Sunday 11 December 2016

iOS 9.3's Night Shift will help you sleep better

Emma Clark

Published 12/01/2016 | 10:11

iOS 9.3
iOS 9.3

iOS 9.3 includes a new Night Shift feature, which automatically adjusts the colour of your display so that it emits less blue light at night.

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Smartphone displays give off a blue light, which can disrupt our circadian rhythm and make it more difficult to sleep. Screens of devices running iOS 9.3 should be less disruptive thanks to a new feature called Night Shift.

The update says that the feature uses your device’s clock and geolocation to determine when it’s sunset. Night Shift then changes the iPhone’s screen to a warmer colour, reducing the amount of blue light emitted. In the morning, your display returns to its normal settings.

This idea may sound familiar; that’s because f.lux has been available on Mac for years. It tried to release an iOS app with the same functionality, but got in trouble with Apple because it asked users to sideload the app. This, Apple said, was in violation of its Developer Program Agreement. But it turns out that Apple thought the basic concept was pretty spot on.

Night Shift appears to be limited to iOS devices with a 64-bit processor. That means you’ll need an iPhone 5s or later, an iPad Air or later, and the iPad mini 2 or later.

iOS 9.3 also introduces new 3D Touch Quick Actions on iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus that work with several stock apps; an option to use Touch ID or a password to protect notes within the Notes app; linked apps within the Health app to help you keep an eye on the various metrics; updated CarPlay apps; and an improved news app.

The preview version of iOS 9.3 is now available with a full release to follow at a later date.

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