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How to make Night Shift act more like True Tone

Susie Ochs | April 14, 2016
Only the 9.7-inch iPad Pro has an auto-adjusting True Tone screen. But you can mimic the effect on any iOS 9.3 device, with Night Shift.

Night Shift, when enabled, reduces the amount of blue in your display at night. Based on a schedule, it’ll shift the display’s color temperature toward the yellow end of the spectrum from after sundown until the next morning. Apple says this is because blue light can affect your internal clock, tricking your brain into thinking it’s daylight when it’s night, which could make it tougher to fall asleep.

night shift settings iphone
You'll find Night Shift in Settings > Display, on any device running iOS 9.3. 

Well, that’s the idea anyway—but the research isn’t totally convincing that the exact spectrum of blue light emitted by a screen really affects melotonin production all that much. But everyone’s a little different, so you may still find it helpful, even if it’s just a placebo.

And unlike True Tone, Night Shift is adjustable. Since the effect isn’t driven by sensors, it doesn’t adjust automatically to the color of light in your room, but you can tweak it yourself, setting the slider in Settings > Displays to where you think it looks best. I think anything above about 25 percent starts to look too yellow—go ahead, slide it all the way to the right if you want you screen to look so golden it’s like you’re looking through beer goggles. Night Shift is also on a schedule, so you could experiment with leaving it on just a little bit, 24 hours a day, for a kind of “poor man’s True Tone” effect.

What do you think? Have you been using Night Shift and enjoying it? Would you buy a new iPad just for True Tone? Are you eager for Apple to bring True Tone to more devices? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.


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