I finally got to try Amazon’s loudly trumpeted Blue Shade feature on the $50 Fire tablet. And the results are, frankly, fairly awful. But if you want to use it, this is how you do it – and how it looks.
Courtesy of a parental visit, I actually got to compare a plain-vanilla unmodified Fire with my highly modded version. And my parents’ Fire actually has updated to include the Blue Shade functionality. I’m not sure why mine hasn’t: Amazon’s Settings screen shows no system updates waiting under Device Options. However, on my parents’ device, the pull-down window shade quick settings panel includes a Blue Shade icon – which looks like a bed.
Activating Blue Shade via that icon gives you a sort of washed-out sepia effect across the Fire’s entire screen. The result is fairly ugly and looks, in fact, like some kind of screen failure – which is exactly what my father thought it was when he activated it by accident. You should be able to see above what a difference this makes to the basic screen colors – and the bed icon at the top of the screen. Contrast with the screen below – which also shows you the control button for the Blue Shade feature.
There actually isn’t much point showing Blue Shade on a text page because this is where the feature … ahem … shines. If you have a sepia background to your Kindle text pages, or whatever other e-reading app you use on your Fire, you won’t really see much difference at all with Blue Shade on or off. Which may mean that sepia page backgrounds miss out those nasty dangerous blue wavelengths anyway. I’m not worrying about this myself, since I already suspect that the warnings of the dangers of blue wavelengths from screens are junk science anyway. But for those who really feel they need this feature, this is what it is and how it works. Me, am I Blue? Nope.