There are so many new devices on the market that it is not unusual for consumers to own an Apple device and an Android device. For example, I have an iPhone 6 but I also have an Android tablet. Although the Android and Apple operating systems are vastly different, when it comes to features and apps, users want to have the best of both worlds. This is certainly true of the display options on all electronic devices.
If you’ve ever had a headache from reading your device at night, then you know how serious the brightness problem is. The sensitivity comes from a photoreceptor in your eyes that is known as Melanopsin. The receptor is sensitive to the narrow band of blue light in the 460-480nm range. The light in this range may suppress the melatonin production, which in turn affects your ability to sleep and wake regularly. This is why you may have trouble falling asleep if you use your devices right before bed.
After many consumers complained about the blinding brightness of mobile devices’ screens, jailbreak tweaks and apps were developed to vastly improve the consumer experience.
Jailbreaking Community Leads the Way
The jailbreaking community was the first to pounce on the brightness issue with a fix. f.lux became one of the most popular Cydia tweaks of all time. The company made it available as an app so that more users could adjust their screen brightness and tones without having to jailbreak their iOS devices. However, Apple eventually removed f.lux as an app.
Apple then responded to consumer demand by working to add more adjustable features in its next operating system updates. The upcoming iOS 9.3, which is now in beta, adds a Night Shift feature. Night Shift lets Apple users control the display temperature on both iPad and iPhone. Night Shift uses the device clock and geolocation services to determine what time of day or night it is where you live. It then automatically adjusts the colors to give warmer hues at night, making the content more visible and the light less harmful on your eyes. Although Night Shift is not widely available yet (unless you have a developer account), it will be part of the official iOS 9.3 release.
Solutions for Android Devices
Once you get used to the much better viewing experience, you’ll want the same thing on your Android phones or tablets. Fortunately are already two great apps that add Night Shift functionalities to your Androids.
Twilight is an even better version of Night Shift and it comes in a free version and a paid pro version for even more features.
Twilight uses your geolocation to determine the sunrise and sunset times, auto adjusting the colors of your display to fit the light during that time of day. If you prefer, you can manually adjust the colors yourself, set a custom range of time when your want the brightness toned down, or make other adjustments.
A newer app is called Night Shift: Blue Light Filter. This is available in the Google Play Store for free.
The app is not as adjustable. It lets you change the color during day or not, but does not allow you to select time ranges, nor does it use your phone or tablet’s features to figure out what time of day it is where you live.
This means that Night Shift sets its own schedule, with daytime being between 7 am to 7 pm. Night hours start at 7:01 pm. This is a stripped down version of Twilight and does not take into account the actual sunrise and sunset times in your local area. But it does provide more adjustability than what your Android devices have naturally.