If you woke up this morning feeling exhausted, and have been promising yourself for some time that you’re going to try and sort out your sleeping patterns, then you may want to try out the initial beta version of f.lux for Android. Yes, that’s right, the extremely popular f.lux app that made a huge impact on jailbroken iOS devices, is now available at Google Play Store for Android smartphones and tablets, albeit with a few caveats and device requirements that will limit its initial audience.
Good old science has been telling us for quite a long time that light exists on the blue end of the spectrum has the uncanny ability to convince our brains that it’s daytime, when in actual fact it could be pitch black outside and time for bed. f.lux has an excellent reputation from its iOS jailbreak days for allowing users to construct a set of rules that gradually alters the color temperature of the display to filter out blue light with the aim of promoting a natural, and much healthier day-night cycle. With the end result – hopefully – being a more uniform sleeping pattern. That experience is now available on certain Android devices, but only those that have root access.
The root part is extremely important. The development team themselves stipulate that the app will be pretty much useless without access to the root file system of the installed phone/tablet. The developers are also keen to point out that this is an early “preview” version of the f.lux experience, and that it should function on “most” rooted Android devices running Lollipop and Marshmallow (Android 5.x and 6.x). It also comes with a few additional known issues where the app won’t function as intended on a majority of Samsung Galaxy devices running Android 5.x, and has some issues on most KitKat (Android 4.x) devices. There’s also the fact that certain installed apps will force f.lux to shut down as part of a workaround to accommodate DRM apps such as Netflix.
If you can handle those few caveats, then f.lux is available right now to try and interact with. What’s particularly interesting is that justgetflux has pushed this build to the Play Store during a period where the likes of Google and Apple are working tirelessly to bake similar functionality directly into the underlying OS. Both companies have played their cards in this field, with Apple introducing Night Shift into iOS as of iOS 9.3, and Google previewing its similar “Night Mode” functionality as part of the initial Android N preview.
It was almost three weeks ago when news spread that f.lux was going to land on the Android platform very soon, but no date was given. It seems hardly surprising that with Google introducing Night Mode with Android N, the team behind f.lux had to throw in this preview release to gain some early traction.