WhatsApp’s much-anticipated dark mode is finally available to all iPhone users after months of beta testing. It looks great — particularly on OLED displays — and you can enjoy it today by downloading the latest WhatsApp update.
Boy, have we been waiting a long time for WhatsApp to get its own dark mode. It started developing the feature around two years ago, long before Apple rolled out iOS 13 and made dark mode a system-wide option.
Was it worth the wait? You bet!
WhatsApp goes dark in iOS 13
Dark mode for WhatsApp, like in other apps, gives the entire app a black interface. It also darkens chat bubbles, wallpapers, and other UI elements, so you won’t be blinded when answering a late-night message in a dark room.
Dark mode is “designed to reduce eye strain in low light environments,” WhatsApp explained in a blog post today. “And we hope it helps prevent those awkward moments where your phone lights up the room.”
You cannot toggle dark mode automatically inside WhatsApp; it identifies the theme you’re using throughout iOS and matches it automatically. If you have dark mode scheduled in Settings, then, it will be scheduled for WhatsApp, too.
This means WhatsApp’s dark mode is available only on devices updated to iOS 13. If you’re iPhone is still running iOS 12 or earlier, there is no way to activate it.
Not just a lick of paint
You might be wondering why it took so long for WhatsApp to embrace a darker theme. After all, it’s not exactly the most complicated app in the world. Well, it’s because this is more than just a lick of black paint.
A lot of effort went into ensuring WhatsApp’s dark mode would be more than just a new look.
“When choosing colors, we wanted to minimize eye fatigue and use colors that are closer to the system defaults on iPhone and Android respectively,” WhatsApp explained. That’s why chat bubbles don’t stay bright green.
“We wanted to help users easily focus their attention on each screen. We did this by using color and other design elements to make sure the most important information stands out.”
To try out WhatsApp’s new dark mode for yourself, download the latest update today from the App Store.