WhatsApp dark mode is rolling out now for all Android and iOS users. After many months of speculation, hidden hints and beta testing, the new design is at last appearing on the screens of users around the world.
“Dark mode for WhatsApp offers a fresh look on a familiar experience,” the company said in a blog post. “It’s designed to reduce eye strain in low light environments. And we hope it helps prevent those awkward moments where your phone lights up the room.”
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Files in earlier beta releases suggested that the app might be getting two slightly different dark modes, possibly including one with an all-block background designed with OLED screens in mind, but the launch offers just one dark design.
WhatsApp says its designers had two main priorities in mind when creating the inew interface – readability and information hierarchy – and spent time researching and testing to get them right.
This meant choosing shades that would minimize eye fatigue, and were close to the system defaults on iPhone and Android. The team also made careful use of color and other design elements to make different elements stand out.
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To announce the launch, WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook released a rather tongue-in-cheek video of users flinching in horror from bright screens, soundtracked by a rare, unreleased version of The Sound of Silence by Paul Simon, which you can watch below.
The rollout is beginning on March 3 and will continue over the following days, so don’t be alarmed if you can’t see the option just yet.
When you do receive it, enabling it is easy for both iOS and Android: simply tap ‘Settings’ followed by ‘Chats’ and use the switch to toggle the option on. If you’re using Android 10 or iOS 13, the app can also be set to respect your system settings.