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night light

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The best Android power user features you may have forgotten about

Android has now been around for over a decade, and every single update has brought new features. Some functionality is unknown to the vast majority of smartphone owners, either because the options aren't well-advertised, or because their uses are limited.

In this post, we've compiled some of the best power user features that Android has to offer.

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Android P feature spotlight: Night Light toggle now tells you when it'll turn on

Now that a large portion of our daily lives is spent staring at a screen, we've started becoming more and more concerned that this behavior may impact our circadian rhythms and the quantity and quality of our sleep. The hypothesis goes that humans have evolved to sync their sleep cycles to the cycle of the Sun, and that shining the pale blue glow of a phone screen into our eyes at night throws that sync off-balance and prevents our brain from recognizing when it's time to sleep. That's why so many devices now have a 'night mode,' where the color of the screen shifts to a more reddish tint at night so as to minimize the impact to sleep.

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Xperia XA1 family's Oreo updates will ditch built-in blue light filter, meaning that zero Sony phones will come with any form of 'night mode'

These days, many manufacturers include some sort of blue light filter or "night light" in their phones' ROMs. Google, Samsung, OnePlus, and some other companies are on the list, and Sony was as well with its "Good night actions" function in Xperia Actions for phones in the XA1 family. However, following the impending Oreo updates, no Sony phone will have a built-in blue light filter.

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[Update: Now in Dev Channel] ChromeOS will eventually have an automatic red-tinted Night Light mode

ChromeOS development is on fire these days. Just yesterday we got news that we'd have a new setting for closing the lid on a Chromebook. And today we find out that a new automatic Night Light feature is inbound and has just entered the Canary channel. If you've ever used Kindle's Blue Shade, f.lux, or LineageOS' LiveDisplay feature, then you know that this means. If you aren't familiar with any of those, think a red-tinted mode for use at night. 

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Android O feature spotlight: Night Light gets a slider to control how intense you want it to be

Night Light made its formal debut on Android 7.1 Nougat not long ago, but that doesn't mean that it can't be improved upon. The second Android O developer preview has added a slider that allows you to control the intensity of Night Light, just in case you found the default to be too yellow.

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Play Books v3.11 adopts a bottom navigation bar, sub-lists for series, and a settings link for Night Light [APK Download]

As the holidays close in (at least for many readers), Google is rolling out a stream of updates to various apps. In addition to the major Keyboard update earlier today, Play Books is making some changes, as well. The big change on this release is the adoption of the bottom navigation bar. Digging a bit deeper also reveals improvements to the way issues are displayed for comics and other series, and a couple of other visual tweaks.

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Night mode enabler apps no longer work in Android 7.1

Offering developer previews is very beneficial to a platform, but it also comes with its own perils. For example, people get upset when a feature that was part of the preview is dropped before the final release. Google has been derided in many a comment section for the removal of night mode in the final Nougat release, and now the hacky night mode enabler apps don't even work anymore. Is Google doing this because it hates you personally? That must be it.

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Googler confirms neither night light nor fingerprint reader swipe gestures are coming to Nexus devices

The Android 7.1 developer preview is rolling out, so Nexus phones are getting their first taste of the software shipping on the Pixel. Since it's a dev preview, it can be hard to know if missing features are missing because they're not done, or if they just aren't going to be included at all. Googler Ian lake has clarified that two features not listed as Pixel-exclusive still won't be coming to existing Nexus phones—night light and fingerprint reader gestures.

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Android 7.1 is coming to current Nexus devices and the Pixel C, will land before the end of 2016 as a dev preview

For those of you who were worried about Google's current Android devices not receiving Android 7.1 Nougat, don't be; Google has confirmed that the Pixel phones' current software version will be arriving on Nexus devices and the Pixel C before the end of the year. However, these devices won't be receiving some Pixel-exclusive (Pixelsclusive?) features.

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Exclusive: Dual-tab settings UI, "Night Light" mode, ambient display double-tap on 2016 Nexuses

Google will introduce a new layout for its settings apps on the upcoming 2016 Nexus phones to accommodate its new Google Support tool (which we previously showed you), a new way to activate the ambient display mode via double-tap, as well as a "Night Light" to tint the display red (turn off blue pixels) for easier evening viewing, we've learned from a trusted source. The new settings UI and the Night Light mode are pictured below. We do not have any visuals of the support tab itself, unfortunately, though as we said in our previous exclusive, we believe the Google Support app will allow for live screen sharing with customer support reps for owners of supported Nexus devices.

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