Android P beta features battery-saving dark mode after all

Android P

When it comes to implementing a dark theme in Android P that’s more friendly to battery life, Google seems to be against it for now. Or at least, that’s what we initially thought.

To the contrary of reports that a display mode that switches white user interface elements for black ones was supposedly in the works, then wasn’t, we’ve found it in decent working order in the Android P beta.

We discovered for ourselves that swapping our wallpaper to a darkened photo seems to activate dark mode. Seen in the picture below, swiping left to take a look at news stories reveals a black background, though oddly, the beta doesn’t render the text within each box yet.

App folders, too, have a black background instead of a white one. Swiping up on the app drawer shows off a darkened translucent background. Even when pulling down on the notification tray, you can see that the quick options are darker.

Accident or work in progress?

It’s hard to say at this point if Google will move forward with a full-on dark mode for Android P. It seems a little half-baked in its current form (the settings menu is still a piercing white). It's also strange to find evidence of it at work after Google said that the new operating system wouldn't see the new feature.

If Google really goes through with it in the final release, dark mode would likely be a boon to battery life and to those who just like to tweak their Android experience.

Cameron Faulkner

Cameron is a writer at The Verge, focused on reviews, deals coverage, and news. He wrote for magazines and websites such as The Verge, TechRadar, Practical Photoshop, Polygon, Eater and Al Bawaba.