Why is Dark Mode so Popular?

If you are an average mobile user, you would have noticed how most of the apps on your phone have started to allow for dark mode.


Last month, WhatsApp became the latest app to support dark mode. The feature is optional and can be switched on in WhatsApp’s display settings. The result is a display with darker shades than the app’s traditional grey and green color palette.


Whatsapp dark mode


Prior to WhatsApp, many other apps and services like Instagram, Gmail and Twitter, just to name a few, also come with the dark mode setting. Facebook even introduced similar settings for desktop users:



Android Q is an example of an operating system offering optional, in-built dark mode settings.



There are multiple good reasons why dark mode is gaining so much traction across the most popular apps and mobile operating systems out there, from digital well-being, to battery saver to visual appeal.


1. Digital well-being

The jury is still out on some of the possible beneficial effects of using dark mode settings, but any reduction in blue light from different electronic devices is generally good for your melatonin levels. A research paper released by the Harvard Medical School in 2018 says that too much exposure to blue light interferes with the secretion of melatonin — the sleep-inducing hormone — in the body. So when you are using your phone in low-light conditions right before going to bed, for instance, dark mode settings are much better for yu.


2. Battery saver

Dark mode settings help devices with OLED and AMOLED screens consume less power and hence save battery. The concept is simple. Each pixel on your OLED display is lit up individually. So, when your display background is white, all the pixels light up, consuming more power. In dark theme settings, the pixels turn black or don’t light up at all.

But do remember that this will help only if you have a device with an OLED screen. Dark mode settings on laptops, phones, computers and smartphones with LCD screens won’t really add to your device’s battery efficiency.


3. Visual appeal

Dark mode makes the content on your screen stand out. Images, icons, text and other elements pop out due to the contrast and help in highlighting the information and matter displayed on your screen. The visual appeal that dark mode offers is a big reason why apps like Spotify, Netflix and gaming platform Steam opt for a dark theme in their user interfaces.



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