f.lux responds to Apple’s inclusion of Night Shift in iOS 9.3

By , Jan 14, 2016


The creators of f.lux, the Mac and iOS utility that makes it easier to use bright screens in dark settings, have responded to Apple’s inclusion of Night Shift mode in iOS 9.3—a feature that duplicates f.lux’s primary feature.

In the Apple world, we refer to this as being Sherlocked—a term that’s used when Apple provides OS-level functionality that seemingly makes a popular third-party application redundant. Curious as to what f.lux has to say about the situation? Have a look.

A quote from f.lux:

There is a lot to be done. Indeed, workers on the “night shift” have nearly double the lifetime risk of cancer, and much of this is believed to be driven by exposure to bright light at the wrong times.

Apple’s involvement in fixing this problem is a big commitment and an important first step.

We’re proud that we are the original innovators and leaders in this area. In our continued work over the last seven years, we have learned how complicated people actually are. The next phase of f.lux is something we cannot wait to ship to the world.

It’s a nice response to what has to be a little hurtful given that the Night Shift’s functionality is highly similar to f.lux in almost every way. That said, f.lux is still campaigning to be included in the App Store:

Today we call on Apple to allow us to release f.lux on iOS, to open up access to the features announced this week, and to support our goal of furthering research in sleep and chronobiology.

As you might remember, f.lux was at one time available to be sideloaded on iOS 9 devices using Xcode 7, but Apple quickly shut that down.

I’m torn. On one hand, Apple is totally within its rights to improve its OS in any way it sees fit, but on another hand, f.lux is the originator in this space, and it’s very obvious where the influence came from.

What do you think?

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  • This a low move on Apple. They should let the developers release f.lux now.

    • What we don’t know is that maybe Apple did want to acquire the company. Whether they declined or not, making an app/mod on a platform other than their own is always susceptible to this. It is unfortunate though.

      • workin

        Maybe I’m off in thinking what if Apple purloined any or every app out there. F.lux is pretty awesome, ios & OS

      • Bumbacock

        No apple always steals from jailbreak tweak developers and they have been since the beginning

      • Yes they do, but devs already know that it can happen at any time.

    • Eli Montoya

      Apple has to be by far a powerful, yet stingy company. They’re brats about their software. Especially about apps interacting with the OS.

    • John

      What’s a low move?

      • ericesque

        sweeping the legs?

      • ericesque

        doing the limbo?

      • John

        Are you trying to troll?
        Are you trying to be funny?

        Because you’re failing at both so far.

        Wanna try a third time, you might even get it right…

      • u so mad tho

      • Rahul Srivastava

        iSheep Alert.

      • John

        Um, dickhead alert?
        I don’t understand your exceptionally useful reply.

        Could you try again in English, please?

      • Favna

        So salt.
        So trigger.
        So mad.

      • Me

        You bitch like a school girl at the “exceptionally useful reply” and proceed to call them a dickhead.

      • John

        I said useful, I didn’t say anything about mature…but point taken.

      • John

        Though I like how your one like is from the trolling @rahulistic:disqus I will be sure to thank him next time I need to call him for any IT support…until then, I’ll take two garlic cheese naan and a Butter Chicken.

      • 9to5Slavery


      • ericesque

        Sorry, were you being serious when you asked what a low move was? I thought you were calling out the OP because the phrase is “low blow” not “low move”. Sweeping the legs would be an example of a very low fighting move. Doing the limbo would be an example of a very low dancing move.

        I was just having some fun with my other comments. I figured you were in on it. Sorry if it felt like I was trolling you.

      • John

        Yeah, don’t quite know where I was going with that response. I did find your responses amusing… Low move/Low dance move, got it last night and chuckled.

        Not sure what was going through my head then, sorry mate.

    • Alexandre Isurugi

      no it’s not. It’s a basic functionality that should be included on all platforms by default.

  • Ds

    I love f.lux!! I use it on all my devices from my computer at work to my laptop at home. It is probably one of the main reasons I jailbreak my “I” devices. It would be nice if Apple allowed f.lux in the app store since they pretty much took it from them after the whole side load issue. With that being said.. I’m not sure f.lux is now needed in the app store since Night Shift is now a thing.. unless they make f.lux run on older iOS.

    • Zzyzxd

      If Apple allowed f.lux in App Store, it means Apple has to allow third party app to use private API. f.lux is awesome, but I don’t want other apps to mess up my screen.

      • Lucus Bendzsa

        Agreed. Think of the garbage that would come.

      • John

        It certainly would set a new benchmark for developers and I’m not sure Apple would be willing to set that precedence.

  • tariq

    Apple should of given credit to f.lux and I still prefer f.lux over Apples night shift. And if Apple is taking ideas from jailbrak community, shouldnt they kinda support jb community? or at least be neutral with them instead of blocking them on every update?

    • Lucus Bendzsa

      Then it would be used for piracy or hacking and Apple would be in trouble.

      • h4nd0fg0d

        Ya, so so much trouble. Lmao

      • The benefits of opening up iOS far out weigh the downsides. It’s also possible to use iOS to ‘pirate’ or hack without it being jailbroken. OS X to a certain extent is an open platform and it’s flourishing, if it were a closed platform I don’t think the Mac would be such a success.

    • Swanny246

      Apple have always taken inspiration from jailbreak tweaks, dating back to the notification centre being inspired by the old MobileNotifier tweak. This is nothing new.

    • Alexandre Isurugi


  • Eikast

    Great response by Flux developers. I would hope that Apple would allow F.lux to release an app but I understand that it would be hard due to the nature of having a sandbox.

    I think it would have been better had Apple worked with Flux developers instead of kicking them to the curb.

    • John

      They did it to themselves.

      You must have missed all the talking about private APIs and how they then decided to go behind Apples back and promote sideloading for all the wrong reason.

      In short, and regretfully, bridge burnt.

      • igorsky

        The most mature post in this nonsense thread.

      • John


  • iByron

    If they did something clearly against guidelines, then f.lux can’t really be in the App Store. This isn’t something new, nor is it even fuzzy. Every dev knows the rules and chooses to abide by them or break them at will. They aren’t the first and won’t be the last.

    Jailbreak is still around though, right?

  • Franklin Richards

    Apple. Just buy f.lux and let them help out. If they’re committed with the research in sleep and chronobiology then that is only going to a plus to your whole health kit thing.

  • This one is definitely sketchy, it’s more then obvious Apple took this directly from them. They could have just worked with them to get it placed into the OS itself. I understand Apple’s originally concept of we can’t allow the API.. but telling people to stop side loading something isn’t exactly cool when that’s the point of side loading, to bypass the app store and allow for additional functionality and testing purposes. Sadly because they are mainly know by the jailbreaking community this will all go on deaf ears, unless it is brought up somewhere else.. or if f.lux were to sell to Android and have it built into their OS. Apple really should get major credit to these guys at the very very least.

    • igorsky

      “It’s more than obvious” says a guy who gets his news from a blog and has no insider information whatsover.

      • Nice, makes no sense at all.. Hope you feel better putting people down online that you don’t even know. Been in the tech sector for a long long time, you have no clue. Good day.

  • h4nd0fg0d

    Apple are fck’n assholes, end of story. Poaching low lives.

    • NotTodayThx

      there appears to be some nefarious side to almost everything apple does, but maybe that’s just part of the deal when you are in the bracket of 1% super rich, so called “Elites”, make money, make money, take other people’s ideas, use copyrighted materials, use who is internationally acknowledged as the most desperate workers on earth etc etc,
      they are one massive capitalist money making machine, that has no accountability other than to themselves, and will always thrive to gain more cash, they kick for height, then set a new “how low can you go”, at some point money becomes more important than, Customer Service, Integrity, the well being of fellow humans, the onus is on us, as consumers, to hold them to account.

  • Steve Norris

    I like that it is built into the OS. If they let f.lux’s free app on the store, f.lux could “go bad” after it got super popular and load lots of advertisements and crap in the app… .The right thing to do is to write f.lux a check for their research and ask them to send any new advancements their way and everybody part friends.
    How does f.lux make any money anyway? All the apps are donation only….

  • grapecrush

    Night Shift isn’t available on 32 bit devices, so I’ll stick with my jailbroken F.lux on my iPad 4 which works superbly. Apple likes to take credit for other developers’ hard work and make it sound as if they thought of it first. Such original innovation Apple, lol. Incredible it took so long for Apple to provide a F.lux like option on iOS. Countless feedback to Apple fell on deaf ears, like usual.

  • VideoPane was out long before PIP came to the newest iPads. How did Ryan Petrich feel – sherlocked or did he accept it as inevitable and moved on?
    Point is, I guess every app available via jaikbreak must surely be considered fair game to be copied/stolen, etc by the company that makes the devices and the OS?

  • czbird

    Removed flux after few hours. Couldn’t stand the color mismatch.

  • (JailbreakQA) King Shoot

    Night Shift is not compatible on 32-bit devices, so f.lux in the App Store would be a good alternative.

    • Weetsy

      “There is a lot to be done. Indeed, workers on the “night shift” have nearly double the lifetime risk of cancer, and much of this is believed to be driven by exposure to bright light at the wrong times” cancer? Lolwut

  • Joonyaboy

    My TV had this in 1995. I don’t think it’s a new idea. Apple is just including things people have been begging for for years (I know I’ve written them to please include this)

  • Phil Randle

    I not know wether it had to do with API’s or something, but I used f.lux on my Mac for years, and the last few times I have been jailbroken, I have installed it on my iOS device and I would start experiencing strange issues, slight flickering, the device would heat up, it almost felt like they were using software to generate the gamma changes in the display.

    I have been on 9.3 since it launched the other day, and it’s flawless, works with no issues. I might have had a bad experience compared to other people, but the less I need to install when a JB does come back out the better.

  • Scott Curry

    f.lux innovated the idea, but obviously didn’t get approval or go through the proper channels. Apple is well within their rights to take ideas from other developers, especially those ‘third-party’ that come through jailbreaking of their devices. I see no ground for f.lux to stand on here.

    That being said, shitty move to take someone else’s idea and not at least give credit.

  • M_thoroughbred

    Apple should eventually acquire f.lux end of story.

  • John

    I wonder if Apple only implemented this because f.lux pissed them off.

    I guess we will never know.

    • ericesque

      If that’s how this works, somebody needs to get working on an app we can sideload that offers 3rd party app integration for Siri!

  • John

    PIP has been around for yeeeeears, even my old VCR had it.

    Moral of the story: I think it’s getting harder and harder to innovate.

    • askep3

      True haha

  • Jeffery Leo
  • James Branham

    Apple has a history of incorporating the best JB tweaks and apps into iOS. Cydia was the inperation for app store after all.

  • Jay Mac

    This isn’t really anything new in terms of what Apple does, no? I mean wasn’t there an app called Sherlock that Apple made but wasn’t the greatest? So they “borrowed” rather took all the features from another app called Watson and came out with Sherlock 3. Its where Apple users/fans get the term “Sherlocked” from. This is kinda what they do and have done. They did it to another search app on the Mac called Alfred I think too. Its unfortunate unfair risk app developers run into if they make an app that users love and find more than useful. Apple will want to try and find a way to add it to their own software.

  • ericesque

    The ONLY acceptable response from the CEO of f.lux would be, “I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this”

  • the hood

    If the roles were reversed, Apple would be lodging a patent dispute. If Samsung were involved heaven fobid the avalanche of comments would cripple iDB’s servers.

    • John

      Except in this case, there is no patent.

      Calm your tits, f.lux didn’t get their shit together and now they are having a cry. Such is the way of the world.

      • Chris

        […] f.lux didn’t get their shit together and now they are having a cry.

        I suggest you re-read the comments they made in the article, it suggests no such thing but quite the opposite by them thanking Apple for including it as a stock feature.

      • John

        Really? So when they say APPLE LET US IN THE APP STORE what they are really saying is “Let us in the App Store because we want to be there and you should open this up long before you open us any other functionality…like NFC”

      • Chris

        They are asking for Apple to allow developer access to the private framework that Night Mode and f.lux use. Remember, they block access to parts of iOS to prevent apps from messing with your iDevice which would happen.

        They aren’t crying about anything, they would simply like Apple to be slightly more transparent.

      • John

        Transparent? Are you joking? Transparent… What rubbish. Why the heck would Apple listen to a company who blaintly defied them and when Apple said no, they went and published a work around.

        The only credit I’ll give them is that they took it down when Apple said too.

      • e.g.

        do better research…. and as saurik says: lean back and get your popcorn

      • the hood

        Hey breast boy, my tits are calm. I did say if the ‘roles were reversed’, meaning if f.lux stole this from Apple, there would be a patent dispute because Apple would’ve had ‘their shit together’. Do I need to paint a picture?

  • iannleon


  • James G

    This is why you patent.

    • Chris

      f.lux is a free tweak, a basic level patent costs around USD$2500 minimum. Even still, I doubt they would have being allowed to apply for one since they’re using private frameworks in iOS.

      • James G

        $2500 is nothing when talking about licensing of that patent by phone and PC manufacturers. Doesn’t matter what APIs are needed in order to patent. It’s the functionality and feature of adjusting light programmatically that would be patented.

        The swipe to navigate through steps is even patented. It’s so simple but if you want to use it you need permission. f.lux could’ve patented and gotten credit for their idea and work.

  • Rahimo

    I’m using F.lux on all my idevices , but I don’t have a Mac, is there a version for Windows??

    • M_Hawke

      Yes, I had it in Windows before I had it as a tweak. Search for it.

  • Alexandre Isurugi

    well for one, Night Shift allows for custom schedules. f.lux currently doesn’t. if they’ve been around for 7 years, I’m sur ethey had time to add this in… If an app doesn’t evolve, they have no right to complain that something else comes along that’s better (I’m not saying they’re complaining, just sayin’)

  • At least Apple is learning from the innovation of the jailbreak community. If only they would implement a folder search in spotlight by using 3D touch in spotlight; bringing one directly to the location of an app instead of just opening it.

  • Elvis McDonut

    My opinion: This is a non-story. Controversy where there is none. Apple and f.lux have good intentions. Everyone get on the same page. – Anonymous Cowhard.

  • lookHOWMADheis

    Apple should have reached out to f.lux and offered them a mf job!

  • igorsky

    I find it funny how people attack Apple for allegedly ripping someone off, yet accuse them of overreacting for suing Samsung. Can’t have it both way.

  • Gibboni Hector

    All this time i never knew that F.lux was on windows, now i can use the computer with the light off.

  • RicoSuaveGuapo

    He even stole that quote.