New Apple iOS and warmer screen colors after dark

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New Apple iOS and warmer screen colors after dark

Postby Eravial » Wed Mar 23, 23:03 2016

Apple's most recent operating system update has a new feature called "Night Shift," which will automatically shift the colors of the screen to "warmer" (more red/yellow, less blue) hues when it is nighttime at a user's location in order to improve sleep. They aren't the first to think of this, as there are already programs that do essentially the same thing in computers; however, this will certainly make the technology far more widely available.

It's been known for a while now that staring at a bright screen late in the day can disrupt sleep patterns, keeping you awake and alert much longer than if you allowed your brain to react to the natural day/night (circadian) light cycle. While the brightness of light is the primary factor that drives circadian rhythms (i.e sleep/wake cycles), the light receptors in our eyes that are connected to the endocrine system are most sensitive to blue light. These are different from the light receptors that provide the visual information that the brain interprets as sight, which are typically sensitive to all wavelengths of visual light. Interestingly, this is why some blind people have normal circadian rhythms and sleep patterns and others don't - it depends on what part of their visual system is disrupted.

The endocrine system-connected blue-light-activated receptors contribute to melatonin (sleep hormone) and cortisol (stress hormone) secretion, body temperature fluctuation, heart rate, etc. They also control the expression of "clock genes," which produce proteins that function as the moving parts of the biological clock in our brains. When we're exposed to light at night, we are essentially not letting our clocks "reset" in the darkness. This technology should make it easier for users' brains to recognize that it is nighttime, improving their sleep. While there's definitely a lot of evidence that sleeping next to your phone is unhealthy for other reasons, it will also make middle-of-the-night phone checks a tiny bit less disruptive.

I haven't actually installed the update yet, but I think this is a very cool example of how we're changing technology to interact more smoothly with our biology.
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Re: New Apple iOS and warmer screen colors after dark

Postby Bork » Thu Mar 24, 14:47 2016

Oh neat! I upgraded yesterday, but didn't know about this feature. It looks like you can either turn it off and on manually, or schedule it. Will definitely have to check this out tonight.

I think it's a really interesting response. Like, we know that we're doing things that interfere with our sleep, but instead of not doing those things, we're coming up with new technology that's designed to fix the problem.
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Re: New Apple iOS and warmer screen colors after dark

Postby rowan » Thu Mar 24, 17:11 2016

That's cool. I have a thing on my android that makes the screen have kind of a red layover on it, which is useful for observing nights. When I talk about the eye's varied response to color in my astro classes, I point out to the marketing students that this is important when doing things like designing those stupid light billboards, I mean seriously I see some that are red text on a blue background and you just can't even focus on it at night and blue (or bright white) messes with your night vision. (I hate the light billboards but they seem to be here to stay)

I didn't know most of that about how things were connected though, that's really cool. Maybe I'll add some of that in when I talk about light too :)
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Re: New Apple iOS and warmer screen colors after dark

Postby Bork » Fri Mar 25, 9:54 2016

This feature is AWESOME. I woke up at 1:30am and couldn't get back to sleep, so I figured I'd read news stuff on my phone. Such a major difference between full brightness and the warmer screen colors! Totally stopped my eyes from hurting when I was looking at the screen.
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Re: New Apple iOS and warmer screen colors after dark

Postby Nachos » Sat Mar 26, 10:05 2016

I'm going to upgrade soon and check it out.

I used to just manually put the brightness down to stop my eyes hurting. I spend a lot of time in bed not able to sleep so check out my phone a lot.
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Re: New Apple iOS and warmer screen colors after dark

Postby Bork » Sat Apr 2, 21:48 2016

This is also awesome for when you wake up hungover and everything hurts.
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Re: New Apple iOS and warmer screen colors after dark

Postby Nachos » Sun Apr 3, 12:24 2016

I can't find it in my phone, hmmmm.
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Re: New Apple iOS and warmer screen colors after dark

Postby Bork » Sun Apr 3, 22:26 2016

Nachos wrote:I can't find it in my phone, hmmmm.



Swipe up the screen so you get that menu with a flashlight, timer, calculator and camera (and other stuff, like airplane mode, wifi, bluetooth, etc etc). If you've installed the newest iOS, you should see an icon that looks kind of like the sun in between the timer and calculator. That's the night shift option. You can also go into your "Display and Brightness" settings and turn the night shift on/off from there, as well as set it to turn on and off at set times and play around with the brightness factor.
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Re: New Apple iOS and warmer screen colors after dark

Postby Rainbow Dolphins » Tue May 10, 1:40 2016

My kindle has this feature, I never use it. Maybe I will start.
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Re: New Apple iOS and warmer screen colors after dark

Postby Sassquatch » Mon May 16, 8:59 2016

Why do I not have this on my iPad?

Oh well, I'll stick to trying to read books in night mode in the middle of the night. That seems to help. I don't know if it's actually the visual aspect or reducing the "keep clicking, something exciting might happen" phenomenon, though.


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