Skip to main content

Reading at night with a neat iPhone hack

Posted in Apple

I’m re-reading one of my favourite books at the moment: The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien. I love reading in bed each night as it helps me switch off from the day and as soon as I feel my eyelids getting heavy I know it’s time to switch off and go to sleep. But my wife prefers to go straight to sleep so I can’t keep the bedside lamp on, which is where my phone comes in!

Unfortunately, even my phone’s lowest screen brightness setting is too fierce for reading in the dark. My iPhone XS’s OLED screen is better than my previous iPhone’s LCD screen, as the black pixels don’t turn on, but it’s still uncomfortably bright.

But never fear! I found a neat hack where you dim the screen even further with a simple triple tap of the home button (or side button on a newer iPhone model).

Here’s what to do.

Set up Accessibility Shortcut

First we need to make a triple tap of the home button trigger something called Zoom:

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Go to General → Accessibility → Accessibility Shortcut (right at the bottom of the list)
  3. Choose Zoom

Configure Zoom

Now we need to set Zoom up:

  1. Go back to the Accessibility menu in Settings
  2. Go to Zoom (General → Accessibility → Zoom if you’re going from the start of Settings again)
  3. Toggle Zoom on
  4. With three fingers, triple tap the screen to bring a black menu up
  5. Tap Zoom Out and the screen will un-magnify
  6. From Choose Region, select Full Screen Zoom
  7. From Choose Filter, select Low Light

You’re all set

From now on, to dim your screen further than it normally goes, all you’ve got to do is triple-tap the home button:

  • One, two, three taps and your screen dims
  • One, two, three taps and it’s back to normal

One last thing

Something to watch out for: I’ve noticed that every now and then, when I triple tap the home button, the screen magnifies again. All you need to do if that happens is triple tap the screen with three fingers and choose Zoom Out.

Subscribe

If you enjoyed reading this and want a monthly roundup of my articles delivered to your inbox, just enter your email below.

I don’t collect any data on when, where or if people open the emails I send them. Your email will only be used to send you newsletters and will never be passed on. You can unsubscribe at any time.

More posts

Here are a couple more posts for you to enjoy. If that’s not enough, have a look at the full list.

  1. Using Git restore to discard changes within a file

    git restore is great, and one of its superpowers is its patch mode where we can restore parts of a file, rather than the whole file at once.

  2. Undelete a file with Git

    I’ve talked about how great git restore is, but I missed a really obvious use of git restore: restoring a deleted file!