iOS 9.3 Night Shift – I love it!
If you’ve browsed a bit through my blog you might have realised that I’m intrigued about finding a good way to read on digital devices. I’ve written about reading on tablets and e-ink readers, we’ve had a look at the Yotaphone and I posted an article about how smartphones need a bedtime mode. Why do I want to read on digital devices? Because I travel and I don’t want to carry my whole library of books around but have them all on a nice and light device that I can always bring with me. Don’t get me wrong, I love books and from time to time I get one at the airport. I love the smell of the pages and I also like to see where exactly I am in the book. However, this can also be seen on a tablet, but you know what I mean.
Ok, but let’s get back to the “bedtime mode”, or Night Shift, as Apple calls it. You might have heard about the app f.lux. It’s a nice little programme that you install on your PC or Mac and it dims the screen at the moment the sun sets. In other words, it takes the blue light out of the screen. Why is that important? Because the blue light is very close to daylight and makes our body think that it is in the middle of the day. Usually, the body would produce melatonin when it gets dark outside and prepare us for sleep. But with the blue light, the production of the hormone melatonin is suppressed which is why our body is more awake. This makes it more difficult for us to fall asleep. So, f.lux is taking this blue light away so that even if we sit in front of the computer screen late, it will be possible for us to fall asleep. Also, we will feel less eyestrain.
With iOS 9.3, Apple is bringing the mechanisms of the f.lux app to iPads and iPhones (the sad part of the story is that the f.lux app got banned from the App Store). They call it Night Shift. You can turn on Night Shift in Settings > Display & Brightness. Go to “Blue Light Reduction” and choose the level you would like your Night Shift mode to be at. I have it right in the middle and a little bit more to the warmer side. I have selected to have it turn on at sunset and turn off at sunrise, but you can also choose to have it on all the time. It is actually quite relaxing when reading.
For the photo, I had to move the bar to the extreme right (warm) so that actually any difference could be seen by the Camera. In reality, you see a difference immediately turning Night Shift on, also when the bar is in the middle.
When you look at the warmer looking screen for a bit longer, you don’t even realise anymore that it is more yellowish looking. The eyes get used to it and it is just an amazing feeling. The eyes just don’t hurt. With Night Shift, I might consider to leave my Kindle at home. So far, I still preferred it because of the more eye-friendly reading. The other question is, what to do in sunlight? I tried it out, and even on the iPad Mini 4 that has a film on the screen for better reading in sunlight, it is still very difficult to read – even with Night Shift on. So, if you would like to read at the beach, I still recommend a Kindle – or a real book (goes better together with sand).
iOS 9.3 does not have an official release date yet. I am using the iOS 9.3 Beta. Other nice features of iOS 9.3 like pairing with multiple Apple Watches and multi-login for educational purposes can be found here.
I hope you liked my two cents of the day! I can’t wait to hear about your thoughts on Night Shift!
Have a great day!