macOS Sierra’s Night Shift vs Flux: Which One Is Right for You?

Night Shift vs Flux
Flux or f.lux, as the Apple fans like to say, has been Sherlocked. What Flux does, has now been rolled up into macOS Sierra 10.12.4 itself. Which is bad news for Flux. Convention wisdom being that there’s no need for Flux anymore and it will die of obscurity. But that’s almost never the case.

Pocket didn’t die when Reading List came out. Apple’s implementation of a given third-party app usually just covers the basics. If you’re a pro user who needs pro features, you still have to go looking elsewhere.

So in this case, how does Night Shift compare to Flux? Read on to find out.

The Basics Are Same

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Both Night Shift and Flux have the same basic underlying features. You can turn the feature on manually, at a custom time or when the sun has set. When activated, your screen gets an orange tint. It’s not recommended that you look at bright blue light at night, it can have negative effects on your sleep. This warm, orange tint helps deal with that. Both Night Shift and Flux let you specify just how warm you want the screen to get.

flux preferences

By default, Flux starts warming up your display gradually. It’s a nice soothing effect and sometimes you don’t even notice it. Night Shift also has this effect but the transition is not as smooth as it is with Flux.

Read More: How to Use Night Shift in macOS Sierra

Flux Lets You Set Daytime, Sunset and Bedtime Colors

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Flux gives you a lot more control over what your display will look like at various times. When you go into Preferences, you can specify the color temperature for daytime, sunset, and bedtime (which is 8 hours before your specified wake-up time).

Flux Lets You Disable Tint For Time Periods and Specific Apps

Unlike Night Shift, Flux lets you disable the tint for specific apps. So lets say you’ve opened up a video in VLC. Click on Flux’s menu bar icon, go to Disable -> for “current app” and Flux will remember to turn itself off whenever you launch the app next time.

From the same menu, you can also disable Flux for an hour, or till sunrise.

Flux Offers A Lot of Over The Top Options

Flux gives you quick options as well. Click on the menu bar icon and select Options. From here you can enable fast transitions, turn off the backward clock, or disable Flux on weekends.

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Using Color Effects you can do some really cool stuff. Flux will automatically switch the OS to dark mode when Flux activates. Movie Mode turns off Flux for 2 and a half hours. Darkroom option literally inverts the colors on screen.

Night Shift Supports A Limited Selection of Macs

Night Shift is only available on Macs running macOS Sierra 10.12.4. If you’re the kind of person who chooses to wait for a couple of months, or years, before upgrading to the latest OS, you’re going to miss out on the night shifting fun.

Also, there’s a hardware limitation for the Night Shift feature. If you’ve got a Mac that’s older than 4 years or so, Night Shift just won’t work. The feature is supported in the following Macs.

• MacBook Air (Mid 2012 or later)

• MacBook (Early 2015 or later)

• MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 or later)

• Mac mini (Late 2012 or later)

• iMac (Late 2012 or later)

• Mac Pro (Late 2013)

Flux on the other hand, doesn’t have limitations like this. You can use it even on your 8-year-old Mac Pro (godspeed), or on your year old Mac running El Capitan.

Night Shift Doesn’t Suffer From Weird Issues

Night Shift is a built-in feature, implemented by Apple themselves. Flux is a third party app. It’s only been a couple of days but users are already reporting that Night Shift doesn’t suffer from weird coloration issues, especially when it comes to playing videos.

Of course, not everyone faces these issues (I, for example, don’t).

Should Flux Users Switch?

If you’re using Flux and it works reliably for you, I don’t see a reason why you should switch. You won’t get time-related options for setting up the color temperature, or the myriad of pausing options.

But if you’ve never used Flux, Night Shift can be a great way to dip your toes into the screen tinting world of late night productivity. And when you think you want more features, just download Flux.

Do you use Flux? Will you start using Night Shift instead? Share with us in the comments below.

➤  Download: f.lux

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