App of the Week: Twilight – Your eyes won’t bleed


After a couple weeks off, we’re back with a new App of the Week.

If you’ve been following the development of iOS 9.3, you’ll know Apple is set to add a blue light reducing feature called Night Shift to its mobile operating system. As someone who swears by f.lux, the Windows and OS X program that almost certainly inspired Night Shift, I’m excited to check out how well Night Shift works once it’s out of beta.

In the meantime, Android users can already add a Night Shift-like feature to their device of choice by downloading an app called Twilight. (On a side note, this week’s featured app was recommended to me by Motherboard writer Matthew Braga. Check out the feature he wrote on the story of f.lux.)

There isn’t a lot of research out there that definitely proves these apps work, but there is evidence that suggests looking at a computer screen late into the night can cause someone to have trouble sleeping.

The science behind this is straightforward. As the sun sets, the human body starts producing melatonin, a hormone that helps regulates a person’s sleep cycle. Blue light from computer and smartphone screens can upset the production of this hormone.

Apps like Twilight and f.lux try to stop this from happening by adjusting the screen colour temperature of the device they’re installed on as the sun begins to set. When Twilight is properly running on your Android device, it will turn your smartphone’s display into a distinct orange. It’s definitely a weird sight at first, but once you get used to it, your eyes will thank you.

Download Twilight from the Google Play Store.