iOS 9.3 to offer "Night Shift" for alleged better sleep

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Rafagon

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#1
Blue light can negatively impact sleep. To counteract this, apps like f.lux and clones thereof have attempted to reduce emission of blue light from iDevices, automatically kicking in around bedtime. Unfortunately, these have heretofore required jailbreaking your device or installation via lengthy or unorthodox (or, at the very least, non-Apple-sanctioned) means, some of which may be overly complicated for the non-tech-savvy.

cmo-frustration-100532646-primary.idge.jpg

Above: Non-tech-savvy user exhibiting frustration
while attempting to side-load an app to his iPhone.


iOS 9.3 will attempt to bring this blue light-reducing feature to the masses with "Night Shift," allowing users of non-jailbroken devices to take advantage of the feature. This will ultimately lead to millions of people sleeping better, and reduced workplace grumpiness.
 

Europa

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#4
Blue light can negatively impact sleep. To counteract this, apps like f.lux and clones thereof have attempted to reduce emission of blue light from iDevices, automatically kicking in around bedtime. Unfortunately, these have heretofore required jailbreaking your device or installation via lengthy or unorthodox (or, at the very least, non-Apple-sanctioned) means, some of which may be overly complicated for the non-tech-savvy.

View attachment 43769
Above: Non-tech-savvy user exhibiting frustration
while attempting to side-load an app to his iPhone.


iOS 9.3 will attempt to bring this blue light-reducing feature to the masses with "Night Shift," allowing users of non-jailbroken devices to take advantage of the feature. This will ultimately lead to millions of people sleeping better, and reduced workplace grumpiness.
Where did you hear that it was overly complicated? Side loading with the non-jailbreak versions on stock iPhones with Xcode on a Mac was very easy. It only took a minute or so. I used two different versions (Goodnight and GammaThingy) back before the iOS 9.02 jailbreak came out. I'm not sure if either still works.
 

Kadelic

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#5
Where did you hear that it was overly complicated? Side loading with the non-jailbreak versions on stock iPhones with Xcode on a Mac was very easy. It only took a minute or so. I used two different versions (Goodnight and GammaThingy) back before the iOS 9.02 jailbreak came out. I'm not sure if either still works.
Goodnight quit working for me after I updated to 9.2. Maybe because the update got rid of the developer profile. I haven't tried re-installing it but it's supposedly compatible with 9.2.
 

Rafagon

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#6
Where did you hear that it was overly complicated? Side loading with the non-jailbreak versions on stock iPhones with Xcode on a Mac was very easy. It only took a minute or so. I used two different versions (Goodnight and GammaThingy) back before the iOS 9.02 jailbreak came out. I'm not sure if either still works.
Not for any of us eiC regulars, of course. That's a given. :D

But I know some non-tecchies who might get overwhelmed when they see they have to follow more than three or four straightforward steps:

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 8.01.57 PM.png

Or, heck, they might even be capable of following the steps, but not have access to an OS X machine in order to use Xcode.

It's for those folks that this "Night Shift" feature baked right into iOS will come in especially handy.
 

Kadelic

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#7
Goodnight quit working for me after I updated to 9.2. Maybe because the update got rid of the developer profile. I haven't tried re-installing it but it's supposedly compatible with 9.2.
I just re-installed GoodNight. Piece of cake. It works well and there are some updated features that weren't in the previous version.
 

Europa

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#8
Not for any of us eiC regulars, of course. That's a given. :D

But I know some non-tecchies who might get overwhelmed when they see they have to follow more than three or four straightforward steps:

View attachment 43770

Or, heck, they might even be capable of following the steps, but not have access to an OS X machine in order to use Xcode.

It's for those folks that this "Night Shift" feature baked right into iOS will come in especially handy.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for it becoming a stock feature. The more stock features the better. There is less of a need to jailbreak each time Apple implements one of these jailbreak features. I was just saying I disagree with you regarding the difficulty level of side loading tweaks. Goodnight and Gammythingy only take a minute once you have Xcode installed. Yes, you need a Mac, but you definitely don't need to be tech-savvy and it's not overly complicated, as you stated. I was actually amazed by how quick and easy they were.
 

Rafagon

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#11
Here are a lot more details on that Night Shift mode.

Be advised that the simple task of changing screen colors from white to orange at a specified time will require the unparalleled horsepower that only a 64-bit processor can provide (as far as Apple claims), so not all iDevices capable of handling iOS 9.3 will be able to offer Night Shift. Am I trying to imply something? Maybe. :)

nightshiftmodecomparison-800x600.jpg


Above: Warm orange so you can sleep, cool white to wake you up in the morning. Photo courtesy MacRumors.

Those of you using 32-bit iDevices, you can use the following software patch (does not require jailbreaking) in order to sleep soundly regardless of how long you use your iDevice at bedtime:

Unknown.jpeg

(Warning: May cause sleepwalking, sleep driving.)
 

Rafagon

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#15
Response from F.lux creators. The article says it became available on iOS in 2015, but it was actually 2014.
That was a good read; thanks for sharing! They said they would update the post if Apple responds to their query about the matter, so I'm looking forward to see what, if anything, Apple has to say.

It states that the f.lux app was banned for using private APIs. Since this violated the Developer Program agreement, it is my opinion that Apple was in the right for doing so. However, when Apple implements Night Shift in iOS 9.3, then if (and only if) they create public APIs for developers to allow that functionality in their apps, at that time they should (in my opinion) allow the app back into the App Store.

Can Apple legally "steal" the idea for a blue-light-reducing app without compensating the developers? I do not know. Siri originally was an standalone app made by Siri Inc., and Apple acquired that company (for more than $200 million) prior to baking Siri into iOS.
 

Europa

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#16
That was a good read; thanks for sharing! They said they would update the post if Apple responds to their query about the matter, so I'm looking forward to see what, if anything, Apple has to say.

It states that the f.lux app was banned for using private APIs. Since this violated the Developer Program agreement, it is my opinion that Apple was in the right for doing so. However, when Apple implements Night Shift in iOS 9.3, then if (and only if) they create public APIs for developers to allow that functionality in their apps, at that time they should (in my opinion) allow the app back into the App Store.

Can Apple legally "steal" the idea for a blue-light-reducing app without compensating the developers? I do not know. Siri originally was an standalone app made by Siri Inc., and Apple acquired that company (for more than $200 million) prior to baking Siri into iOS.
The f.lux creators weren't the first to develop it and it wasn't their original idea. It's been available on computers for years. There's nothing they can do. Yes, they broke Apple's developer terms. No, Apple wouldn't be stealing it.
 

Rafagon

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#17
This Forbes article has food for thought about Apple’s new Night Shift mode.

Note: The Forbes site seems highly reluctant to show you the article unless you turn off your content blocker(s). As such, here is the full text of the article presented without the hassle:

“Forbes” said:
Apple iOS 9.3 Has A Nasty Surprise
by Gordon Kelly [Contributor]

Apple iOS 9.3 is finally here after no less than seven betas. It’s jam packed with exciting new features, but arguably its biggest and most anticipated addition has left a bitter taste in the mouths of some users…

In short: Night Shift is not all it is cracked up to be.

It turns out Apple’s long awaited Bluelight Filter has a number of frustrating limitations which the company failed to mention in its release notes. On top of this it is also being dismissed as not fit for purpose by one of the industry’s most respected display testers. Here are the facts as they stand:

Night Shift Doesn’t Work With Older Devices

Despite Night Shift requiring virtually no processing power it turns out anyone with an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch older than late 2013 is out of luck. This includes the iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, the first four generations of iPad and numerous generations of iPod touch.

Why? The reason is Apple coded Night Shift exclusively in 64bit code. This means a cut off point for any device not using the Apple A7 chipset or newer since it provided the first 64bit iOS-compatible CPU and GPU. As such all owners of 32bit devices are out of luck / have been given the classic Apple push to upgrade.

Night Shift Doesn’t Work With Low Power Mode

Also causing heads to shake, is the discovery that Night Shift cannot be used when your iPhone or iPad is in low power mode. The reasoning behind this is unclear (I’ve asked the question) since with Night Shift enabled displays should actually use less power. The other obvious point is Night Shift is designed to be used at night which is when a device is mostly likely to be running low on power.

Industry Attack

Lastly Night Shift has also come under attack from none other than Ray Soneira, president of DisplayMate – a site which has become the industry benchmark for testing the displays of electronic devices and is often cited by manufacturers in their marketing materials. Soneira dismisses the implementation of Night Shift in iOS 9.3 saying it does little to no good. He argues:

“Night Shift, which turns down the amount of blue light produced by the display, won’t significantly affect the production of melatonin enough to influence the circadian rhythm and improve the user’s nighttime sleep cycle. I’ve looked into this before and it’s more of a placebo effect.”

Following up with me Soneira expanded on his findings saying:

“This is an effect that I have been following for many years. I am not a sleep researcher, but I am a theoretical physicist with extensive knowledge of the displays, light spectra, and human color vision. It is clear that many sleep researchers do not have a very good understanding of displays, light spectra, or human color vision, so many of their conclusions regarding displays are simply not correct.”

Soneira also points out that the removal of blue light from a display will turn it yellow and Night Shift in iOS 9.3 turns the display orange. This also asks questions about many popular Android bluelight filter apps which turn displays grey (BlueLight Filter) and red (Twilight).

Needless to say I have also asked Apple to respond to Soneira’s claims and will update this article when/if it does.

In the meantime it is important to stress that iOS 9.3 remains an excellent update. It is well tested and the upgrade process has gone very smoothly for the vast majority (a very small number proportionately have mentioned activation errors that are fixed with a reset).

As such the fact Night Shift has several unexpected limitations and faces allegations regarding its overall effectiveness, does not change my overall recommendation that iOS 9.3 is an update you should install.