The popular f.lux app, which is designed to warm the light of one’s device display at night, recently got kicked off iOS and its developers want back in.
Apple recently seeded iOS 9.3, its upcoming update for its popular mobile operating system. Among other tweaks and improvements, iOS 9.3 also brings a new “Night Shift” mode that basically does what the popular f.lux app did, before getting the boot.
The f.lux app adjusts the device’s screen brightness at night in order to reduce the blue light that keeps users awake. The app is currently available for Mac, Linux and Windows, but not for iOS. An f.lux for iOS version was only briefly available as a public API, which means that users could sideload the app via Xcode, but Apple shut it down. In light of the new Night Shift mode announcement, the developers behind f.lux are now asking Apple to reconsider its decision and let the app back in.
“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,” reads the f.lux developers’ plea on Jan. 14.
For those unfamiliar with the matter, here’s the deal: a few hours before bedtime, one’s pineal gland releases melatonin, a hormone that signals the body that it’s time to sleep. The blue light of a device such as a smartphone or a tablet, however, messes with this natural process, impeding the pineal gland from releasing melatonin, according to studies.
As an increasing number of people use their smartphones and tablets at night before falling asleep, the blue light issue has become more important. Both f.lux and Apple’s new Night Shift mode aim to serve the same purpose: cut down that blue light that keeps users awake at night.
The f.lux team was among the original pioneers to come up with a solution to the blue light problem, designing its first app back in 2009. Apple joined the bandwagon just now, which makes one wonder why it doesn’t approve of f.lux.
In this recent plea asking Apple to let f.lux into the App Store, the f.lux developers took a very gracious stand toward the whole matter. The developers applauded Apple for joining the fight, highlighting that Apple’s involvement is an important step toward using technology to improve sleep.
“We’re proud that we are the original innovators and leaders in this area,” the f.lux developers further added, asking Apple to allow an f.lux iOS app.
It remains to be seen whether Apple will reconsider its decision and let f.lux back into its App Store, as the company made no comment in this regard so far. Night Shift mode and f.lux could easily coexist in the iOS ecosystem, but it’s up to Apple.