Developers Behind F.lux Call on Apple to Allow F.lux App for iOS Devices


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

With iOS 9.3, Apple introduced Night Shift, a feature that is designed to cut down on nighttime blue light exposure from iOS devices to encourage better sleep. Its similarity to the popular f.lux app for Mac did not go unnoticed, especially since Apple put a stop to an f.lux for iOS app just two months before Night Shift debuted.

The developers behind f.lux have now published an official response to Apple's Night Shift feature, calling Apple's move to address nighttime exposure to blue light a "big commitment and an important first step." They ask Apple to take its support a step further by implementing the tools that would allow for an App Store version of the f.lux app.

We're proud that we are the original innovators and leaders in this area. In our continued work over the last seven years, we have learned how complicated people actually are. The next phase of f.lux is something we cannot wait to ship to the world. [...]

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.
F.lux for the Mac has been available for years and is popular in the Mac community with users who want to avoid blue light at night. Research has suggested that bright light exposure (especially the blue wavelength) at night can interrupt the circadian rhythm, causing sleep problems and other harmful effects on the immune system. While there's been a Mac solution to blue light for some time, no such tool has been available on a non-jailbroken iOS device.

F.lux for Mac​

In November, the developers behind f.lux attempted to bring an official iOS version of f.lux to the iPhone and the iPad using an app side-loaded onto iOS devices via Xcode, but Apple quickly put a stop to it and told f.lux that asking customers to side-load apps onto their iOS devices violates the Developer Program Agreement.

F.lux's developers are not able to create an official App Store version of f.lux for iOS devices without Apple's help because the APIs to control display temperature are not provided by Apple. The version of f.lux that was briefly available used private APIs that would prevent it from being approved for release in the App Store.

Night Shift mode is currently available to developers and public beta testers who are running iOS 9.3. The feature will see a public release this spring when iOS 9 launches.

Article Link: Developers Behind F.lux Call on Apple to Allow F.lux App for iOS Devices


macrumors member
May 3, 2011
does f.lux have a technical requirement of 64bit processor? If not then why does apple have it?

I have an old, original iPad mini that I use just for Netflix and twitch stuff to fall asleep - f.lux or night shift would be great on this old device.


macrumors 68030
Sep 19, 2007
Lol! Apple has been taking jailbreak tweaks and incorporating them in iOS for years. This is nothing new.
Apple has taken 3rd party software and incorporated it in all its OS'es for decades. Hence the term "sherlocked" after they incorporated nearly all of the Sherlock features into OSX. They even did it with my software Auganizer by copying it into Logic Pro, and it was my lively hood at the time.


macrumors 6502
Apr 14, 2010
I like it better when integrated into the OS, but Apple should have paid f.lux some money or bought out their company.

This is getting close to the situation where the big car companies implemented the windshield wiper design that a small time inventor created without compensating him.


macrumors newbie
Jun 5, 2008
Kind of shocked Apple didn't steal this feature a lot sooner. Props to the creators for being relatively mature about the matter, and just seeking a request that Apple allow them to have a real app on iOS, since their app is more masterfully crafted than Apples recent implementation.


macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2010
In what world would Apple do that? That's like if apple banned flashlight apps and fighting to have yours in the app store, even though its a built in feature already...
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macrumors 68000
Aug 15, 2010
So what do you want... For Apple to allow ALL apps to have this kind of system-wide access on your phone or would you prefer to come back here and defend Apple for allowing for one developer and no others?

Neither option sounds appealing to me.
All apps can listen in on your microphone, or track your location or scan your contacts or peek through the camera. But turning your screen a bit yellow? No, we can't think of any way to stop that being a massive security breach.


macrumors regular
Feb 7, 2009
Sure, but only to the relatively small customer base who knows what f.lux is. To the general populace, they will be heralded for creating this feature.
Sadly, this will be true. "Night Shift" will be an amazing innovation by Apple according to the layman. Too bad there are many of us who have been pushing for this to be implemented for years, but they wouldn't allow access to the APIs required. I'm glad it's getting added in some shape or form, but the F.lux developers have been perfecting their version for many years and I would like for Apple to get some input from them to avoid another Maps fiasco. Sometimes it's better to let those with knowledge and experience handle things.
Agreed. Now Apple has come up with the perfect solution, nobody needs F.lux on their iOS devices to clone a core OS feature.
This makes zero sense. Nobody was trying to clone a core OS feature. It didn't exist at all until F.lux came about. Apple is now cloning a non-OS feature and not the other way around.


macrumors newbie
Oct 16, 2013
I tried using f.lux on my Macbook Air, but when it wasn't connected to the Thunderbolt Display the screen would turn extremely blue. Turns out you have to choose between automatic brightness and f.lux, so I removed f.lux (getting the screen back to the right color required a restart). I use f.lux quite happily on my PC, though I've never figured out how the Hue integration is supposed to work.

Here's hoping Apple brings Night Shift to OS X in a future release.
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