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WhatsApp is officially rolling out dark mode on iOS & Android

by Alicia Brown Application Developer

If you are a WhatsApp user, chances are, you have already noticed the latest big change. If not, we’d love to be the bearer of good news. After months of teasing and Beta testing, WhatsApp has finally rolled out the long-overdue dark mode on both iOS and Android operating systems. The Facebook-owned messaging app took a very long time to implement dark mode, when most of the tech giants had already switched to this feature. 


As of 3-3-2020, the update is available for 2 Billion users of WhatsApp on all around globally. To implement the feature, WhatsApp must be of the latest versions for both Android and iOS platforms. In a blog post on WhatApp official blog, it is stated that:


“Users on Android 10 and iOS 13 can use dark mode by enabling it in system settings. Users on Android 9 and below can go into WhatsApp Settings > Chats > Theme > select ‘Dark’.”


This indicates that the iPhone users not running on the latest OS are out of game. The new dark mode is available on Android 10, 9 and below, whereas only available on iOS 13 and higher. 

Theory & Research behind Dark Mode

We know that Facebook is quite slow in adapting and moving things towards a soothing experience. But, the principle behind WhatsApp Dark mode theme is to facilitate users and is intended to decrease eye strain in low light environments. What's more, well, it saves you from those awkward moments when your phone’s screen lights up while secretly using the app in the room. Apart from that, the dark mode is easier on the eyes and is quite battery saving. 


The research strategy explained by one of the Spokesperson at WhatsApp: 


"During testing we found that pure black and white creates high contrast that can lead to eye fatigue,". "“So instead, you’ll notice a special dark gray background and off-white color that lowers the brightness of the screen, cuts down the glare, and improves contrast and readability.”


The company also said that it spent time researching and focuses on two key areas:

  • Readability

  • Information Hierarchy

Dark Mode in iOS & Android

WhatsApp rolled out two different colors for Android and iOS; pure black on iOS and dark gray on Android. Pure black looks better on AMOLED displays and gray looks better otherwise. So, we couldn’t understand this Android / iOS hues distinction. Both should have the same options to pick up by the users. The WhatsApp team might have thought that content transfer and sharing would be easy this way. 

How to enable dark mode on Android & iOS?

First of all, make sure that the latest version of WhatsApp runs on your device. If that is not the case, you can try manually updating WhatsApp on your phone via Google Play Store or App Store, depending on whether you use an Android or iOS device. If you still can't see the dark theme and want it right away, try to access the latest APK.

Once you have installed the latest version of the app follow these steps:

  • Step 1

Users on Android 9 Pie can go to Settings

WhatsApp Settings > Chats > Theme > Select 'Dark'

  • Step 2

Users on Android 10 can go to Settings

System Settings > Display > Dark Mode (system-wide)

  • Step 3

Users on iOS 13 can go to System Settings

System Settings > Display and Brightness > Dark (to enable Dark Mode on WhatsApp)

Bottom Line

WhatsApp claims to have buckled down on the dark theme feature and has also refined it after Beta release for users. The organization says the Dark Mode has been intended to lessen eye strain in low light conditions and will not probably drain the phone’s battery 


Furthermore, another feature was also expected after Beta launch. As per the WhatsApp community members, “a feature needs to be introduced that prevents messages from hacking your phone”.  This did not roll out in this update, but it’s possible it might appear in the future updates. Till then, we won’t hold our breath and will keep on using the dark mode on our Android or iOS devices. 



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About Alicia Brown Senior   Application Developer

208 connections, 3 recommendations, 789 honor points.
Joined APSense since, December 2nd, 2014, From California, United States.

Created on Mar 4th 2020 06:42. Viewed 197 times.

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