A closer look at Night Shift mode in iOS 9.3

By , Jan 12, 2016

iOS 9.3 Night Shift mode teaser 001

Yesterday’s feature-packed release of the first beta of iOS 9.3 came with a curious new feature Apple calls Night Shift mode. A new switch in the Settings app, it prompts iOS to change the screen’s gamma value in order to make the colors appear warmer or cooler.

So, why would you want a yellowish-tinted images on your iOS device? Because “many studies have shown that exposure to bright blue light in the evening can affect your circadian rhythms and make it harder to fall asleep,” according to Apple’s pitch.

Blue light might be the cause for your insomniac patterns so good thing Night Shift mode is here to take care of that. Here’s an overview of how Night Shift mode works in iOS 9.3 and how you can customize it to your liking.

Night Shift mode: how to set it up

Night Shift mode can be set up in a new section inside Settings → Display & Brightness. To enable it, you just flip the new Blue Light Reduction button to the ON position. “When enabled, Blue Light Reduction allows your eyes to relax so that falling asleep is easier,” reads the feature’s description.

iOS 9.3 Night Shift mode iPod touch screenshot 001

Your iOS device will shift the colors in the display to the warmer end of the spectrum in order to cut down on the amount of blue light that you see at night. You can also drag the slider to shift the color scheme manually toward warmer or cooler. By the way, taking screenshots while in Night Shift mode results in regular-looking images.

Customizing Night Shift mode

Night Shift mode uses your iOS device’s clock and location services to determine when it’s sunset in your location. In the morning, Night Shift mode will return the display to its regular settings. You can also use custom schedules and cherry-pick the times when iOS will enable and disable this mode.

iOS 9.3 Night Shift mode iPod touch screenshot 002

Just tap on Schedule in Settings → Display & Brightness to disable scheduling, select automatic scheduling (From Sunset to Sunrise) or use the Custom Schedule option to choose the times that work best for you.

iOS 9.3 Night Shift mode iPod touch screenshot 004

You can then select when you would like Night Shift mode to kick into action and be disabled, as depicted on the screenshots. For an overview of other new features in iOS 9.3, check out Jeff’s nicely done video walkthrough embedded below.

Devices supporting Night Shift mode

Night Shift mode only works on 64-bit devices (hardware released in 2013 and beyond): the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4 and sixth-generation iPod touch.

The iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPad 2, the third and fourth-generation iPad, the original iPad mini and the fifth-generation iPod touch and earlier devices do not support Night Shift mode as they use 32-bit chipsets.

RELATED: How to add f.lux-like screen gamma settings to non-jailbroken iPhones

Owners of jailbroken 32-bit devices can work around Night Shift mode’s hardware dependance by installing one of the jailbreak tweaks that serves the same purpose. Jeff’s tutorial on sideloading f.lux on iOS devices is probably a good starting point.

I suspect that Night Shift mode will eventually make its way into OS X. Until it does, however, you’ll wholeheartedly recommended to install the instantly great (and totally free) f.lux for Mac.

What are your thoughts on Night Shift mode and will you be taking advantage of it, do you think?

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  • Danuel Carr

    Finally

  • Newgunnerr

    9.2.1 and 9.3 jb pls

    • John

      no

    • You do understand that iDB only reports on jailbreaks, not actually develops them, right?

  • MRTEE

    is it out to the public beta yet?

    • Troy

      don’t see it yet

    • Franklin Richards

      Since this is a bigger update I think they might wait until beta 2/3 for devs before it goes on public beta.

  • Trey

    This shouldn’t have been called Night Shift Mode. A switch to change the entire iOS system to dark colors should have been called that. This should be called something completely different…. like maybe… Circadian or something.

    • Or f.lux or somethin crazy like that

  • Slifur

    Bye f.lux!

  • hi. i have no options for this on iPhone 5. anyone?

    • Franklin Richards

      Literally says in the article the feature is for 64 bit iPhones which doesn’t include the iPhone 5.

      • ip5 is 32bit? oh.

      • Franklin Richards

        Yep. iPhone 5S was the first iPhone to use 64 bit. I know how you feel. I kind of wished it was on the iPhone 5 too. You could always jailbreak if you really want the feature.

      • thanks.

    • Talukdar shaheb

      Why do you want to use this feature? Do you like this yellow color screen? I found it really irritating. That’s why I am using screen protector which provide me same facilities without changing the color. It can prevent harmful blue light and also help me to sleep well. Currently I am using “ocushiled” screen protector.

  • It’s a shame that 32-bit devices aren’t compatible with this. There’s no reason for it not to run.

    • Tommy

      ikr use my ipad mini 1 now just for basic web browsing and reading, would be great to have the f.lux, oh well, ill just be jailbreaking anyway

  • Franklin Richards

    Damn it I use my spare iPhone 5 specifically to watch stuff before sleep. And it just missed the cut. = (

    • :D

      What do you watch? XD

      • Franklin Richards

        Haha Nah I usually just watch an anime on crunchyroll.

  • Matt

    Didn’t even credit f.lux or anything – typical Apple.

    • John

      Why? Because f.lux is the only other company that does this?

      And how is this typical? Apple typically credit other people when making changes; things from using their data source such as Map data or patching jailbreak vulnerabilities.

  • Tommy

    can they plz release 9.2.1 so we can get a jb before this gets too crazy

    • John

      no

      • Tommy

        yes

  • Chocolatewe

    Basically a rip off f.lux

  • al7oot

    IMO I don’t think its a huge thing for JailBreakers. we have been using f.lux since its released. Thanks JailBreak for making our iPhones cool.

  • Julio Hernandez

    Small typo where you list the devices. You listed “iPhone 6 Plus” again after the iPhone 6s.

  • [RECON1]

    I’m not seeing that From sunset to sunrise option. I just have Off and Custom Schedule.

    • asch3n

      I’m in the same spot, I’m not sure why that option isn’t appearing.

      • [RECON1]

        That is weird.

      • Chinch07

        You need to have auto time zone set under privacy for it to work.

      • Chinch07

        You need to have auto time zone set under privacy for it to show up.

      • [RECON1]

        Sweet. Thank you

  • I think the Elevator music tends to distract from Jeffs usual great presentations….

  • No complaints at all because it is evolving iOS quicker than if Apple were on their own creatively, but those guys sure have “stolen” almost all the good jailbreak tweaks nowadays!

  • Johann Rajadurai

    Apple is playing with us they will release 9.3 and put 9.4 on beta and so on. The hope of even seeing a 9.2.1 jailbreak has been literally crushed. 9.1 is still available but Pangu and taiG still haven’t even given us any information.

  • C Mac

    F.lux gradually transitions to warmer colors over a few hours, which makes the color change seem less drastic. Does night shift do that? Or is it an off / on only feature?

  • noaledlaczego

    It’s a shame that 32-bit devices aren’t compatible with this. There’s no reason for it not to run.