When iOS 9.3 announced Night Shift, a new mode that makes it less likely for your device’s light temperature to disturb your sleep schedule, many noted that it was virtually a carbon copy of F.lux, a Mac and jailbreak iOS app that we’ve previously called a Mac essential.
Now, the developer of F.lux is commenting on Night Shift, and while he’s broadly supportive of Apple’s move, he still wants Apple to allow F.lux on the App Store.
In a statement on the official F.lux website, Michael Herf writes that “Apple’s involvement in fixing this problem is a big commitment and an important first step.”
That said, Herf says that he wants Apple to allow him to bring F.lux to iOS properly, something that is currently not possible because the App Store will not allow access to the lighting API.
Today we call on Apple to allow us to release f.lux on iOS, to open up access to the features announced this week, and to support our goal of furthering research in sleep and chronobiology.
As we continue to innovate and improve upon our ideas, we remain hopeful that we will have the opportunity to offer our best, new work to everyone who wants it. We’ve learned that people’s lives, biology, and everyday routines are incredibly, wonderfully different, and these differences must be embraced. There is not one right answer for everyone, so we are committed to making software that’s ever more adaptive and responsive to each individual’s needs.
In early December, F.lux released a sideloading version of the app that would work on iOS 9 without a jailbreak, but Apple asked them to take it down… possibly because they knew they would be releasing iOS 9.3 imminently.
It seems a little dicey of Apple to steal F.lux’s functionality and bake it right into iOS, but this would hardly be the first time Cupertino has done something like this. And at least the makers of F.lux have the right attitude about it: if it helps people sleep better and live healthier lives, they seem happy for Apple to make their software obsolete on iOS by baking it right in.