Apple’s Night Shift: What Is It & How Is It Different From Dark Mode

Imagine you have finished working, and after a long, tiring day of staring at the bright screen of your laptop or computer, you want to go home and rest. Unfortunately, you want to rest your eyes but cannot. Also, you have this burning desire to catch up on all the Instagram Stories or Reels you have missed because you were so busy doing what your work demanded of you.

Apple's Night Shift: What Is It & How Is It Different From Dark Mode
Apple’s Night Shift

But it is not feasible to look at your phone’s bright screen in the dark. This causes eye strain and headaches and may even keep you awake at night. In addition, it will botch up your entire sleep routine. Luckily, Apple has taken this into account and packs iPhones and Macs with two exceptional features – Night Shift and Dark Mode.

Since Google, Facebook, Instagram, and all other popular applications have embraced the dark mode trend, you might already be aware of how this function works. But Night Shift in macOS and other Apple devices is a lesser-known feature, and many Apple users are unaware of this. This in-built feature was introduced in 2016-2017 into macOS in macOS Sierra 10.12 and iOS in iOS 9.3. Continue reading to know more about this feature.

What is Apple’s Night Shift Feature?

Night Shift is an in-built software feature of macOS and iOS. The feature changes the display’s color temperature towards the warmer part of the color spectrum. This helps in reducing blue light emitting from the screen. Apple claims that the feature might be useful in assisting users to sleep better at night by filtering blue wavelengths.

Apple's Night Shift
Night Shift Feature

Night Shift uses the geolocation and clock of the device to determine when it is sunset in your location. Thanks to this, the device automatically changes the display’s colors to warmer colors. The regular settings of the display are returned in the morning.

How to Turn on Night Shift?

On your iPhone or iPad, you can turn on Night Shift in the following ways:

  • Go to Control Center -> press the brightness control icon -> tap the icon to turn Night Shift on or off.
  • Or, head to the Settings app -> tap Display & Brightness -> Night Shift. On the same screen, schedule a time for Night Shift so it will work automatically to adjust the color temperature.

On your Mac, you can set up Night Shift in the following way:

  • Click on the Apple menu -> go to System Settings or System Preferences -> click Displays -> choose Night Shift. Then, you can create a Night Shift schedule so the feature turns on automatically from sunset to sunrise. You can also choose to do this manually. When the Night Shift feature is on, you can adjust the color temperature according to your preference.

Can You Turn The Blue Light All The Way Off in Night Shift?

Yes, you can. On your Mac, you can tinker with the color temperature settings and control it according to your preference. For instance, if you opt for warmer color temperatures, your display will show more yellow and less blue.

If you want to turn the blue light all the way off, follow these steps:

  • Select the Apple logo on your Mac > choose System Preferences > Displays > Night Shift > under Color Temperature, drag the slider all the way to the right.

This will make your display more yellow and help turn all the blue lights off.

Is Night Shift and Dark Mode The Same?

No, Night Shift and Dark Mode are not the same. Although both these features are used to rescue eye strain when working on computers or watching videos on your phone, they serve different purposes.

Apple' Night Shift and Dark Mode
Apple’ Night Shift and Dark Mode

Turning on Dark Mode makes everything easier on your eyes. It can be turned on throughout the day, including at night. On the other hand, Night Shift is a blue filter that only works at night. By default, it gets turned off during the day. Night Shift and Dark Mode are activated separately but can be used in tandem.

Here’s a table to explain the differences between Night Shift and Dark Mode.

Night Shift

Dark Mode

Night Shift is a blue light filter that makes it easy to use digital devices at night. Dark Mode eases digital eye strain, but it isn’t a blue light filter.
The Night Shift feature only works when the environment is darker. The Dark Mode feature can be turned on whenever you need it. Be it in the morning or at night.
Night Shift controls the light emanating from the screen and adjusts the level of blues. Dark Mode turns the interface for many native apps and the background to a darker color scheme.

To sum up, you must turn on Night Shift and Dark Mode separately and use them in tandem to experience maximum relief from digital eye strain.

Alan Adams

Alan is a hardcore tech enthusiast that lives and breathes tech. When he is not indulged in playing the latest video games, he helps users with technical problems that they might run into. Alan is a Computer Science Graduate with a Masters in Data Science.
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