Google’s just rolled out an update to its Google Play Books app that should help late-night readers get a better night’s sleep.
There’s been plenty of research in recent years indicating that the blue light coming off our mobile and PC screens limits the production of melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone that promotes restful sleep. The chemical is produced in the brain after dark, but with so many of us these days spending the last few hours of the day staring at screens, all that blue light suppresses melatonin levels and reduces the chances of a decent slumber.
With that in mind, Android and iOS users who like to end the day reading books on their mobile device will want to make use of a new Night Light mode that features in the latest Google Play Books update.
“Today we’re introducing Night Light, a new feature that makes night-time reading more enjoyable and easier on the eyes,” Google’s Greg Hartrell said in a post on Tuesday. “When turned on, Night Light gradually filters blue light from your screen, replacing it with a warm, amber light as the sun sets. Night Light automatically adapts to the amount of natural sunlight outside based on the time of day, giving you just the right temperature and brightness.”
It’s similar in many ways to F.lux, a free offering compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux machines that automatically and gradually reduces the amount of blue light emitting from your computer screen as the evening progresses.
Hartrell suggests the color adjustment will be more comfortable on your eyes and “greatly improve” low-light night reading.
To enable Night Light on Google Play Books, download the latest version of the app, open a book, and you should see a pop-up message asking you if you want to turn the feature on. If you find you just can’t get used to the amber glow and decide you want to ditch Night Light, you’ll find a switch in the app’s settings where you can also adjust text size and font.
Google’s new Night Light feature comes a couple of weeks after Amazon introduce a similar “Blue Shade” mode for its line of Fire tablets.