Night Shift

I’ve been a long-time fan of f.lux on the Mac. The genius of f.lux is that it shifts the spectrum of light emitted by the display of your Mac towards the red end according to your preferences.

In normal cases, this means that the shift to the red end gradually starts when the sun sets and is reversed as the sun rises. I like the warmer tint when it gets dark around me, despite the annoyed looks of some family members. You can’t please everyone.

Naturally, I’ve always wanted something similar on my iOS devices. And along came this stunt where, for a short amount of time, f.lux could be sideloaded onto your iOS device and it seemed like the perfect solution1.

However, I never tried it because I was expecting Apple to close that door as soon as they became aware of it. And that’s precisely what happened after a few days.

Too bad, really.

So it will not come as a surprise that you could (sorry) color me excited about the release of iOS 9.3 that ships with a feature that (turns out) is similar, although not quite as good, as f.lux on my Mac.

Enter Night Shift.

What can I say, I immediately turned it on after updating. Or, wait, did I turn it on only until the next morning?

There is this switch in Settings > Display & Brightness > Night Shift labeled “Manually Enable Until Tomorrow”.

I think I more or less understand the meaning of this switch outside the schedule. By switching, you turn on Night Shift manually, and the switch will flip back the next day.

But if it is flipped the label doesn’t change. So, imaging my confusion when I got to this place in Settings and the sun had set already. I activated Night Shift and then recognized the switch (located below the “main” control) and, guess what, the switch was activated.

What should I do now? Had I accidentally activated the manual mode in Night Shift? I didn’t want manual activation, I want the feature to run on schedule.

OK, no big deal. I figured it out after some time. And while I’m no expert in designing graphical user interfaces, I sense that those who are may want to have a word with Apple about this switch.

And sure enough, some basic research turned out that I’m not entirely alone with my thoughts about the implementation of this switch. And so I close this article with a vote to replace the currently existing switch by a more appropriate approach to manual activation in the (near) future.

  1. Although I have to say that I feel more comfortable if this functionality is integrated into the OS instead of controlled by a single app.