Night Shift and f.lux comparison


  • Android

    So I was able to install f.lux on my iPhone SE running iOS 9.3.1 and compared both Night Shift and f.lux. I also have an iPhone 5s which has an identical screen to SE running f.lux on jailbroken iOS 8.3. I have set both f.lux and Night Shift to 3400K (approximately with Night Shift measured via eye sight). The results were rather interesting. While there was no difference whatsoever in the screens of my 5s and SE running f.lux, Night Shift however seems to weaken the saturation of the colors. Green becomes yellow-green, blue becomes blue-white-ish and red becomes red-orange. With f.lux, everything looks more saturated. While I don't know which screen is better for sleep, I prefer looking at the f.lux screen since colors pop out more.
    So I will continue using f.lux until there is evidence that claims that Night Shift's screen is better for sleep. Just letting you know.



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  • f.lux team

    Hey, sorry for not seeing this sooner.

    To answer your question, Night Shift is an extremely gentle copy of f.lux. In other words, they copy our technique pretty faithfully but the default setting leaves quite a lot of blue light in. In my opinion (and based on our measurements and models) it may help with eyestrain but it isn't likely to do much to help with sleep:

    https://fluxometer.com/rainbow/#!id=iPad Pro Night Shift/default



  • @lorna Well, if people choose "more warm" which I hope most will, then it actually does a good bit. The default though sucks, I wish they'd have put it near halogen. Oh well, at least they are trying, a little. I think it should give a readout of the color temperature though, that's really needed. Also, give an example ... O.K. maybe they should just put your app in. It's so much easier to understand!


  • f.lux team

    @Tungsten_smooth Most users won't ever touch the default.

    What Apple has done is irresponsible.

    Rather than work with the people trying to understand the science and figure this out, they have made a copy of our 7 year old work (incorrectly assuming that our guess in 2009 was proven science) and locked us out of shipping our newest and best work.

    I disagree that they are trying to do anything more than make the tens of thousands of people asking for f.lux in the app store to stop bothering them.



  • @lorna Damn. Well, you'll get there. Someone needs a talkin' to in the mean time. I think it's known that even moonlight can keep people awake later, and while it's not bright, it's around 4100K and that's the default of the program. Also, that's the color of most fluorescent lights, and they don't make anyone sleepy. Edit, (they do make me yawn though, they aren't energizing).

    Hmm, I wonder if you could make an argument for poor implementation of using older research here? It really is rude, not to look at the work you and also many others have done (judging by your research page).


  • f.lux team

    The issue is that large tech companies are confusing marketing with science and the consumers are the ones who will ultimately be hurt.



  • Thank you, Lorna.

    This is one of the many reasons why I don't trust big companies like Apple. They simply don't care and they obviously can't be trusted.


  • f.lux team

    @TwoCables Calibrating screens to look orange is very easy. Calibrating lighting for individual people's biology and needs is very very difficult. These companies are just not comprehending that the second problem is the one that needs to be solved. It's a hard problem. We don't know the answers either. The biggest difference between us and them is that we know that we don't know the answers. That, and you know, $40 billion in revenue...



  • Is Night Shift a free app?


  • f.lux team

    It's free after the upgrade to a $500 phone.

    f.lux has worked for every iOS device ever made, on every version of iOS since 4 (and we even compiled it once on 3 for a friend). Night Shift requires a newer 64 bit device.

    They won't even let us ship our sideload version, because they want to force people who want the feature to buy new phones. I can understand their logic: if only one out of five f.lux users pay to update their iPhones to get Night Shift support, that makes a couple billion in sales revenue for Apple.



  • Sigh. So I was right: the reason why Apple prefers Night Shift is, they get money out of it.

    As I said, Apple doesn't really care. If they DID, then Apple would prefer f.lux and they would keep it 100% free and it wouldn't require a phone upgrade.

    So you have to ask yourself: "why do I trust Apple? Why would I trust ANY huge corporation? Who can I trust?" Obviously, no huge mega corporation will ever care about the health of their customers. All they care is that they can keep sucking money out of them somehow. It's especially obvious when dealing with a corporation who charges huge amounts of money for their products when you just KNOW their build costs are far lower than the selling prices.



  • @TwoCables You can trust the groups of people actively researching the combination of light and sleep. If you're not in a research area pertaining to that then you better get extremely close to the output of a program that is currently available. The better thing to do is work with the current research that's out there or the people that are working very hard to understand it better than you currently do.

    If you're the first ones to make such program then that kind of puts you on your own. You don't have to copy anyone's work, you just strive to make it the best you can and talk to researchers and continue learning. Many knock off programs think they're experts and pink works just as well as orange--I really tried to reason with the dev of Twilight but I got literally NOWHERE. It was mind boggling.

    The others like that just don't seen to care about the real details, it's not their real interest and they don't care to learn more. We only have one f.lux and two f.lux developers, they haven't given up, they care a lot about getting everything right--nobody else trying to create the same effect has that... enjoyment of doing all this.



  • Yeah, so far, Lorna and Michael seem to be the only ones who actually care. The best part, they're being extremely human with this too and aren't asking for any money. Sure, they are accepting donations, but only because lots of people asked for the ability to donate.


  • f.lux team

    There are hundreds of amazing researchers who care a lot and who have spent their lives working on light, sleep, and health. We've met architects and lighting designers who work very hard to get this right. But we haven't managed to make it past the "derr turning screens orange is simple" attitude of many programmers. Maybe it's a bit of the Dunning Kruger effect, where being an expert in one area makes you more likely to overestimate your expertise in another. We certainly thought we were hot stuff for the first couple years! But then, if someone is curious enough to seek out the research which is often paywalled, and the researchers, who are incredible, that's when they start learning how important and how complicated this really is.



  • Oh I know that there are many who really do care quite deeply, but you're the only ones making software like this who care. That's what I mean. You care about making the software do things in such a way that are extremely effective.


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