Amazon Fire tablets get blue light filter for safer nighttime reading

Amazon's new tablet comes in a pack of six. Photo: Amazon

Amazon’s new tablet comes in a pack of six. Photo: Amazon

Amazon is rolling out a new update for its Fire tablets that’s going to make nighttime reading much safer, thanks to a feature called Blue Shade. The update also brings a new Activity Center, and a kid-friendly web browser.

Science tells us that using smart devices before bed is unhealthy. That’s because their displays emit blue light, which suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that helps control sleep and wake cycles. Not only does this upset sleep, but it has been linked with depression and even cancer.

To make its Fire tablets safer for nighttime use, Amazon is rolling out a feature called Blue Shade, which filters out that blue light when the device is used after dark. If you’re a nighttime reader, this should lead to better and healthier sleep cycles.

Amazon is also making its tablets safer for kids. A new Activity Center lets parents keep an eye on how much time their little ones are spending on playing games and watching movies, and even displays browser history.

There’s also a new kid-friendly web browser, which comes with 40,000 curated webpages and YouTube videos that are safe for youngsters. The browser also allows parents to whitelist webpages themselves, and block out those they don’t want kids to visit.

This update is rolling out today to Amazon’s Fire tablet lineup, so be on the lookout for an update notification if you haven’t already received one.