Using your iPhone and iPad at night is about to get a lot easier on your tired brain.
That’s thanks to a new feature Apple previewed Monday called Night Shift, which will roll out as part of the upcoming iOS 9.3 update. The change allows you to automate changing the color temperature of your device’s display, which can ease the strain on your eyes when looking at the screen at night.
Though the update isn’t yet available to the public, I have already had a chance to check out the developer preview version of the software. Conclusion: it is almost everything I hoped it would be.
Enabling it is almost as simple as adjusting your display’s brightness level. Head over toSettings —> Display & Brightness and scroll down to the new “Blue Light Reduction” menu. From here, you can enable “Blue Light Reduction” and manually adjust whether you want a cooler or warmer temperature.
You can also automate when the colors will change, either by enabling it from Sunset to Sunrise, or by creating a custom schedule for when you want it to kick in.
As a longtime user of f.lux, which makes similar lighting software for desktop computers, I think it’s difficult to overstate just how much of a difference changing the color temperature of your screen makes — particularly if you spend a lot of time reading.
Sure, there are some cases when you may want to disable it — I often disable the feature while editing photos or watching videos, for instance. But it makes just about every other screen-enabled activity more tolerable during the evening. And it could help you sleep better, scientists say.
Granted, this is still beta software. It’s possible the feature could get some tweaks between now and when the iOS 9.3 update rolls out to the public, which likely won’t be for at last a few more weeks. If you really can’t wait, however, check it out in the next few days when Apple makes the iOS 9.3 public beta available. You can sign up for that here. But be warned: beta software can be unstable, and should only be used on a secondary device.