Patently Apple has discovered a trademark filing that suggests Apple is looking the bring the feature to just about every platform it has. While it details just about every device you can think of (seriously, it lists “animated cartoons, egg-candlers, dog whistles, decorative magnets, electrified fences, portable remote-controlled car retarders, and electrically heated socks” in the filing), a few caught our eye.
It’s described only as “computer software for controlling computer and mobile device display screens.”
It specifically wants to control “computers, computer hardware, motor vehicle audio apparatus, smartwatches, television monitors” and “laptops.” That just about covers Apple’s ecosystem as we know it (even, you know, cars).
Unfortunately, it also squeezes out competition. On launch, Night Shift stomped F.Lux out of the iOS space, leaving the desktop as one of its lone vestiges. If Apple brings Night Shift elsewhere, F.Lux is going to have an even harder time being competitive in Apple’s world (it’s still available for Android).
Night Shift as we know it is a bit of a one-trick pony, so we should also expect more features. The color-dimming features you want in your car may not be the same you’re looking for on the Watch. Apple may also need to provide some APIs to allow developers to circumvent it; designers unwittingly working on apps or Websites while Night Shift is active may end up disabling it altogether.
A Trademark is meant to protect the name, but still suggests Apple is serious about making Night Shift more common across devices. We’re not sure when it might hit your various screens — neither watchOS 3 or macOS Sierra have Night Shift, and CarPlay is not ready either — but don’t be surprised when it lands.