Google confirms Dark Mode on Android smartphones improves battery life

Gerald Bowen
November 11, 2018

At its annual I/O developer conference, Google showed a graph illustrating the relationship between screen brightness and power draw.

I encourage you to switch to night mode (where available) not just because your phone will last longer, but because it's easier on the eyes. In essence, pixels displaying the colour black are actually turned off and are using very little power - if any. This comes in the wake of several governments' hard stance, including India, for more transparency regarding user data usage policy, given the rise of hacks and cybercrimes, especially via malicious apps on the Google Play Store.

As smartphones get better and better with advanced specs, people's concerns about battery life continue to grow.

After showing a slide labelling the colour white as being the most draining for a smartphone battery, Google said "Guess which colour we've been pushing you to use" as part of an effort to humour itself.

Go to YouTube General Activate Dark theme.

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Google showed the difference Dark Mode makes in its YouTube app. However, the color being displayed also affects the power consumption of the display.

WhatsApp is clearly a popular messaging app with over a billion users, but it lacks a dark mode. With the iPhone X, XS, and XS Max all using OLED screens, there's an opportunity to make good-looking apps that are also good for battery life. Update, Nov. 9: Added details about saving battery life. Now imagine that throughout your entire phone, that can be an even more significant savings.

Google are rolling out a new In-App Updates API that will let apps updated while still running.

Please note that changing to Dark Mode only changes the user interface (UI) color to black background. Developers will also be given tools to help steer you towards installing more urgent updates, with in-app notifications to run updates immediately. They aren't forcing everyone to move to a dark mode on their app, but they do at least want users to have the choice. It's been encouraging developers to adopt the new Material Design guidelines, which provide more freedom than the old version.

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