Apple Stopped f.lux For Obvious Reason

Posted by Kirhat | Wednesday, January 20, 2016 | | 0 comments »

The next version of Apple's iOS mobile operating system includes a handy feature that gradually adjusts the colors of the screen as the sun sets. It's designed to stop eye strain and make the iPhone easier to use at night.

According to James Cook of Business Insider, this new feature was already available for the iPhone months ago when a version of an app named f.lux was sneaked onto the iPhone. Apple shut the app down, though, just weeks before it released its own version.

Right now f.lux is only available for desktop computers, and has been downloaded over 15 million times. It's a handy tool: as the sun sets, your screen gets more amber and less blue. It stops your eyes straining and can help people get to sleep.

f.lux released a version of its software for iPhones in November. But it wasn't an official app that could be downloaded through the App Store. Apple doesn't officially allow developers to use the kind of settings that f.lux needed to change, so the developer had to do something called "sideloading."

Sideloading is a process where people can download files and use Apple's Xcode software to get it onto their phones. It's used by developers to test out apps without having to put them on the App Store.

Apple fans had been begging Apple to introduce sideloading for years. Android lets people download whatever apps they like and sideload them, but Apple held firm. Articles in Macworld and MacStories explained the benefit of sideloading, but it was only last year that Apple relented.

Apple's decision to allow people to sideload apps for free was heralded as a big move. One Reddit user even referred to it as the "app Renaissance" due to the possibilities that it could offer. And f.lux for the iPhone was hugely popular — the developer said that the page that hosted the file was visited 176,000 times in the first 24 hours.

However, Apple found out about f.lux sideloading its way onto the iPhone and moved to shut the project down. It contacted the developer and said that its actions were in violation of the Developer Program agreement, which people need to sign to use Apple's Xcode development software. f.lux for iPhone was removed, and that was the end of that.

On 11 January 2016, Apple released details of the new update to its mobile operating system, iOS 9. The 9.3 release, which was released for beta testers on Friday, includes a feature that's incredibly similar to f.lux.


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