple did not used one single line of code of the developper, they just bought the idea. 

    And the way that story ended was somebody sued Apple for over $600 million for CoverFlow.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/05/apple-cover-flow-patent_n_750881.html
    Even when they try to do right, they get screwed.
    EsquireCats
  • Reply 14 of 52
    tenlytenly Posts: 709member
    latifbp said:
    If the feature is going to be built into iOS, is there a need for f.lux at all? Count me confused. It is a shame that Apple tramples on the little guy like this.
    Apple has an App Store rule that apps that replicate core OS operations get denied a place in the App Store.
    latifbp said:
    coolfactor said:
    If the feature is going to be built into iOS, is there a need for f.lux at all? Count me confused. It is a shame that Apple tramples on the little guy like this.
    Apple has an App Store rule that apps that replicate core OS operations get denied a place in the App Store.
    It's a reasonable request and I hope Apple allows it.  The rule you quote is not a hard and fast rule - nor should it exist at all.  Look at all the navigation apps we have access to - even though they duplicate the functionality already provided in Apple maps.

    I would like to see Apple release the API's.  People could then choose between f.lux and the built in functionality - and perhaps f.lux or some other development entity can dream up something innovative that builds off of night-shift but does more.

    Perhaps portions of this technology could be utilized in games or other apps to enhance their existing functionality somehow....but we'll never know if Apple doesn't allow developers access to the capabilities.  I can't imagine there are any security concerns about sharing these capabilities so there really doesn't seem to be any good reasons as to why Apple shouldn't make them public.  I guess we'll see...
    edited January 2016 nemoeacafrodristevie
  • Reply 15 of 52
    sergiozsergioz Posts: 274member
    latifbp said:
    If the feature is going to be built into iOS, is there a need for f.lux at all? Count me confused. It is a shame that Apple tramples on the little guy like this.
    Apple has an App Store rule that apps that replicate core OS operations get denied a place in the App Store.
    That's exactly why nothing will come of it and f.lux developers know that! That's exactly why it was only possible to use f.lux on a jailbrocken phone. I think they want credit for it, which is understandable, because so many of us are using it and love it! F.lux developers are saying they have more features in store which is why they want to be able to submit the app and monopolize on their research. 
    steviezozmanargonaut
  • Reply 16 of 52
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,388member
    latifbp said:
    If the feature is going to be built into iOS, is there a need for f.lux at all? Count me confused. It is a shame that Apple tramples on the little guy like this.
    Apple has an App Store rule that apps that replicate core OS operations get denied a place in the App Store.
    Lots of apps do the same thing as core iOS apps, but since they offer other features that users may want they get included. The plethora of browsers, mail, and notes apps come to mind. Others would be Spotify, Pandora, and 1Password. The problem F.lux faces is with private APIs, not with having features that iOS won't incorporate; as we've seen, they clearly are making it much more simple for the standard user over what the F.lux app offered.
    pscooter63
  • Reply 17 of 52
    dacloodacloo Posts: 890member
    If an "innovation" can be reduced to a slider two levels deep in the settings, then it's probably not all that innovative.
    It's not the front-end presentation that determines how innovative something is.
    iCloud is also integrated in settings with a few buttons and sliders, but that doesn't tell you anything about the effort behind the service.
  • Reply 18 of 52
    I have been using f.lux for many years on the Mac and consider it indispensable. So, I'm of two minds about f.lux's recent comments - I'm really happy that a lot more people will be able be able to use it on iOS when it's built in...but I think Apple should toss these guys a bone as they had a very popular implementation for many years. Sure it was open source but even just some credit would be a start.  
    mr osergiozafrodristeviecnocbuiargonaut
  • Reply 19 of 52
    tenlytenly Posts: 709member
    Unless somebody is being sued for patent infringement - and as far as I know, nobody is - why does it matter whose innovation this is?

    i would like to see Apple open up the API's so that other apps can be created (by f.lux and others) to explore future innovations that build off of the current implementations.

    From what I understand of this technology (which I've only just heard of), Correct me if I'm wrong - but Apples implementation of night-shift results in (among other things) a better nights sleep?  If so - that's great - but what about those times when the opposite effect is desired?  What if I need help staying awake? Is there a setting for that?  Is there perhaps a colour combination (apart from the standard colour scheme) that could be implemented to help me stay awake?

    And never mind innovations...what if we want a few additional "obvious" features?  Apple doesn't always respond quickly to feature requests - but third party apps often do.

    So why would it be a bad thing to open up the API's to other developers to see what they can come up with?  Since when did having options become a bad thing?  If the Apple implementation is good enough for the majority of people, they can ignore any 3rd party apps that provide a similar function just like they currently ignore hundreds of thousands of apps they don't want or need.  I don't understand the predominantly negative comments being posted. 
    afrodristevie
  • Reply 20 of 52
    From the article:
     In the end, Sherlock 3 effectively killed Watson, spawning the neologism "Sherlocked."
     
    I had always believed to be "Sherlocked" meant that the functionality of a program/app was usurped by and included in the operating system (by Apple, in the Apple world). Hence, Spotlight killing Sherlock spawned the neologism of being sherlocked.
    netmage
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