The developer behind the Mac app, and briefly, an iOS app called f.lux has called on Apple to allow access to the features behind a forthcoming feature in iOS 9.3: Night Shift mode.
As reported earlier this week, iOS 9.3 is now available to beta users of the iPhone and iPad operating system, and with it comes a handful of new features, most prominently Night Shift mode which responds to studies that shows the blue light in our device screens is disrupting our sleep.
Though Apple’s response, which gives users the option to have their screens automatically show more yellow tones as the sun goes down, is welcome, it’s not new technology. Apps that perform similar functions are available on Android and one of the biggest desktop proponents is f.lux, which has been available since 2009. It’s that company which has called on Apple to lift its restrictions and allow them to develop for the App Store.
An iOS app briefly made an appearance on iOS 9 earlier this year when Flux Software showed users how to sideload the app onto their devices. Unfortunately, at Apple’s request, the project was taken down shortly after launch.
However, Flux Software is now calling on Apple to give developers access to the features behind Night Shift so they can also develop their own third-party solutions.
In a blog post, Flux Software said:
Apple announced this week that they’ve joined our fight to use technology to improve sleep.
Rather than suggest simple answers, our mission is to enable f.lux to advance the science, while providing customized solutions for each person. We intend to make f.lux better in every way than the app we designed back in 2009.
Today we call on Apple to allow us to release f.lux on iOS, to open up access to the features announced this week, and to support our goal of furthering research in sleep and chronobiology.
It’s a fair call – after all, third-party calendar apps and third-party alarm apps are available, and Apple eventually opened up its Today view for widgets a couple of years back. Will screen brightness and coloring be the next barrier lifted for developers? Well, that’s up to Apple, which has, naturally, not yet commented on the request.
Even if f.lux does make it on to the App Store, will users choose the solution over the soon to be built-in Apple setting? For the majority, it’s not likely. But then the purpose of third-party apps on the App Store is choice, and the opportunity for developers to build on what Apple offers – we’ll have to wait and see what Flux Software comes up with if it does find its way onto the store.
In the meantime, you can try out f.lux for free on the Mac.