Google has just updated Google Maps with an eco-friendly navigation mode that suggests the route that consumes the least amount of gas, even if that route isn’t the fastest one. But there may be cases where you want to reach your destination without dealing with traffic and unforeseen incidents. That’s where Google’s Waze app shines. And there might be a big Waze Dark Mode update on the way that you need to see.
Waze is the app that many drivers prefer over Google Maps because of its stellar crowdsourced incident reports. This live traffic data helps Waze offer the best possible route, so you don’t have to slow down your trips. And if you’re a regular Waze user, then there’s probably a feature you’ve been dying to see inside Waze for a long time. We’re talking about real Dark Mode support, not the half-baked offering we have now.
Waze is currently testing Dark Mode in an early alpha version, so the feature might soon be available to all users.
Waze’s Night and Day settings
Ever since iPhone and Android started supporting Dark or Night Modes, most apps have adapted their user interfaces to take advantage of the system-wide settings. And apps typically let you turn on Dark Mode whenever you want. But Waze lacks a true Dark Mode right now.
The app comes with a Night Mode that only impacts the map’s color scheme. You can choose between Night and Day, but your settings won’t affect the rest of the UI. You’ll have to deal with light colors everywhere in the app except for the navigation screen when selecting Night Mode.
Waze is testing Dark Mode in the wild
Israeli blog Geektime received screenshots that show Waze has pushed the Dark Mode to users enrolled in its testing program.
The feature is in alpha or pre-alpha testing, according to the blog. It’s unclear how many users have access to this build. But the Dark Mode support might be available on both Android and iPhone, according to screenshots that Geektime shared. Dark Mode is currently in testing on a variation of the stable app (version 4.7.8) that is a few weeks old.
Waze said in an email to testers that the new feature is in the initial stages of development. The company acknowledged that there are “many” bugs in the build. They’ve been signaled in an earlier test build. Once Waze processes the feedback from testers, it’ll release Dark Mode to all its users.
Screenshots that Geektime saw but didn’t share indicate that Waze will let users turn on Dark Mode manually or automatically. That’s hardly a surprise, as that’s how most Dark Mode implementations work. Even Waze’s current Night Mode supports both manual and automatic options.
Waze also said that it won’t let users combine elements of Light and Dark Modes. You won’t be able to mix a dark UI with light navigation or vice-versa. Again, that’s not surprising. The main purpose of dark modes is to reduce eye strain at night. Drivers who interact with navigation apps in low light will probably want full Dark Mode, not some sort of hybrid.