iPhone's Night Shift mode might be hurting instead of helping you, study suggests
BY STAN SCHROEDER
In Jan. 2016, Apple introduced a new iOS option called Night Shift. It reduces the blue light emitted by your phone/tablet's display, which should, ideally, reduce the strain on your eyes while you're using the device late at night. And basically every Android phone maker soon followed suit with a similar feature.
But a new study by researchers from the University of Manchester (via The Guardian) suggests that features like Night Shift might be doing more harm than good.
The study was published in Current Biology and can be found here.
The logic behind the study, which is based on experiments performed on mice, is simple: we encounter more yellow light during the day (because, you know, the sun), while twilight is more blue. Thus, our bodies are more likely to associate blue light with bed time.
The study's experiments confirm this, with blue colors producing weaker effects on the mice's circadian rhythm than (equally bright) yellow colors.
This indicates that we should be doing the opposite of what Night Shift does. "Our findings suggest that using dim, cooler, lights in the evening and bright warmer lights in the day may be more beneficial," study lead, Dr. Tim Brown, said in a statement.
This should not be taken at face value, though. The study indicates that brightness levels are more important than color. Furthermore, mice aren't the same as humans. But it does make you wonder whether phone makers have been doing us all a disservice with these "night-friendly" features.
Personally, I've used the feature long before Apple introduced it with Night Shift, as it was first popularized by a Mac app called f.lux. I've found it to be beneficial and I can hardly imagine living without it, but it needs to be said that I never seriously tried doing the opposite; that is, turning my screens bluer at night. Perhaps the study will prompt a new wave of apps/features which will allow you to go both ways and see which one you fancy.