Battery saving, visual comfort… All about the dark mode of your devices

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You’ve heard of “dark mode”, but you don’t know what it is. Or maybe you don’t know how to do it on your device? Don’t panic, here’s everything you need to know about dark mode.

Surely you have seen it appear on websites, in the menus of your phone or even in some applications that you use every day… Dark mode is now an important part of our digital life. But concretely, what is this new option that many on the Web for? Why are all the sites suddenly starting to offer this? And how is it possible to take advantage of it?

Today, we tell you all about this discreet feature, which can improve your browsing experience on smartphones, tablets or computers.

What is dark mode?

Not surprisingly, dark mode (or “dark mode”, as it is called in Anglo-Saxon) has its Wikipedia page describing the phenomenon. “dark mode […] a color selection (or theme) applied to icons, texts and human-machine interfaces displayed on a dark background on a website or an operating system.“To put it more simply, it is the act of moving the user interfaces (usually designed on a white background) of a website or an application to a darker color palette, or completely black.

Be careful not to confuse this with the “night mode” that some PCs and some phones offer. This option has the effect of yellowing the screen to reduce the user’s exposure to blue lights. The dark mode is also not a simple transition to the “negative” of a website in light mode, because it often requires redesigning logos, buttons and menus to provide the most comfortable and ergonomic experience. navigate as possible. . A successful dark mode requires that each development team behind each website or application rethink, to a greater or lesser degree, its service interface. So you shouldn’t see the option anywhere on the web. Behind this small aesthetic change are the problems of ergonomics and legibility.

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What is dark mode for?

The easy​​​​​​ answer to this question is “offer more choice”. It turns out that Internet users prefer darker interfaces for reasons of reading comfort. The dazzling white of Google’s homepage, for example, is not necessarily suitable for surfing sessions on a smartphone from under your bed in the dark. But dark mode also has more technical advantages: it allows, in some cases, to save energy and therefore the battery of his phone or tablet.

Oled screens, which are now widely available in our phones, TVs and game consoles, have the advantage of not eating anything when the screen is black. Unlike IPS screens that require a constant backlight from the panel, OLED can turn off some of its pixels individually. As a result, the display of a black screen is not used, because there is no need for a backlight mechanism.

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If your smartphone (or your tablet, or your PC) has an OLED screen, activating dark mode turns off some parts of the screen and therefore saves battery power. However, this only works in “true” dark modes with a black background. Many applications or websites opt for a blue gradient as a dark mode. So the latter does not offer an advantage in terms of energy consumption (because each pixel is present), but offers those who want it better reading comfort.

True Dark Mode may also be suitable for some accessibility issues thanks to clearer contrast. Less white background, there is also little blue light.

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These technical explanations are all well and good, but really, how do you take advantage of dark mode on your phone or tablet? The two most mobile OS, Android and iOS, each offer an option to switch all or part of their interfaces to dark mode.

On Android

If you use Google OS and want to activate dark mode, it’s simple:

  • See you at yours Settings app,
  • Find the menu exudation hope Show Light,
  • You should find an option to toggle dark mode.

Illustration of Android dark mode

How to activate dark mode on Android

© Corentin Bechade

Your phone may even offer advanced options for dark mode such as activating from a certain time or adjusting interface differences.

On iOS

In Apple’s mobile system, activating the dark mode is done in a few clicks:

  • Meet in the app Settings,
  • Choose Light and manifestation,
  • Switch from light mode to dark mode with the option at the top of the page.

iOS dark mode artwork

The procedure to follow to activate the dark mode on an iPad or iPhone

© Corentin Bechade

The “Automatic” option below will automatically switch from light mode to dark mode depending on the time of day or a custom schedule.

Dark mode is also available on computers. Here’s how to activate it:

In Windows 10/11

  • Open the app Settings,
  • Select the submenu Personalization,
  • Go to tab Colors,
  • At the option level Choose your color (or Windows Mode/App Mode in Windows 11) select anger.

Illustration of Windows dark mode

How to activate dark mode in Windows

© Corentin Bechade

On macOS

  • Open the apple menu in the upper left,
  • Choose System Preferences,
  • Click on general,
  • In the section Appearance Mode selection anger.

macOS dark mode artwork

The procedure to follow to activate the dark mode in a macOS

© Apple

The automatic option allows the colors of the interface to change according to the time of day.

What about apps and websites?

Switching your OS interface to dark mode is great, switching your entire ecosystem to dark mode is even better! Many websites and applications now have a dark mode available to everyone.

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Technically, controls at the operating system level (whether mobile or desktop) instruct your apps to adopt dark mode as well (if they have it). The same goes for some websites. Unfortunately, not all software and sites automatically detect your settings. In this case, you need to browse the settings of each to check the presence of a dark mode and activate it if necessary. You can also switch some applications to dark mode, while keeping your OS in light mode.

Unfortunately, there is no universal way to activate dark mode. In Chrome, you should go to Settings and APPEARANCE hope Themes. on Twitter, you need to click the light bulb in the side menu or in More and posting on the web. In TikTok, the option is located in the tab Profile then in the menu Settings and privacy hidden in the sidebar. With websites, it’s very different.

In short, you can understand, no application or website uses the same interfaces to provide access to dark mode. But once the option is adopted, your favorite applications and sites should remember it.

You can enjoy long surfing sessions in the middle of the night without a hole in your retina.

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