Lower iPad brightness?
October 12, 2010 1:03 PM   Subscribe

Force iPad brightness lower than its lowest manual setting?

I want to globally (not just in one or two apps) get the brightness of an iPad screen much lower than its default lowest brightness in Apple's Settings app.

Obviously there's just the arbitrary software limitation, rather than any hardware limitation, given that Apple (so frustratingly) allows lower brightness setting in I think just one app (iBooks).

I'll jailbreak if there's no other solution (I use a jailbroken iPhone but would much rather keep my iPad on the standard OS). So I'd also really appreciate any answer from someone who has jailbroken their iPad confirming that (perhaps with sbsettings?) they can now get the brightness as low as they want.
posted by sparrows to Technology (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I use SBSettings on a jailbroken iPad and the brightness still doesn't get as low as I'd like for reading in bed.

What helps a little is reversing the video (it will mess up colors but will produce white text on a black background). I think this is under the Accessibility menu of Settings - mine is set so that a triple click on the home button reverses the video.
posted by exogenous at 1:08 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, I have that triple-click set too -- I definitely need actual lower brightness.

And thanks for reporting that you can't get the brightness all the way down even with sbsettings.

(To clarify: it sounds like you're saying you can now get the brightness lower than on a non-jailbroken iPad, but still not all the way down...?)
posted by sparrows at 1:11 PM on October 12, 2010

I haven't tried controlling the brightness using anything but SBSettings, so I'm afraid I don't know how it compares to a non-jailbroken device. But it sounds like it goes as low as iBooks.
posted by exogenous at 1:36 PM on October 12, 2010

If the issue is ebooks, Stanza has a great one-click always accesible "turn white to black and black to white" button. I use Stanza as my primary ebook reader for lots of reasons, this being a big one.
posted by Ian A.T. at 2:04 PM on October 12, 2010

For the Internet I run pages through nightowl but I haven't found a way to get non-Internet dimness on my iPad.
posted by saucysault at 6:18 PM on October 12, 2010

Response by poster: I can't use single-app solutions (must be a global solution, one I can use for all apps) or the approach of inverting color values.

Just to make sure before I jailbreak: does anyone know of any utility for this, short of jailbreaking? Thanks.
posted by sparrows at 9:23 PM on October 12, 2010

Best answer: So I checked it out and iBooks definitely makes the screen dimmer than does SBSettings. Sorry!
posted by exogenous at 4:56 AM on October 13, 2010

Response by poster: Aughhh. Freaking Apple and their completely arbitrary limitations. (Well, not completely arbitrary -- clearly prioritizing their image over consumer choice. Can't let third parties see the iPad screen too dark. :()

Thanks very much for the info. :(

I will come back and post here if I ever find a solution, although it sounds like getting around this limitation is less simple than one would think (reasons why are not clear to me).
posted by sparrows at 9:40 AM on October 13, 2010

I thought it would be great to read in bed without having the bedside light on to annoy my wife but the screen is still so freaking bright I'm considering a tinted plastic overlay...mentioned here.
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:06 AM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

I just figured I'd add to this that there are a couple of apps- iAnnotate for pdfs and iCab for browsing, that let you turn down the brightness lower that the default or even iBooks.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:11 PM on January 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Belated thanks to bonobothegreat -- those are both great ideas for partial solutions. Especially if iCab can view local files as well as remote.
posted by sparrows at 10:30 PM on February 3, 2011

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