Google wants developers to add dark themes to save battery life

Helen Aguilar
November 11, 2018

Darker colours tend to draw the least amount of power on most smartphones with OLED panels. During a presentation at the 2018 Android Dev Summit, Google urged its developers to use darker colors in their apps to get the best battery life on the end user's phone. While all-white interfaces may look better to some, a dark mode is friendlier to your battery, your screen, and your eyes. The reason for this was due to the design guidelines that Google had outlines for Android and apps. Presenting this data to developers seems like the first step of making a case that integrating dark UI options is important. Brightness was of course one of the most obvious factors; everyone knows that the brighter you set the screen to, the faster your battery depletes.

Meanwhile, Google also announced that in the short time that the app formerly known as Files Go has been available, it is already being used by more than 30 million monthly users around the globe. By comparison, iPhone 7's LCD display had no change in power draw whether used in normal or night mode. LCD displays, on the other hand, have a backlight that's always shining, even when displaying the colour black.

The Dark Mode basically reverses the color theme of an operating system (OS) or applications by replacing the white background with black.

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Tap on the toggle for "Dark theme" to enable it.

Funnily enough, Google acknowledged that it had made a mistake in encouraging app developers to use the colour white for their apps, including Google's own apps.

Google also notes on its blog that the PHA rate continues to steadily decline on phones that have the newer Android version installed. When an OLED screen displays black, it doesn't really display anything. The company plans to introduce the dark mode to its Phone app after getting it to YouTube and Android Messages. Once the update is ready, it will run the next time the app is launched. The API will give developers a couple options when it comes to updates. Well, hearing this report is a good news for most of us.

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