This is Google Chrome’s new dark mode for macOS Mojave

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Chrome dark mode Mac
This is basic dark mode, but it's going to get even better.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Google’s popular Chrome browser is getting a new dark mode for macOS Mojave.

We’ll have to wait until next year for the alternate look to make its way into a stable Chrome update, but you can test drive it early by downloading the open source Chromium browser.

A number of Mac apps have been updated to take advantage of Mojave’s dark mode since it made its debut this fall. If you’re a Chrome user, you’ll know Google is yet to catch up — but that’s going to change in early 2019.

A new dark mode for Chrome is already being prepared for a public release.

Google Chrome’s new dark mode for macOS

The new theme was all but confirmed by a Google developer, who recently submitted a code change that introduces dark mode in Chromium. Having already passed the review process, the code will make its way into a future Chrome release.

Google released Chrome version 71 earlier this week, and version 72 — which is due for release in January — has already been “branched,” so no new features will be considered for it. That means we’ll likely have to wait for version 73 in around March.

Chromium, the foundation of the Chrome browser, is an open source testing ground for new features and improvements. After started off here, changes make their way to Canary, then to the Chrome Dev browser, then to the Chrome Beta.

Finally, the changes are implemented into a stable Chrome release — but anyone can download the browsers mentioned above and try out new features early.

How to try Chrome’s upcoming dark mode

To do this yourself, start by downloading Chromium on your Mac, then move the app to your Applications folder. Now open the Terminal app and enter this code to force dark mode at all times:

/Applications/Chromium.app/Contents/MacOS/Chromium --force-dark-mode

If you want Chrome’s dark mode to be used only when dark mode is active throughout macOS, enter the following instead:

/Applications/Chromium.app/Contents/MacOS/Chromium --enable-feature=DarkMode

You won’t want to use Chromium as your default browser; it’s far too unstable for that. But it’s great for trying out new features before they come to Chrome.