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F.lux for Chromebooks Just Got a Step Closer

generic chromebook thumbnailDo you wish you were able to adjust the screen temperature on your Chromebook using an app like F.lux?

If so, you may be in luck.

Recent changes to the way Chrome OS works could finally allow app developers to build a Chrome app to adjust the color levels of supported displays.

It’s claimed that adapting a computer’s display to suit the time of day — warm at night and like sunlight during the day — can help promote natural sleep cycles and reduce eye strain.

Chrome extensions like G.lux do an admirable job of trying to fill the feature gap they can’t affect or adjust the temperature of the whole screen, only the webpage you’re viewing.

But there are more important features why such a feature is needed. It’s not just night owls and the weary-eyed who benefit.

Users with low vision or visual impairments rely on assistive and accessibility features in order to use their devices. And while Chrome OS does a decent job of providing tools and options, the current “contrast” options in Chrome OS are not granular enough to accommodate the needs of all visually impaired users, especially those with light sensitivities.

Flux for Chromebook

In order to allow add-on makers to adjust the color of the entire screen a few new APIs will be needed.

Previous versions of Chrome OS were built in such a way that this wasn’t directly permissible.

But recent changes in Chrome OS’s under-the-hood display piping has made the out look for such a feature promising:

“A large portion of bug 495196 has landed, possibly enough to make this work. You’re welcome to put together an API proposal for exposing that to extensions if you want.

It’s also worth noting that once the tech in [Android apps for Chrome OS] is shipped, Android apps that do this SHOULD work on supported Chrome OS devices. That’s not a solution for everyone who wants this, but it might offer a workaround for some people.”

Chromium developers say they plan to get the relevant pieces in order for Chrome 54, due nearer the end of the year and, driven largely, by the accessibility requirements, the feature request has been pumped to priority 2.

Chromium bug #217173 via Reddit