For years now, the Android community has cried out for dark themes in applications and the system throughout, all while Google continued to slap more and more white themes basically everywhere. Slowly but surely, though, we’ve been seeing more Google dark mode apps on various platforms. Here’s every Google dark mode app available today.
The best gifts for Android users
Before we get into apps that support dark mode, why do we even care about it so much? A lot of it comes down to personal preference, as many users simply prefer the look of a dark interface. In the late hours of the day, a largely dark theme also helps out with eye strain. A huge plus on Android too is that, as Google has explicitly confirmed, it can save battery life even if you don’t have an OLED display.
The reasons for apps to adopt a dark theme go on from there, and we’re glad to see Google dark mode finally arriving on apps. This list contains every Google app that currently has a dark mode, and the list will be continually updated as new ones are added as well. If we’ve missed any, drop a comment below and let us know!
YouTube Dark Mode
One of the Google apps spearheading the dark mode trend is YouTube. The world’s biggest video service added an official dark mode on the web and iOS app several months ago, and it finally arrived on Android recently as well.
Once flipped on, YouTube’s dark mode doesn’t use a true black theme, but rather the same grey shade we’ve seen in other Google dark mode apps. The theme extends to pretty much every section of the app and desktop website from comments to menus and more. On the desktop you can toggle the feature on by clicking your Profile Icon > Dark Theme > Toggle On. For mobile apps, we’ve got convenient guides below.
Android Messages Dark Mode
Google’s Android Messages app has quietly become a central spot for a lot of the company’s new initiatives, and it was one of the first with dark mode.
Messages’ dark mode also covers the majority of the applications, including the primary interface, individual messages, and menus. A lot of the accent colors don’t get changed when you switch from white to dark, but it looks good either way. Switching is as easy as accessing the three-dot menu in Messages and tapping “Enable Dark Mode.”
Gboard Dark Mode
Google’s Gboard is arguably one of the best keyboard apps available for Android, and the addition of themes played a huge role in that. With themes, you can also enable a dark mode.
Of course, enabling dark mode in Gboard isn’t as “official” as some of the other apps on this list. However, the end result is the same, if not a little better. By heading into Gboard’s settings, you can visit the themes section to pick from over a dozen color themes. This includes 5 options that fit the dark theme criteria, some even including true-black themes that are ideal for OLED displays.
Android Dark Mode w/ Pixel Launcher
While Android itself still lacks a toggle for a true dark theme, Google’s Pixel Launcher does enable it to a certain extent. First debuted on the Pixel 2 family, using the right wallpaper can actually trigger a dark theme.
Once you’ve applied a primarily dark wallpaper on your device, Google’s Pixel Launcher automatically applies a limited dark theme. This switches some of the menus and the app drawer on the launcher to a darker color scheme. This even extends to bits and pieces of Android, including the quick settings and volume slider. It may not be the system-wide dark theme many have begged for, but it’s a start. Google even allows users to manually change that toggle in Android Pie.
Google News Dark Mode
One of the most common cases for using a dark theme is when consuming content in the evening. It puts much less strain on the eye in a dark environment, and that’s exactly why Google News was a prime target for a dark theme.
In a recent update, Google added a dark theme to Google News. It hits the entire interface once turned on and even has some customizations. In the settings, you can opt to turn the dark mode on at all times, automatically at night, or when battery saver mode is turned on. That backs up the company’s findings that dark made enables better battery life.
Google Maps Dark Mode (Navigation)
Another place where you’ll find a Google dark mode is on Google Maps. This isn’t an app-wide dark mode, but rather appears solely on the navigation method of the app.
Primarily, you’ll still be dealing with a white theme within the app, but you can toggle the “Night” mode and leave it on at all times. This is especially handy at night, but it looks great at all hours of the day. You’ll be able to leave the dark mode on 24/7 in both the Android and iOS versions of the app. We’ve got a handy tutorial below on how to do so.
Gmail Dark Mode (web)
For years now, Gmail has supported custom themes, and thanks to that, its web version has pretty much always supported a dark theme. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the more limited options on this list.
When applied, Gmail’s dark theme on the web only covers the general interface. Once you open up an email or click on a menu, you’ll still see white interface elements. One can hope that Google will update the experience to improve this, but for now, it is what it is.
To enable this, you’ll need to hit the settings button in Gmail’s web interface and click on “Themes.” Under the collection of pictures, you’ll see the Default white theme, with a “Dark” option next to it. Simply tap on that option and hit “Save.”
Google Authenticator Dark Mode
If you use 2-step authentication, and you very much should, Google Authenticator is a convenient way to keep track of the required codes. In a recent update, Google added a dark mode to this app.
With a quick toggle in the overflow menu, you can turn on a Google dark mode for Authenticator. Like others on this list, it isn’t a true-black theme, but it does look great and encompasses the entire interface, excluding a few menus.
Snapseed Dark Mode
Google’s popular photo editing app, Snapseed, is another place where a there’s a dark theme toggle, proving especially handy when trying to focus on editing photos. It gives off the same look as Adobe’s Photoshop.
To enable a dark theme in Snapseed, you’ll want to head into the app’s settings, and the first option gives you a simple dark theme toggle. Flip that on and you’ll be presented immediately with a dark version of the interface which uses the same off-black as Google’s other dark themes.
YouTube TV Dark Mode (web)
While the standard YouTube app offers a dark mode on all platforms, YouTube TV offers it solely on the web. This theme is, like YouTube, service-wide. It encompasses the entire interface including all the menus. Personally, this is one of my favorite looking dark themes as it suits the YouTube TV interface very well.
Currently, it’s unclear if YouTube TV will extend this theme to its Android and iOS applications, but we can certainly hope that it’ll arrive sometime soon. To enable YouTube TV’s dark mode, click on your Profile > Settings > Dark Theme > Toggle On.
What are the next Google dark mode apps?
Clearly, Google isn’t slowing down with adding dark themes to its various applications, and that’s a huge win for everyone. What’s next? We know that Google is working on bringing a dark mode to the Google Phone app on Android. Beyond that, though, there’s nothing else confirmed. Tests have been spotted in the Google Discover feed as well.
Hopefully, though, we’ll see a dark mode in every Google app, and Android itself, in the future.
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