Tuesday, March 28, 2017

macOS 10.12.4 Adds Night Shift

Apple (Hacker News, MacRumors):

Night Shift requires macOS Sierra 10.12.4 and one of these Mac computers, using the built-in display or the displays listed[…]

The only third-party displays listed are the LG UltraFine 5K and 4K. Night Shift seems to work fine on my Dell U3014, though.

Stephen Hackett:

One of my favorite features of f.lux is the ability to disable it based on what application is in the foreground. For example, I have Adobe Photoshop marked as an exception. as f.lux changing the color temperature of my display could cause me problems while editing photographs.

Apple’s Night Shift has no concept of exceptions. If the screen is warmer, it’s warmer for all applications.


F.lux can be disabled for an hour or longer from its menu bar app, while Night Shift can be toggled on and off via Notification Center.

I found that the Notification Center toggle only appears when Night Shift is on, so it can only be used to turn it off. [Update (2017-03-28): The toggle is available when Night Shift is off, but it’s scrolled off the top of the screen, with no visual indication that it’s there. It’s the same with Do Not Disturb, which I’ve known about for years, but I keep forgetting.]

Michel Fortin:

The good new is that, unlike Flux, Night Shift works well with Black Light.

The mechanism used by Night Shift is different. It does not rely on the gamma curve, which is good as it’s not fighting with Black Light.

Previously: Night Shift in iOS 9.3.

Update (2017-03-29): Michael Herf (via Hacker News):

Night Shift’s defaults are pretty gentle, and for most people they won’t reduce the impact of a screen by very much.


To use an example that explains why I’m pretty convinced they’re not doing enough, consider that the warmest Night Shift setting makes an iMac show more light at night than the iPad that Harvard studied back in 2012.


So starting there, f.lux removes 4-5x as much by default as Night Shift does, and yet it seems like most people will continue to think the two are similar, when they aren’t in the same range.

2 Comments RSS · Twitter

I kept filing bugs (which I kept updating with every beta release) because Night Shift did not show up on my 2011 Mac Pro. The System Preferences app offers it as an autocompletion in its search field, but there is nothing to be found in the display preferences. Apple kept closing the bugs as duplicates, with their characteristic lack of explanation.

Only today, thanks to your link, do I learn from the tech note that the older Mac Pro is simply not supported. At no time did Apple see fit to mention the requirements in the Mac OS release notes.

This is frustrating, and another classic example of how Apple makes my bug-reporting efforts feel futile.

Forget it, Apple; if you can't be bothered to communicate with your developers, we're not going to extend ourselves to help you out.

I've been using f.lux for a while. Not sure about claims of helping with sleep, but it certainly feels easier on the eyes at night. One persistent issue is that it interferes badly with video playback in areas of light/white color. (There's a long-running thread on their forums here: . The devs tracked it to an Intel video driver issue, which unfortunately applies to some of the most popular laptop models Apple has sold over the past 5 years.)

I'm looking forward to trying Apple's built-in solution as I'm assuming Night Shift won't exhibit the same issues.

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