Android 11 could bring a fix for our biggest Android dark mode gripe

Texting my friend WhatsApp in Latin on dark mode
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Android dark mode is proving a pretty popular new feature on Google's operating system, but it's often quite annoying remembering to turn it on and off every evening and morning – and you have to navigate your way through some bright menus to do so.

It seems, however, that might not be a problem for much longer, as Android 11 code suggests a lovely new feature will relegate the aforementioned problems to the history books. This code comes from the Android 11 developer preview which shows a few new features for the upcoming operating system.

One of the features present here, spotted by 9to5Google, is dark theme scheduling ('dark theme' is what dark mode is called on Android phones), which seems to let you set hours dark mode is enabled, as well as simply 'from sunset to sunrise'.

With this, it seems dark mode will turn on automatically during the hours you'd typically do so yourself, saving you the hassle of finding the mode in the menu and toggling it.

Currently lots of Android phones have 'Night Shield' modes or equivalent, which remove blue hues from the phone display, making the screen easier to look at during night hours. This can be scheduled for certain hours or 'from sunset to sunrise', very similar to how dark mode appears.

These modes are useful, but some are laden with problems (when we tested the Realme X2 Pro with its black-and-white night shield, we found pictures taken were also black and white, even after Night Shield was turned off). Hopefully the scheduled dark mode solves these problems.

Android 11 will likely be unveiled at Google IO 2020 in May, but we'd only expect it to actually roll out to phones in late 2020 to early 2021 (depending on the brand of phone) so you might have to wait a while for this useful feature to come to your phone.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.