HTC have produced a short video clip, posted to YouTube, demonstrating how customers can use the HTC U Ultra’s night mode. In the video, one presenter eagerly shows off the U Ultra’s manual and automatic night mode functionality to another, whom appears to be working on a HTC U Ultra project. HTC have provided a quick notification bar toggle, which can be tapped on or off as with other toggles. However, for the customer wanting to set up an automatic night mode function, to access this first use the Settings application, navigate to Display and in here, there’s a Night Mode button. In here, users can automate when Night Mode is enabled by time as well as the ability to adjust the color temperature of the device’s Night Mode. This could be a great feature if people often use their smartphones right before bed and want to grab the device to do something rather than toggle a display setting.
The theory behind night mode software is that it changes the color temperature of a display to shift away from the bluer light frequencies, which are known to excite the mind and keep customers awake (or at least disrupt sleeping patterns). Night Mode technology warms the screen colors, pushing them towards yellows and orange away from blues. Google had originally included the Night Mode feature in Android 7.0 Nougat developer preview, but the option was removed from the software before it was released to the public. Interestingly enough, the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL handsets still include the necessary display drivers in order to adjust the color tones away from blue (also known as “cool”) and towards orange (known as “warm”). These two devices can have their Night Modes enabled via the third party application, Night Light. Unfortunately, because Google Nexus devices are missing the display drivers, this application will not work on these handsets when they are update to Android 7.1 Nougat. Devices running Android 7.0 Nougat can still use applications such as Night Mode Enabler. However, it appears that HTC wished to include the option for the HTC U Ultra.
The HTC U Ultra smartphone is not HTC’s 2017 flagship device, but has instead been produced to attempt to fill some of the gap in the market left by the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 being pulled from sale. Although the HTC U Ultra is a large screen device, and so is perhaps more likely to be used for bedtime reading than a smaller device, it seems likely that HTC will be including the Night Mode option for their up and coming 2017 models. Meanwhile, it is still possible that Google will officially re-enable the technology for the Google Nexus and Google Pixel device families.