It seems that every technology company lately is concerned about helping people get enough sleep. Today’s bright displays, or so the theory goes, disrupt sleep patterns by shining blue light in our eyes and disrupting our body’s production of the melatonin that’s key to our falling asleep.
A number of devices now offer night modes, which essentially tone down the blue light and emit warmer light that may help tackle sleep problems. Apple implemented the feature first in iOS, and now it has officially rolled out the functionality in the just-released MacOS Sierra 10.12.4 update.
Dubbed “Night Shift,” Apple’s version shifts display colors to the warmer end of the color spectrum. The feature can be scheduled based on user preference or kicked off manually. The color shift can also be adjusted to be warmer or less warm, to create a compromise between preferred colors and the propensity to induce sleep.
Otherwise, Sierra 10.12.4 is a relatively minor update. Here are some other improvements and fixes:
- Adds Siri support for cricket scores, schedules, and player rosters from the Indian Premier League and International Cricket Council.
- Adds Dictation support for Shanghainese.
- Improves right-to-left language support for the Touch Bar, toolbar, and visual tab picker in Safari.
- Resolves several PDF rendering and annotation issues in Preview.
- Improves the visibility of the subject line when using Conversation View in Mail.
- Fixes an issue that may prevent content from appearing in Mail messages.
- Adds support for more digital camera RAW formats.
A number of improvements under the heading “enterprise content” have also been implemented, including the ability to optimize iOS devices tethered via USB, privacy and security enhancements, and fixes to MacOS login. Finally, Apple also has a detailed list of security updates provided in MacOS Sierra 10.12.4.
To update your Mac, just open the App Store and then click Updates in the toolbar. The app should grab a refreshed list of available updates, and then you can simply click on “Update All” to kick them off. Note that the update will require a reboot, and the entire process takes a few minutes, so make sure you have sufficient time to complete it. Then, set your Night Shift preferences and get a good night’s sleep.
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