New Android App Makes it Easier to Use Your Phone While Stargazing

Article written: 27 Jun , 2013
Updated: 23 Dec , 2015
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Ever have to take a call while stargazing, or do you use astronomical apps on your phone, only to have the white screen ruin your night vision? A new app called Sunset is a screen filter that essentially adds a dimmed red-color filter onto an Android device’s screen so you can use your smartphone during those extra dark moments and not lose your dark-adapted night-vision.

The app’s description says it best:

Sunset is a screen filter adds an additional layer of dimming color to help soothe your eyes during those extra dark hours. Perfect for astronomers/stargazers looking to preserve their night vision, late night smartphone users, and movie theater texters. Sunset goes darker than Android’s brightness settings to provide your eyes with that extra layer of comfort.

Sunset is easy to use, too. Just select a color theme, choose the maximum intensity, and hit start. The color themes are specifically designed to help your eyes in different environments, as there are several other color options.

The Sunset app is just 99 cents, USD, but the app’s creator Rohan Puri will send a refund to the first 20 Universe Today readers who buy this app. Just send your e-mail via Direct Message on Twitter to @RohanSPuri after your purchase, and you will receive a full refund.


You can find Sunset at the Google Play Store

Thanks to Rohan for sharing this app with Universe Today and our readers!

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5 Responses

  1. RapidEye says

    Thanks Nancy – this really fills a need.
    It would be perfect if it could also take care of the light behind the buttons at the bottom of the screen, but I think Android doesn’t allow any changes to that.

  2. André Rabold says

    Sunset seems to be a unoriginal rip off of Twilight, which is available in the play store for free.

  3. ExitPupil says

    This will not work as the back-light is still emitting broad spectrum light. The only way to prevent saturating your eye with white light is to physically attach a red screen filter to the device.

    • dangerdad says

      Uh, my (old) Android device has an emissive display. There *is* no backlight. I’m pretty sure most Android devices are similar these days.

      • ExitPupil says

        Hi dangerdad, yes, if you are using a OLED enabled device then no backlight exists. Though most of the android devices I see visitors using at astronomical observatories are not OLED enabled devices. If you are using a device with a backlight then this app will not do as it’s intended. Additionally, if the screen shot above is an accurate representation of the app, then you are still exposed to broader spectrum light as I see greens, blues, and white (as was stated by RapidEye). Take a spectrograph and observe an OLED screen running this app, then wrap that same OLED enabled device with red plastic wrap and take another look. There will surely be measurable differences in the emitted spectrum. Now if you are in urban, light polluted locations or under a bright moon-lit sky, then all this really doesn’t matter. But if you are at a fantastic dark sky location with little or no Moon, this can cause you to miss a lot of fantastic detail in the night sky.

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