Apple announces Dark Mode for your iPhone

iOS 13 iPhone dark mode. Image credit: TechRadar

Apple has announced one of the most anticipated aspects of iOS 13 - Dark Mode. It's a setting that displays text and images against a dark background – perfect for night-time viewing or if you just want a more understated display.

When you toggle the setting on in the Control Center, the white and light gray display of standard iOS turns to black and dark gray, turning into a dark-side alternative.

This function works in many apps - Apple has shown it off in notes, music apps, messages, maps, and more, so it looks like all first-party apps are compatible. We'll need to see how many third-party apps work with it two when iOS 13 launches later in the year.

iPhone users could choose to turn on Dark Mode for a variety of reasons - its a lot more subtle, with less glaring brightness, so it could be great if you want to use your phone in the night without lighting up the surrounding neighborhood. Even during the day, its darker colors are a little easier on the eyes, so many people might use it permanently.

This new feature was highly anticipated, and one of the most rumored features we were expecting in iOS 13. Many Android handsets have dark modes available already, and have done for a while, so this is a case of Apple playing catch-up.

Swipe to type keyboard

As well as Dark Mode, Apple announced another feature of iOS 13 - swipe to type keyboard. This would work similar to Swiftkey on Android phones, that lets you sketch a quick gesture over buttons when you're typing a message on the on-screen keyboard instead of touching each letter individually.

We didn't see as much of this feature, but we expect Apple will show it off more later, and if we get hands-on time with iOS 13 we'll be sure to test it out.

Apple is in the middle of its WWDC 2019 keynote speech, where it's currently in the middle of showing off Dark Mode, so stay tuned as they tell us more about it.

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.