Saturday, 24 February 2018

Google Lets Down the Dream of a Universal Dark Mode for Android, At least for time being

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It was exciting to watch Google’s Issue Tracker board for some Andriod users this week when a company’s engineer confirmed that a committed dark mode for night usage would be “available in a future release.”  However, in the end, this all seems untrue.

According to TechCrunch, in the place of the much-desired dark mode feature—which many users claimed to be easier on the eyes, has a potential to reduce battery drain, and simply looks cool— the note in fact referred rather to a developer feature, aiming to enhance dark mode support for the third-party app developers.  The engineer, clarifying in a post to the Issue Tracker Board said: 

What we *have* added in a future Android release is a developer-facing setting (via Developer Options) to toggle the -night UI mode qualifier, which will make it easier for developers to create and test apps that implement night mode. This qualifier has been on the platform since Froyo (SDK 8) and globally modifiable via UiModeManager since Marshmallow (SDK 23); however, there was never an explicit toggle made available anywhere in Settings.

As noted by The Next Web, to achieve the same effect, the users can simply apply custom-built Android screens, as there are numerous apps which already have night mode built including Youtube, Twitter, and few internet browsers. Also, it is already a common option in some Android phones via toggle themes depending on the time of day. However, it’s not the same setting which users can apply across the board.

Further, the engineer put in that the persisted lack of a universal dark mode is at least not for the reason that they’re dissipating time on a “Hot Dog Mode”:

If it’s any consolation, we will also not be adding Hot Dog Mode (where all UI elements are yellow and red).

It's really disappointing that dark mode isn’t making to Android yet, as it’s evidently the finest way to use apps even during the daytime. Considering as it’s pretty easy to imitate most of the mode’s functionality with the help of third-party tools, or plainly switch on Android’s current blue light filter (but, note that this finishes appearing more like f.lux than what actually users might anticipate out of a night mode), this may not be the most great feature add. Still, one can dream.  


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