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Google Play Books’ Night Light Improves Reading In Low-Light

December 15, 2015 - Written By Diego Macias

Let’s face it, most of us use our mobile devices at night to check our email, read some documents or just play a casual game. But recent studies have suggested that the blue light emitted by smartphones or tablets can alter the melatonin production, thus affecting our sleeping habits, which might eventually affect other functions of the body. Google has noticed that the most common hours when users get to read books is from 8 pm to 10 pm, so users are probably looking at these devices in near darkness, just when the light can hurt your eyes the most.

Google is now introducing a new feature for Google Play Books called Night Light, which makes reading more comfortable and a little easier on the eyes. This feature will make the tone of the screen gradually warmer as the sun goes down, so in complete darkness an amber light will filter and replace some of the blue light emission. Some adjustments have been available for a while, such as reading white text on a white background and a Sepia tone for the background, but Natural Light will automatically adjust the conditions to provide the best temperature and brightness on the screen based on the amount of natural sunlight left according to the time of day, so it will improve the low-light reading experience.

To activate this new feature, users must have the latest version of Google Play Books, so be sure to check your app store for updates. Night Light is available for Android and iOS devices. Once updated, just open any book and you’ll see a pop up in the app giving you the option to activate this feature. Google Play Books has been downloaded over one billion times and there are over 5 million ebooks to choose from. Google didn’t mention if Night Light would also be available in Play Books for desktop, but those who want similar functionality on their computers could download apps like F.lux in the meantime. Amazon recently updated the software of the Fire tablets with a similar feature called Blue Shade, so there’s definitely a concern about the blue light emitted by electronic devices.