Google Play Books' Night Light gives your eyes a rest before bed

People today use their smartphones for almost everything. Sometimes that even includes reading, at least in as much as can fit inside that relatively small screen. But while it might be convenient, reading from such screens aren't always the best, nor the healthiest, especially come night time. That is why different reading apps, as well as full-colored book readers, are now offering some for of night mode reading. Google's Play Books app is just one of the latest to join that trend to help lessen the strain on your eyes while keeping you hooked on that gripping novel.

The now accepted theory is that the blue light emanating from computer screens, like those found on PCs, tablets, and smartphones, suppresses the production of melatonin, a hormone associated with good sleep. As such, this kind of light can disrupt the body's natural clock, which in turn can lead to all kinds of ills and disorders.

Many would recommend detaching from any kind of source of that blue light, like those computer screens, a good hour before going to bed. For some, that has become a new healthy lifestyle. For others, especially those who prefer reading books in their digitized formats before bed, that's an impossibility. One could just buy an ebook reader with an e-ink or e-paper display, which is renowned for being easy on the eyes. Of course, vendors like Google or even Amazon would prefer that you keep using their full-colored LCD devices or apps instead.

Their compromise is to introduce features that reduces the emission of blue light when reading from the app or tablet. Amazon did this with the Blue Shade feature it rolled out early this month. Now Google is doing something similar with the new Night Light feature in the Play Books app. Based on the time of day and the user's location, Night Light will automatically filter out blue light and use warm, amber colors during the night time, even increasing the amount of that amber light as the hours progress. This type of light works in contrast with blue and supposedly helps in the production of melatonin.

There might still be some debate on how much stop-gap measures like these really help, but every bit does count. The new Night Light feature is rolling out to Google Play Books on both Android and iOS. The feature seems to be enabled by default but users can opt to disable it after the update.

SOURCE: Google