WhatsApp has finally gone over to the dark side, rolling out the easier-on-the-eyes dark mode for iOS and Android users.
“We are very excited to update WhatsApp with the most requested feature from our users everywhere – dark mode,” the instant messaging service announced on its blog.
It explains that it is designed to reduce eye strain in low light environments and possibly prevent the awkwardness of having your phone light up the room.
The setting can be enabled via system settings for users running the most recent versions of the respective smartphone OSes — or via the WhatsApp settings option on Android:
‘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’.
WhatsApp focussed on two areas in particular: readability by using colours closer to system defaults on iOS and Android phones, and information hierarchy, which utilises colour and other design elements to draw attention to important information.
We’re told iPhone users not running the latest OS are out of luck. “Dark Mode will only be available to users on iOS 13 and above,” said a spokesman.
WhatsApp says the eye-soothing option has been the most requested feature from users everywhere.
Nonetheless, it’s taken its sweet time to jump aboard the dark mode bandwagon.
The Android flavour of the dark mode (below) also appears a smidge less dark on the contacts screen view versus the iOS version (pictured at the top of this post) — though that may be to do with differences in how the two OSes handle dark mode at the system level since WhatsApp said it wanted to reflect those choices.