f.lux responds to Apple’s Night Shift 

The developers of f.lux, responding to Night Shift, the iOS 9.3 feature that’s … uh … very much like their app:

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 many ways, this f.lux/Night Shift thing is pretty similar to other examples of Apple moving into a space defined by a third-party utility: Reading List vs. Instapaper; Dashboard vs. Konfabulator; Sherlock vs. Watson.

In each of these examples, Apple introduced a system-level feature that duplicated (to varying degrees) the functionality of a third-party app.

The big difference is that f.lux can’t operate on iOS. Night Shift will be the way users can change their screens’ color temperature at night because it’s the only option. In that sense, I don’t think f.lux has been Sherlocked, at least in the traditional sense of the word.

I don’t think that’s going to change, and it doesn’t really hurt f.lux. If anything, this may help the app. Users who fall in love with Night Shift and look for it on their computers. F.lux can be there, waiting with open arms.

At least until Night Shift comes to OS X. Then everyone will be playing hardball. It’s not hard to see that the makers of f.lux want in on iOS as a hedge against being Sherlocked on the Mac.