Ever try to check an app in a dark room? In the process, you may have slightly blinded yourself and those around you. For example, Gmail is a great email service but its all-white design can be a little brutal when you’re in a dark place with your phone. Blue light from your phone and computer can damage your vision as it is, but a bright app in dim lighting can compound the issues.
To make things easier on your eyes while saving you some precious battery life, Android has come up with a solution. If you have Android 10 as your operating system (OS) you can now use a feature called Dark theme. It's a way of turning your apps from light to dark whenever you need to.
Read on to learn more specifics of what Dark theme is, and why you should use it. Then see how to use it on your phone so you can enjoy a darker screen, and spare your eyes (and your battery) a little bit of abuse.
What is Dark theme?
Dark theme is Android’s solution to annoying issues with screen brightness. Essentially, it’s a filter that Android apps can utilize that turns white parts of an app black, and black parts white. For most apps, particularly email services, that means the background will now be black and the text white.
Dark theme is available for most Android apps, particularly commonly used ones like Google Photos, Google Keep and Google Fit. Even Google Drive’s mobile app, and the Documents and Spreadsheets apps that can come with it, have dark themes which can invert the colors on your screen.
But why would you want the colors inverted, other than to change things up a little? The answers may surprise you.
Why use Dark theme?
(Image source: Android Developers)
Using a Dark theme has some distinct advantages over the traditional designs of most apps, at least when it comes to external lighting. If you’re in a dark space and your eyes have adjusted to the dark, using the Dark theme on an app will make it visible to you without ruining that eye adjustment. You won’t have to wait and get reacquainted with the dark, nor will others around you have to suffer.
It’s in this way that Dark theme is easier on the eyes, particularly in dark lighting, and that can really save your eyes a lot of strain if you need to look at your phone late at night. The blue light that emits from your phone, tablet and computer can disrupt your sleep cycle, and damage your retinas over time.
Dark theme doesn’t reflect that blue light the way white and pale backgrounds do, so blue light does less damage to you when you use them, particularly in dimly lit spaces where the only light might be the blue light from your phone.
On top of all of this, Dark theme can also save your phone's battery. Bright backgrounds actually take more power to run, and more power to keep running when you have your phone open for a while.
So using an app’s Dark theme can help keep your phone battery from draining away, even in brightly lit areas where your screen isn’t illuminating a space by itself. Dark theme takes less power to run so it can be helpful to use it in most situations, even if the themes are best used in dim lighting.
How to activate Dark theme in your apps
Now that you understand what Dark theme is and why you’d want to use it, you probably want to know how to use it on your phone. It's very easy to set up, so just follow the below steps to use the Dark theme of apps on your phone instead of the default ones.
First, make sure your phone has Android 10 as its OS. Android 10 is the update with this particular feature available on it, so you’ll need it in order to turn Dark theme on.
Once your OS is up to date, go to your Settings, and tap Display. Within Display, you can adjust a lot about your phone screen, but you’re particularly looking for the Dark theme switch. Once you find it, toggle it to the on position (which is when the round button is on the right side).
That’s it — your phone will now use the Dark theme option on all apps that have it so long as that switch is set to on. So you don’t have to worry about setting up different apps to go on Dark theme.
Your phone sets all your apps up for you, and you’ll get to enjoy a darker display on your Android much faster. Now that you have an overview of Dark theme, go ahead and give it a try. It might just save you from that annoying eye strain.
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