Craig Federighi, Apple senior vice president of Software Engineering, speaks about iOS 9 during an Apple event
Craig Federighi, Apple senior vice president of Software Engineering, speaks about iOS 9 during an Apple event

Apple iOS 9.3: New iPhone and iPad operating system has special light mode to help people sleep

The tool takes away the blue light at night, a change that studies have shown can help people go to sleep

Andrew Griffin
Tuesday 12 January 2016 09:50
Comments

Apple has introduced a new feature intended to make it easier for people to sleep.

The next software update for iPhone and iPad will allow the devices to know when it is night time, and turn off the blue parts of the light coming from the screen — a change that Apple says makes it easier to sleep after using the screens in bed.

iOS 9.3 will use the device’s clock and location to work out when the sun is setting. Then it will shift the colours towards the warmer end of the light spectrum, making the screen easier on the eyes after the sunset and making it more like the ambient light.

The top five features in Apple's iOS 9

The move follows recommendations from experts last year that tablets and phones should add a "bed mode" to allow people to sleep better.

Apple’s own page for the feature references the fact that “many studies have shown that exposure to bright blue light in the evening can affect your circadian rhythms and make it harder to fall asleep”.

In the morning, the screen moves back towards the blue end of the spectrum. That will mean that it could be unlikely that anyone will notice the feature, since it will move with the light coming from the sun.

The feature will arrive with iOS 9.3. That software has just been given to developers and those in Apple’s preview programme, and so will probably arrive on customers’ phones in the coming weeks.

The feature brings back some of the functionality that was previously offered by f.lux, which makes an app that changes the light settings on phones and computers. The company shut down the version for iOS in May, when it said that it had been contacted to say that the app — which was installed using a roundabout trick — was in violation of the terms of its developer program.

F.lux still offers a similar feature for Macs and Linux, where installing new software is easier and doesn’t need to go through the App Store.

iOS 9.3 brings a range of other improvements including the option to lock information in the Notes app so that it can only be accessed with a fingerprint, and new Health features that allow for extra information to be shown within that app.

It also brings new features especially for the iPad, such as an option for schools that allows different people to have their own logins. Some have predicted that could eventually roll out to the main consumer line of the iPad, allowing different people in one household to log on to a single device, a feature that has long existed in desktop computers.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in