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Dark Mode: The popular apps you should try dark mode on right now

Dark mode is one of the most in-demand features of 2019, and for good reason. By inverting the colours on your screen, you can put less strain on your eyes, improve the readability of text and even save battery if your handset has an OLED display.

We’ve compiled a list of popular apps for Android and iOS that offer a dark mode, and included instructions on how to enable the feature. Scroll further down the page for a roundup of apps that we’re expecting to get some form of dark mode very soon.

Related: Best smartphone

WhatsApp

When it comes to apps that need dark mode, WhatsApp has long been at the top of the list. And, after relentless requests from users, the Facebook-owned company has finally followed through and brought the feature to its messaging service.

The alternate colour scheme is interesting in that its different depending on your operating system. For iOS users, WhatsApp’s dark mode is largely black and grey, while Android users will instead see something closer to blue and grey. This decision was made to minimise eye fatigue and better match the system defaults on each OS, according to WhatsApp.

In iOS 13:

  • Open your phone’s settings
  • Tap ‘Display & Brightness’
  • Tap ‘Dark’ to turn on your phone’s system-wide dark mode

In Android 10:

  • Open your phone’s settings
  • Tap ‘Display’
  • Toggle dark mode on to turn on your phone’s system-wide dark mode

In Android 9 or below:

  • Open WhatsApp
  • Tap ‘Settings’
  • Tap ‘Chats’
  • Tap ‘theme’
  • Tap ‘Dark’
Whatsapp Dark mode ios android

iOS (left), Android (right)

Instagram

A dark mode for Instagram can only do so much. When a large part of your feed is photos, the app is bound to light up your room at night no matter what colour the background is.

That said, a dark background can make Instagram slightly less jarring for those used to having every other app flipped to black. And, it seems that’s exactly who this dark mode is designed for – you can’t even switch it on without plunging every other app into darkness with your phone’s system-wide dark mode. 

How to enable Instagram dark mode:

In iOS 13:

  • Open your phone’s settings
  • Tap ‘Display & Brightness’
  • Select ‘Dark’

In Android 10:

  • Open your phone’s settings
  • Tap ‘Display’
  • Tap ‘Advanced’
  • Select ‘Dark’

Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft swooped in out of nowhere to announce that it had finally joined the dark mode train at the end of August and it looks really sleek. Your emails stand against a true black backdrop – for proper battery saving powers – and the accent colours manage to be muted without getting lost in the dark interface. 

The company doesn’t plan to stop there either, with dark mode apps for Word, Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, SharePoint, One Drive, Planner, and To-Do coming very soon.

How to enable Microsoft Outlook dark mode:

  • Open Microsoft Outlook
  • Tap ‘Settings’
  • Click on the dark mode toggle

Google Fit

Google Fit is the latest in a long list of Google apps to receive a dark mode makeover in the run up to Android Q. The feature joined the app alongside sleep tracking, with Google encouraging users to take the time to rest up and power down properly between workouts.

Dark mode for Google Fit comes with a dark grey look, designed to reduce eye strain and to help users get a good nights sleep so they can feel ready to run again the next morning.

How to enable Google Fit dark mode:

  • Enter Google Fit’s settings
  • Switch on the dark mode feature

Gmail

Dark mode came to Gmail for Android toward the end of 2019 and claims it’ll help you save battery life when you’re scrolling through your inbox.

The UI is similar to Google’s previous dark modes with a dark grey background rather than a true black so, while the app won’t strain your eyes, the update will unfortunately skip out on some of the battery saving benefits that other apps have.

How to enable Gmail dark mode in Android:

  • Tap the menu icon in the Gmail app
  • Tap ‘Settings’
  • Tap ‘General settings’
  • Tap ‘Theme’
  • Choose ‘Dark’

How to enable Gmail dark mode in iOS:

  • Tap the menu icon in the Gmail app
  • Tap ‘Settings’
  • Tap ‘Theme’
  • Choose ‘Dark’

Google Photos

Google Photos is one of the most recent of Google’s apps to get dark mode. The feature began rolling out in an update on June 4 and is in the process of hitting smartphones right now.

The look stays in line with Google’s previous dark modes  dark grey tones with contrasting coloured icons that are sure to be easier on the eyes when you’re scrolling through your pics at night.

How to enable Google Photos dark mode:

  • Open the Google Play Store/App Store
  • Locate Google Photos
  • Tap ‘update’

Facebook Messenger

Facebook brought dark mode to its Messenger app in April 2019. It began as a hidden Easter egg that was activated when you hit the crescent moon emoji in a Messenger chat, but it has now become a proper feature.

Facebook Messenger’s dark mode plunges your screen into black and grey, and the theme is significantly easier on the eyes in low light situations than Messenger’s usual blue and white glare.

How to enable Facebook Messenger dark mode:

  • Tap your profile picture in the top left corner of the app
  • Tap the dark mode toggle

facebook messenger dark mode

Twitter

Twitter has had a dark mode since 2016, but like many things on Twitter, it’s been the subject of complaints for a while. Most frustrations stem from the fact that the background colour is a deep blue grey rather than true black. This is crucial, as it prevents OLED screens from switching their pixels off completely, meaning it doesn’t allow you to save battery life.

Twitter is now working on three different dark mode options: Dim, Lights Out and Automatic Dark Mode. Dim is the name for the original dark mode, while Lights Out is a true, battery-saving black. Automatic Dark Mode allows user to toggle between light and dark mode depending on the time.

How to enable Twitter dark mode:

  • Tap on your icon in the top left corner of the screen
  • Tap the lightbulb icon

YouTube

YouTube introduced a dark theme to iOS in January 2018, but Android users had to wait until September to receive the update. Dark theme transforms YouTube’s bright white background into a more muted dark grey, which is far better for streaming videos late at night.

How to enable YouTube dark mode:

  • Tap your icon in the top right corner of the screen
  • Tap Settings
  • Tap the ‘dark theme’ toggle

YouTube Music

Google Maps

Google Maps doesn’t have a traditional dark mode, but the app does have a night theme for when you need help navigating the streets after sunset. The feature automatically switches itself on in the evening, but it’s possible to turn your map grey manually.

How to enable Google Maps dark mode:

  • Tap the hamburger menu in the top left corner of the app
  • Tap ‘Settings’
  • Tap ‘Navigation’
  • Scroll down to ‘Map display’ and tap ‘Night’

Slack

Slack brought Dark Mode to our phones in March 2019. The feature flips your group chats from white with black text to dark grey with white, allowing you to stay in touch with your colleagues long into the night if you really need to.

How to enable Slack dark mode:

  • Tap to open the menu in the top right corner of the app
  • Tap ‘Settings’
  • Tap ‘Dark Mode’

Google Chrome

Night mode is currently in beta testing for Google Chrome. However, if you’re impatient to see what could be coming, Android users can access the feature early by following the steps below.

How to enable Google Chrome dark mode:

  • Paste ‘chrome://flags/#enable-android-night-mode’ into the address bar
  • Open the dropdown menu below ‘Android Chrome UI dark mode’ and choose to enable the feature
  • Tap ‘Relaunch Now’
  • Go to ‘Settings’
  • Tap on the ‘Dark Mode’ toggle

Firefox

Firefox added dark mode to its iOS app toward the end of 2017 to reduce brightness as you browse. Unfortunately, Android users are still waiting for an update to bring ‘Night Mode’ to their phones.

How to install dark mode for Firefox:

  • Tap the hamburger menu at the bottom of the screen
  • Tap ‘Enable Night Mode’

Amazon Kindle

Amazon first introduced a dark mode to its Kindle Paperwhite in 2018 but you can easily access this feature on the Amazon Kindle app for Android and iOS. The dark theme only affects the main interface of the app, but you can also bring any ebook into dark mode with you by tapping the ‘Aa’ icon above the book, tapping ‘colour’ and choosing ‘black’ from the dropdown menu.

How to enable Amazon Kindle dark mode:

  • Tap ‘more’
  • Tap ‘settings’
  • Tap ‘colour theme’
  • Tap ‘dark’

Google Calendar

One of the key features of Android Q will be the system-wide Dark Theme, and Google is currently working to bring a dark mode to its most popular apps. Google Calendar’s dark mode is primarily dark grey, with pops of colour for dates and events. This makes checking your Calendar in bed easier on the eyes.

How to enable Google Calendar dark mode:

  • Tap ‘settings’
  • Tap ‘general’
  • Finally, tap ‘theme’

Google Keep

Google Keep’s dark mode has a similar scheme.

How to enable Google Keep dark mode:

  • Enter settings
  • Tap ‘enable dark mode’

Android Messages

Dark mode was brought to Android Messages in August 2018. The app can take your inbox from white with pastel icons to dark grey with contrasting coloured icons in seconds.

How to enable Android Messages dark mode:

  • Tap the hamburger menu in the top right corner of the screen
  • Tap ‘enable dark mode’ in the dropdown menu

android messages dark theme

Reddit

Reddit introduced its dark mode in May 2018 but there are actually multiple ways to go about turning your screen black. Reddit offers a range of themes in its settings including Alien Blue, Mint, Night, Pony and Trees, as well as an Auto Night Mode that inverts the colours automatically depending on the time of day. That being said, if you’re looking to toggle quickly between dark and light, follow the steps below.

How to enable Reddit dark mode:

  • Tap on your profile picture in the top left corner of the screen
  • Tap on the moon icon at the bottom of the pullout menu

Twitch

Twitch added a dark mode in January 2019. The feature takes the theme from white to a very dark grey and mutes the app’s familiar purple, switching it out for a slightly darker shade, and lowering the contrast.

How to enable Twitch dark mode:

  • Tap your profile image in the top right of the app
  • Tap the gear icon
  • Select ‘Enable Dark Mode’

Google News

Google News is another app that has a dark mode that only affects the main interface, rather than extending to all of the app’s content.

How to enable Google News dark mode:

  • Tap your profile picture in the top right corner
  • Tap ‘settings’
  • Tap ‘Dark Theme’

Wikipedia

Wikipedia introduced its dark theme in 2017, which is good because… well, we’re all familiar with Wikipedia. The app actually comes with two options – dark and black  so you can decide how dark you want to go and choose which one feels best for you.

How to enable Wikipedia dark mode:

  • Tap the three lines in the top left corner of the app
  • Tap ‘settings’
  • Choose out of ‘dark’ and ‘black’

Viber

Viber’s dark mode arrived in March. Tapping on the toggle turns the white background to a very dark blue grey, and the light grey and blue text bubbles to a much more muted dark grey and blue.

How to enable Viber dark mode:

  • Tap ‘more’
  • Tap ‘settings’
  • Tap ‘appearance’
  • Tap on the ‘Dark Mode’ toggle

Periscope

Twitter’s live streaming app received a dark mode of its own way back in 2016. ‘Night Mode’ takes the screen from a bright white to a true black, reducing the strain on your eyes when you’re watching videos late at night. This should also bring power-saving benefits on phones with OLED screens, which is always a bonus when you’re doing something as battery-consuming as streaming video.

How to enable Periscope dark mode:

  • Tap the people icon at the top of the screen
  • Tap the profile icon in the top right corner
  • Select ‘Settings’
  • Tap the ‘Night Mode’ toggle to turn the feature on and off

Accuweather

Accuweather also brought its dark theme to our screens pretty early, with the feature dropping in 2016. The app turns largely white sections of the app dark grey, but it does keep the bright images of the sky at the top of the screen.

How to enable Accuweather dark mode:

  • Tap the three dots in the top right corner of the app
  • Tap ‘settings’
  • Tap ‘theme’
  • Tap ‘dark’

Related: Android Q features

There are a handful of apps rumoured to be getting a dark mode soon. We will update this list when we hear more.

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