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Dark mode update for Gmail rolls out to Android 10 phones

Published Oct 22nd, 2019 7:31AM EDT

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One of the main features of this year’s iOS 13 and Android 10 releases is dark mode, a feature supposed to increase battery life on devices featuring OLED screens dramatically. That’s a side benefit, as dark mode should make it easier on the eyes to use a smartphone or tablet at night or in low-lit environments. However, one of the issues with dark mode is that, while it’s enabled at a system level, some app developers also have to update their apps with dark mode designs so that you can take advantage of dark mode in apps. Google may have brought dark mode to Android 10, but not all of its apps support it. One such example is one of its most popular apps, Gmail, where dark mode had been in testing since September. The good news, however, is that dark mode is rolling out to Gmail users who have Android 10 devices.

The bad news, however, is that most handsets out there are still on Android 9 or earlier. If you do own a Pixel phone and have installed the latest Android update on your handset, then you’ll be able to take advantage of dark mode, both when it comes to the operating system and the apps that support it.

To enable dark mode on Gmail for Android, all you have to do is tap the hamburger menu on the left side of the search bar, head to the Settings app, and then look for General settings where you’ll find the Theme. That’s where you get to choose between three options, including Light, Dark, and System default, as seen in the following screenshots (via PhoneArena).

Image source: PhoneArena

Once you enable dark mode, the background will switch from light to dark, while the text goes from black to white. That’s the only thing that changes inside Gmail, as well as other apps that support it.

Over on iPhone, Gmail should automatically respect the system default setting, so if you turn on dark mode in iOS, you will get a dark mode experience inside the Gmail app.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.