Facebook focused on two main areas while developing dark mode for WhatsApp
The company claims that dark mode is designed to “reduce eye strain in low light environments”. Facebook claims that it focused on two areas when designing dark mode for WhatsApp.
First, there’s ‘readability’. Choosing the right colors is essential. The company claims that it wanted to minimize eye fatigue and use colors that “are close to the system defaults on iPhone and Android”.
The second area is the ‘information hierarchy’. Facebook says that it wanted to help users focus their attention to each screen. It managed to do this by using color and other design elements to make sure the most important info stands out. At least it claims it did.
Facebook says that Android 10 and iOS 13 users can now enable dark mode via system settings. If you’re using Android 9 Pie, you can go into WhatsApp Settings, then navigate to ‘Chats’, and then ‘Theme’. There you’ll notice the ‘Dark’ option.
This change is coming as part of the latest version of WhatsApp. That version of the app is already rolling out to both Android and iOS, but it may take a couple of days for it to arrive to your device.
WhatsApp opted for dark gray instead of OLED black
As you can see in the provided image below this paragraph, WhatsApp combines dark gray colors, with its trademark color element, green.
This means that the company did not offer an OLED dark mode in WhatsApp. Some users may prefer dark gray shades, but pure OLED would definitely help more with battery life.
Do note that WhatsApp allows you to change the background of your conversations. Thanks to that, you can simply include a pure black background there, and that will help with battery life quite a bit.
WhatsApp is actually following both Facebook Messenger and Facebook Lite with this change. Those two apps did it a bit differently, though. WhatsApp’s change is close to Facebook Lite, that’s for sure.
Facebook Messenger received dark mode a long time ago. Facebook opted to push out a pure black dark theme to Messenger, though. Facebook Lite, on the other hand, relies on dark gray tones, similar to WhatsApp.
In any case, it’s nice to see that WhatsApp is now providing you with options as well. Facebook’s main Android app still doesn’t offer dark mode, though. The company will hopefully change that in the near future.