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F.lux Without Jailbreak: iPhone Screen Dimmer

There’s an excellent application called “f.lux” which allows you to dim and warm up a screen on your Mac, PC and on jailbroken iPhones. Reducing the amount of cold color hues such as blue light is said to improve sleep and help you fall asleep at night. Staring at a brightly lit screen isn’t exactly healthy at night. This is a guide on how to use an alternative to f.lux without a jailbreak on your iPhone. As even the lowest brightness setting on your iPhone is far from acceptable for the human eye in a darkened room, we will use “GammaThingy” which is available as an open source app on Github. This app allows us to darken the screen by warming up the color temperature to something more candle-like. You will be surprised by how much more comfortable the warm light appears to your sight.

Since Apple updated usage policies for Xcode, we can now sideload (directly install) apps from outside the iTunes App Store by compiling them ourselves. This may sound scary to new users, but it’s practically free of risk as long as you can trust the source and not that hard to do.

Prerequisites: All we need is a device on iOS 9, a Mac on a recent version of Mac OS X such as “El Capitan” and the latest version of Xcode from the App Store.

Enabling a free developer account using your Apple ID

Use your existing Apple ID to sign into the apple developer portal. Click “Member Center” to login and/or convert an existing Apple ID to a developer account. Or create a new Apple ID if you do not currently own one, which would be unlikely for an iPhone user but it’s also possible to do through the same link.

Downloading Xcode 7

To download Xcode 7, open up the “App Store” on your Mac and install the application from there. Simply enter the name of the app in the search bar.

Adding your developer account to Xcode 7

Open up Xcode and click its bold title in your menu bar, then select “Preferences” and finally “Accounts” to add your freshly created developer account using the plus sign. Simply login in using the Apple ID account details we’ve used before. Then click “Add”.

Copying the GitHub URL for our package

Next up, we’ll need to pay GitHub a visit, because that’s where the “GammaThingy” app is currently hosted. You can copy the following web address or search for the package on GitHub.com and grab it from the HTTPS field as displayed on the screenshot.

Here’s the direct download URL of the repository, for your convenience:


Downloading the source code to Xcode 7

Go back into Xcode and select “Source Control > Check Out” from the top menu. Then paste in the URL from the previous step into the “repository location” field at the bottom and hit “Next”. Then click “Download”. This will grab the necessary source code files.

Compiling and uploading to iPhone

Finally, we’ll just need to hook up our iPhone to the Mac using a USB cable and wait for a couple of seconds, then click the “Play” symbol in the Xcode toolbar to compile and run the software.

This will take a few moments, depending on your hardware. As soon as the app is done and uploaded to your iPhone, you should be able to see it on the Home Screen of the phone.

You should now be able to enable and customize GammaThingy to your heart’s delight. We recommend checking out the automatic color scheduling, which allows you to have it dim down the blue color tones at night and make the iPhone far easier on the eyes. Enjoy!

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