File this under the "It might only indirectly make you more productive" category, but did you know that Android Oreo received some much-needed improvement for its Night Light feature? This feature makes it easier to view your screen (for long periods) when you're working in a dark setting. Why is this important? Studies have been circulating (for quite some time now) that indicate staring at LED (and other, similar) screens for long periods is bad for us. This is especially true when using them in dark environments. LED screens emit a great deal of blue light. According to OpticalPrism (the magazine for eye care professionals) the Vision Council says, "The optical industry has responded to the shift in digital habits and has developed lens technology to protect eyes from blue light, glare and other environmental stressors."
So that blue light isn't good. To that end, the developers of Android have brought about the Night Light option that will tint the screen from blue to amber. Of course, the developers also understand how easy it is to forget to switch on Night Light, so they've added the ability to set a schedule. With this schedule, your Android device will automatically switch on Night Light, so you don't have to worry about it. In other words, all of those late night Android screen watching sessions doesn't have to further strain your eyes.
I'm going to show you how to set a schedule for Night Light. If you're using Android Oreo, I highly recommend you set this up immediately.
It should be pointed out that Night Light actually appeared first in Nougat (Android 7). The difference being, users didn't have any control over it. Now, users can not only set a schedule, but manually turn on Night Light, and change the intensity of how much amber replaces the blue. With that said, let's set a schedule.
How to schedule
Open up Settings on your Android Oreo device. In that window, tap the search bar and type Night Light (it's found in Settings | Display | Night Light). Tap the Night Light entry (Figure A).
In the resulting window (Figure B), you should see Schedule, Status, and an intensity slider.
As you can see, the Intensity slider is not available (unless Night Light mode is on). The only way to adjust the slider is to tap the ON/OFF button associated with Status. Once you've done that, you can then adjust the slider to meet your needs. I suggest you do this in a dark room (otherwise you won't get the full effect). After you've adjusted the slider to suit you, tap the Status ON/OFF button until it's in the OFF position. You should see the slider has retained the position you chose.
To set a schedule, do the following:
- Tap Schedule.
- Select Turns on custom time
- Set your Start and End times by tapping each and adjusting the clock popup (Figure C)
That's it. You can now back out of that setting.
Your Night Light schedule is set. Once it kicks on, it will shift to the amber intensity you set and help save your eyes.
You only have one pair
Remember, you only have one pair of eyes. And considering your profession of choice, you're going to be staring at screens for a very, very, very long time. Do everything you can to keep those eyes in tip-top health. In other words, take advantage of the Android Night Light feature. Set a schedule and keep it.
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Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.