By: Nick Gambino
WhatsApp has been beta testing a dark mode for their app for a few months, but now we’re finally seeing an official dark mode rollout to all iOS and Android users.
Dark mode is a relatively new trend that most popular apps are getting in on. In its essence, a dark mode uses darker colors (shades of black and gray) to make viewing your screen a little easier on the eyes. While it may not be as aesthetically pleasing, with how much we stare at our screen on any given day it definitely seems to be better for the eyes.
What makes WhatsApp’s dark mode addition a bit different than those that have come before is how it dims the brightness on your screen. Facebook used careful consideration and research to craft it just right, instead of simply copying other versions out there.
“During testing we found that combining pure black and white creates high contrast that can lead to eye fatigue,” a WhatsApp spokesperson told The Verge. “So instead, you’ll notice a special dark gray background and off-white color that lowers the brightness of the screen, cuts down glare, and improves contrast and readability.”
They also focused on gradation of color depending on what’s most important for the user to focus on.
“We wanted to help users easily focus their attention on each screen,” a WhatsApp blog post explains. “We did this by using color and other design elements to make sure the most important information stands out.”
The new feature is available to anyone running the most recent version of the app. If you’ve got dark mode enabled in your system settings for your phone, then you should see the mode switched on automatically the next time you open up your updated app. For those running an earlier version of Android, you’ll have to switch it on manually in settings.
If for some reason you’ve updated WhatsApp and are running on the most recent OS and still haven’t seen dark mode, then just be patient as these things usually roll out over a few days.