WhatsApp’s dark mode has begun rolling out on both Android and iOS.
The feature was first mentioned in March 2019 in a beta update for the popular messaging app.
Users of Android 10 and iOS 13 can implement dark mode by enabling it in their system settings.
Those who are on Android 9 and below can do so by navigating to WhatsApp Settings > Chats > Theme > and then selecting Dark.
“Dark mode for WhatsApp offers a fresh look on a familiar experience. It’s designed to reduce eye strain in low light environments,” said WhatsApp in a statement.
“We hope it helps prevent those awkward moments where your phone lights up the room.”
Benefits of dark mode
WhatsApp said it focused on two key areas when developing its dark mode:
- Readability – “When choosing colors, we wanted to minimize eye fatigue and use colors that are closer to the system defaults on iPhone and Android respectively.”
- Information Hierarchy – “We wanted to help users easily focus their attention on each screen. We did this by using color and other design elements to make sure the most important information stands out.”
University of Cambridge academic Silas Brown previously highlighted the following benefits of dark modes for users:
- Health advantages – Dark mode emits less blue light, which reduces the likelihood of your sleep cycle being disrupted.
- Using less power – Dark mode uses less power and works better in low-light settings – meaning you can use it easily while the lights are off.
- Hiding display flaws – If your device has faulty pixels, these can be less noticeable using dark mode.
- Improved design – Some colours stand out better on a dark background than on a light one, and light text on a dark background often needs less margin space than the opposite.
There are also negatives, however, including dark mode being harder to use when there is lots of external light, or if the text is small.