on phone in bed Shutterstock

Reading on your iPhone and iPad at night will soon be easier on your eyes. 

Plenty of scientific research has shown that it can be harmful to look at  your smartphone's screen at night — doing so can negatively affect your sleep quality and cause even more serious health problems.

A new feature in the forthcoming iOS 9.3 update called Night Shift will automatically adjust your display's colors to warmer hues after sunset. It appears to work very similarly to a popular Mac app utility called f.lux.

flux comparison A side by side comparison of a Mac running f.lux (left) and a Mac with a normal display setting. Tech Insider

"Night Shift uses your iOS device’s clock and geolocation to determine when it’s sunset in your location," Apple explains on a website detailing new features in the upcoming iOS update. "Then it automatically shifts the colors in your display to the warmer end of the spectrum, making it easier on your eyes. In the morning, it returns the display to its regular settings."

Because Apple doesn't allow third-party iOS apps to run at a system level like f.lux does on the Mac, the app hasn't been available on the iPhone or iPad. Its developers recently tried to bypass Apple's restrictions to make f.lux work on the iPhone, but Apple quickly shut down the project.

Developers were given access to the beta version of iOS 9.3 with Night Shift on Monday. The general public should be able to download the update in the coming weeks.

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