Bring iOS 9.3’s new Night Shift mode to your computer with f.lux for Mac

By , Jan 21, 2016

Flux for OS X Mac screenshot 001

Yesterday, Anthony blogged about a cool app that lets you dim your Mac’s display brightness even further and beyond the minimum allowed by OS X.

Today, we discuss an app for adjusting the brightness and colors of your Mac’s display, called f.lux, which essentially replicates functionality provided by Apple’s new Night Shift mode on iOS 9.3.

Like Night Shift mode, f.lux helps prevent eyestrain when using your Mac at night (it’s also available on jailbroken and non-jailbroken iOS devices)

In a nutshell, f.lux warms the color of the screen’s backlight in order to reduce or eliminate the amount of blue light the LEDs give off. Upon giving the app permission to use your location, you’re ready to go.

F.lux automatically adapts to the time of day to produce warmer colors at night, which makes your Mac’s screen look like the room you’re in, and like sunlight during the day.

Flux for OS X Mac screenshot 002

You can make individual color adjustments for daytime, sunset and bedtime to suit your needs, tell the app to launch at login and more. If you’re going to be using f.lux on OS X 10.11 El Capitan, bear in mind that OS X’s setting which automatically adjusts brightness doesn’t play nice with the app, causing flickering.

Flux for OS X Mac screenshot 003

You can easily circumvent this issue until a future f.lux update fixes this bug by turning this feature off in System Preferences → Displays, as shown below.

OS X El Capitan System Preferences Displays automatic brightness Mac screenshot 001

F.lux sits in your Mac’s menu bar, through which you can access its preferences window and quick adjustments such as the color scheme (Recommended, Custom, Classic f.lux and Working Late), choose between color effects (Darkroom, Movie Mode and OS X’s Dark Theme at sunset), enable fast color transitions or temporarily disable f.lux for an hour, until sunrise or only for the current app you’re using (with the ability to dim the screen when f.lux is disabled).

Flux for OS X Mac screenshot 004

Summing up, f.lux is a tremendously handy utility that I use every day on my Mac because it makes working on my computer in a dark environment much easier on my eyes, and so should you.

What’s this nonsense about blue light?

Because blue light severely disrupts your sleep and affects shut eye by delaying the creation of the sleep hormone melatonin, doctors advise that gadget lovers stop using their device at least two hours before going to bed.

In addition to keeping you up at night, blue light was also found to lead to insomnia, cause cancers and degrade your immune system over time.

Availability

F.lux requires an Intel-based Mac and can be downloaded at no charge through the official website. The desktop app is also available for the Windows and Linux platforms.

Because the iOS edition of f.lux uses private APIs, it’s not available in the App Store. Thankfully, my colleague Jeff has put together a handy tutorial with step by step instructions on installing a sideloadable version of f.lux on any iOS 9 device, even the new iPad Pro, without a jailbreak.

On jailbroken devices, f.lux is available on Cydia. You can sign a petition to bring back Flux for iOS at this link.

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  • mrgerbik

    I installed this a week or so ago and for the most part it works awesome.. one issue I do notice thou is that when netflix and some other video is fullscreen (in safari), bright yellows and whites become very pixelated

  • tariq

    I might be wrong, but it is not available for non-jb devices. I tried installing it on my 5S but it just says error 404 on that page (link)

    • Mr_Coldharbour

      This is the Mac version. There already is a f.lux like feature in iOS 9.3 beta.

  • Jared

    “which essentially replicates functionality provided by Apple’s new Night Shift mode on iOS 9.3”

    Ummmm, no. It’s the other way around. Apple’s “new” Night Shift mode replicates f.lux. I have been using f.lux on my Mac for about 5 years now.

    • malhal

      He’s spot on, Apple’s sticky fingers came out again.

      • grapecrush

        Absolutely. Too bad people who don’t know about f.lux will think that Apple came up with this. I’ve had f.lux on my MBP for years and have been jailbreaking just to get f.lux on my iDevices. I’ve sent numerous feedback to Apple to let f.lux into the App store and this is what they did. So NOT-revolutionary Apple.

  • Alexandre Isurugi

    f.lux didn’t replicate anything, it’s Apple who replicated f.lux.
    Please get it right or nobody will take you seriously.