Apple iOS 9.3 Night Shift

Apple launched the new iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro early this morning (GMT +8:00), and it also released iOS 9.3 to the public. iOS 9.3 is the third dot release for Apple’s mobile OS since it was rolled out in September 2015. One of the highlight features is Night Shift mode, which Apple says will “help you sleep better at night.”

Night Shift is cool. What it does is shift the colour temperature of the iPhone or iPad display based on the local time and geolocation. You can set it to switch automatically, or it can be toggled manually.

OK, blue is bad

As you know, blue light isn’t good for you, at least, if you’re planning to get some shut eye. Research shows that exposure to bright blue light in the evening, night or before you hit the sack will make it harder for you to fall asleep. It is believed it’s also bad for your eyes.

Exposure to the short wavelength blue light – the kind that’s emitted by your mobile devices effectively tricks your brain that it’s still daytime.

f.lux Blue Light Filter

Sunlight, also contains blue light. This is vital as it keeps us awake and alert.

So, it’s great that Apple has introduced the eye- and sleep-saving feature with its new OS update. But some Android phones have had this similar feature or mode for a while.

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Android’s good on your eyes, two

Xiaomi, with MIUI 7 and the debut of the Mi 4, has a Read Mode that operates similarly to iOS’ Night Shift. Read Mode reduces screen glare for longer-hour reading, and also gives you better screen-on time.

Read Mode makes your screen a warmer shade of yellow, filtering out harmful blue light.

MIUI 7 Read Mode
Coldplay’s “Yellow” comes to mind.

Acer, with its Liquid family of phones has Bluelightshield, technology it borrowed from its own monitors, notebooks and PCs. Like Read Mode and Night Shift, Bluelightshield reduces harmful blue light from the display, to make it safer for the eyes, especially for prolonged reading.

A fellow Taiwanese brand, BenQ, also has its own reading mode technology. Called BenQ Low Blue Light Mode, it’s found on its flagship F5 and T3 smartphones – also technology it adopted from its own line of monitors.

Even if the feature wasn’t built in, you can install apps on your Android, iOS, Mac or PC devices to help rid off blue light.

Popular apps like Twilight, f.lux, Bluelight Filter and CF.lumen can be installed though several may need a jailbroken iOS device, or rooted Android.

Reading in warmer light may need getting used to, but I think a good night’s rest definitely has its benefits.

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