Dark mode: what’s it all about?

| 11 June 2019

Dark mode. It’s not a broody state of mind. It’s not a type of stealth mode. And it’s definitely not a hulk type scenario where you transform into a smashing being. Various studies state that devices are inhibiting our sleep patterns. Our device’s lighting while we’re scrolling in our beds is wreaking havoc and a big factor in our lack of quality sleep.

What is it?

Put simply, it’s a feature on your phone that changes the type of screen display from light to dark. As an example, a lot of applications have a white background with black writing. Dark mode switches the white background to a black background with white writing.

Are there benefits to dark mode?

The short answer is yes!

Whether you’re a heavy device user and looking at a screen all day, a night owl, or have a sensitivity to bright lights, there are benefits to switching over to the dark side. Google’s testing of dark mode was summarised nicely by  Slash Gear. If you’re interested in graphs and the science behind dark mode and Google’s results, click here. Otherwise, we’ve plucked out 5 benefits to dark mode:

  • Your eyes become less fatigued while staring at a screen all day
  • It saves battery power on your phone
  • There’s an improvement in readability of text
  • Reduces the harshness of light on your eyes
  • There’s less blue light, this could mean less disruption to sleep cycle if you’re using devices at night

In a Reddit thread titled ‘Why do people want dark mode so badly‘ by u/UKFan643, Redditor u/illusionmist explained dark mode simply:

Night is dark. Screen is bright. Eyes hurt.

Night is dark. Screen is dark. Eyes not hurt.

How do you enable it?

For iPhone users: go to  Settings and click General. From there, scroll down to Accessibility, then Display Accommodations, select invert colours, then Smart Invert. Voila! Dark mode.

For Android phones it’s a little different. Go to Settings and then Display. Within the Display section you’re looking for something called either Night Mode or Reading Mode, once found, switch it on. Boom! Dark mode.

A caveat though, some Android devices may not have a dark mode feature. Luckily though, you can get an app for that. The Twilight app has been recommended by Life Hacker.

Like anything, it comes down to personal preference. You may decide you like “normal” mode better than dark mode, and that’s all well and good. There are some people who are insanely excited about dark mode, and i’m willing to find out why.

Here’s to dark mode. May you protect eyes, appease sleep patterns, and increase phone battery life.