Android Q scores a system-wide ‘Dark Theme’

Google is bringing a system-wide dark mode to Android Q. It’s called Dark Theme and it’s exactly what you would expect, changing white page elements to solid black across the OS for friendlier night-time viewing.

You’ll be able to activate dark mode by tapping a dedicates tile in Quick Settings, or it can be auto-triggered when you turn on battery-saver mode. The company says the mode “will help you save battery,” highlighting how “Dark Theme” will fire up fewer pixels on your OLED device. The company explained later in a deeper dive into Android Q that the dark mode won’t be timed to a particular hour of the day — the user will be in control by toggling it on.

It looks like the theme will be coming to all of the first-party Android apps. Developers will be able to bring the functionality to their apps to easily trigger dark modes when Dark Theme is enabled through a variety of options — including one that would ignore the Dark Theme setting entirely, if they choose.

Dark modes have grown in popularity as larger phone screens became the norm — particularly because they can help to conserve battery life on high-end OLED devices.

Today, a number of apps support dark themes, including Google’s YouTube, Google’s main app, Medium, Reddit, Instapaper, Pocket, iBooks, Kindle, Google Maps, Waze, and most recently, Twitter.

Plus, Google this week added a dark theme to the revamped version of Android Auto.

Google acknowledged the addition of a Dark Theme to Android was a small update, but that didn’t stop the crowd from whooping it up at today’s event.

Additional reporting: Sarah Perez