Apple MacBook
Apple is rolling out macOS Sierra 10.12.4 that comes with Night Shift mode. Reuters/Beck Diefenbach

Apple has finally rolled out the macOS Sierra 10.12.4 software update to its Mac devices. The update is known to bring Night Shift, a feature that automatically adjusts the display colors at night to help users get to sleep easily once they are done using their Mac laptop or computer.

For users who have yet to update their device, they can fetch the software update from the Updates tab in the Mac App Store. The macOS Sierra 10.12.4 update is free to download, so users of MacOS Sierra-running devices are recommended to download and install the update right away. The main feature that this update brings is Night Shift, which was previously limited to iOS devices only, as pointed out by Apple Insider.

Night Shift is designed to make changes to the display settings of the device at night and restore the original settings in the morning. Apple created this feature after learning that different lighting from computer screens affects the sleeping patterns of users. To ensure that users fall asleep and stay asleep for the right amount of time, Night Shift switches the display to a more yellow tone instead of the blue light that is known to have an effect on the circadian rhythm.

Night Shift is not an application; it is an operating system feature. But in order for it to work, Mac users should first activate it. Before doing so, owners must understand that not all Mac devices are capable of supporting this feature. As such, not everyone can have access to Night Shift. According to MacRumors, only Mac devices released in 2012 and the newer-generation devices are compatible with Night Shift. Older devices will never work with this feature.

To activate Night Shift, one should head to System Preferences. From there, one should look for the Display menu. With the update, this menu now shows three tabs: Display, Color and Night Shift. When choosing Night Shift, the system would then ask for the user to choose the schedule for the feature to automatically turn on. Once can choose either “Sunset to Sunrise” or “Custom.” Selecting the former requires the device to identify one’s location, so the option to do so should be enabled in Security & Privacy Preferences. In selecting Custom, one will have to encode the specific start and end time for Night Shift.

There is also a manual option a user could tick to enable Night Shift to remain on until the next day. Also found on the Night Shift settings is a note that the feature does not apply to connected devices like televisions and projectors. Lastly, users can modify the color temperature of the display by adjusting the tuner to Less Warm or More Warm, depending on their preference. Apple has included a warning that says, “Warmer settings may affect the appearance of some onscreen motion.”

There are also other ways to manually switch Night Shift on and off. One can head to the Notification Center menu bar icon to launch the Today view. Updated devices will now show a toggle for Night Shift. Switching the mode on and off using this toggle is as easy as swiping it from left to right and vice versa. If this is still much of a hassle to the user, the best way to activate Night Shift is by asking Siri to do so. After clicking the Siri button, the commands “Turn on Night Shift” and “Turn off Night Shift” would suffice in enabling and disabling this new display mode.