Use Night Shift on your Mac and get a better night's sleep
But is it better than Flux?
Matt ElliottSenior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Staring at a blue screen before bed, whether it be a phone, tablet or laptop, can shift your body's natural clock and make it difficult to get a good night's sleep. With Apple's Night Shift feature, the colors of your display are shifted to the warmer end of the spectrum during the evening hours.
Night Shift has been a part of iPhones and iPads since iOS 9.3, and it was added to Macs earlier this year with
10.12.4. Once you start using it, you'll wonder how you ever stared at such a blue-hued screen at night. If, however, like many Mac (and Windows) users, you are already using a free app called Flux to warm up the color temp of your display at night, then the question becomes, which color-shifting, good-sleep-inducing app is better?
In Flux's favor
After giving Night Shift a fair shake, I'm sticking with Flux for the simple fact that it offers an extra phase for shifting the color temperature and gradual transitions.
With Flux, you get three phases: daytime, sunset and bedtime. With Night Shift, it's either on or off, missing out on that middle phase that eases you toward the darkest hours. Also, Flux sets the transitions between its three phases to be gradual by default, letting your eyes adjust if you are in front of your screen during one of the transition times.
Taking Night Shift to bed
Night Shift isn't without its settings and customizations, which you'll find in a new Night Shift tab in System Preferences > Displays. Like Flux, you can set Night Shift to come on from sunset to sunrise, or you can also manually set the time period for it to be active. Also like Flux, Night Shift provides a slider to adjust the color temperature of the effect between less warm and more.
You can enable and disable Night Shift from the Notification Center but it's somewhat hidden. From either the Today or Notifications view, you need to swipe up to reveal the toggle switch for Night Shift. It's just above the toggle for Do Not Disturb.