Night Shift: What It Is and How It Works

When Apple released iOS 9.3 on March 21, it included a slew of new features. One feature in particular has caught the eye of many people, literally. The feature is called "NIght Shift" and is pretty interesting.

So what is Night Shift and how does it work? Studies have shown that too much "blue light" in the evening is detrimental to our circadian rhythm. In other words, our bodies are designed to consume less blue light as we wind down for bed time, not more. Staring at a bright computer display (laptop, iPhone, iPad... you name it) doesn't allow for that natural process to take place. Instead, the excess blue light tricks out bodies into thinking it's still day time. Hence, the disruption to our circadian rhythm. Night Shift solves that problem (well, as much as it can) and here's how.

As the day gets later, our bodies expect to see less blue light.

Night Shift works by shifting the display of an iOS device running iOS 9.3 from a standard blue tint to a much more yellow tint. This can either be done automatically (based on the device's location and time of day) or manually (based on specific times that you configure in its settings).

To enable Night Shift mode and adjust its settings, go to Settings > Display & Brightness > Night Shift.

The default setting is to disable Night Shift. Swiping the "Scheduled" switch will enable the feature and allow you to adjust the settings.

A criticism received by many regarding Night Shift is that it destroys the accuracy of colors on the display, turning things much more yellow. Well, yes... that's exactly the point. Here's a visual comparison between Night Shift being active and Night Shift being inactive (this is to show the extreme contrast... the difference is subtle in most cases):

You certainly wouldn't want to use Night Shift if you were receiving images or video for color accuracy. This feature is for standard device use as you wind down for the day (email, web, social, etc).

You can also enable Night Shift on the fly by swiping up on your display and tapping the Night Shift icon.

Posted on March 25, 2016 and filed under Design, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Opinion.