Google is updating dark mode for Chrome with a new feature that makes searching the web more comfortable at night. It looks like Android users will be first to benefit, but hopefully it will be rolled out to all operating systems in the near future.
Google first brought Chrome dark mode to mobile devices last year, making it easy to toggle between the usual crisp, white interface and something easier on the eye at night. There's a problem, though: the setting doesn't affect any website content, so when you perform a Google search, the results page is still dazzling white.
You can get around this problem by heading to chrome://flags and enabling the option 'Android web contents dark mode', but this will change the colors of all web pages (not just Google itself) and the results are variable. Sometimes it looks natural, but sometimes it's jarring and unpleasant.
Now it looks like we'll soon have a proper solution to the problem. As 9to5Google (opens in new tab) reports, a recent code change to the Chromium source repository shows that the browser will soon be getting a new flag, titled #enable-android-dark-srp.
When enabled, this flag will show a dark search results page [SRP] if the browser is already in night mode. No more squinting after dark.
Why go dark?
The jury is out on whether exposure to blue light actually affects the quality of your sleep, but there are several reasons to try switching your mobile apps to dark mode
As mentioned earlier, some people find white interfaces hard on their eyes, particularly when using their phone at night.
Google's own research has found that darker colored pixels draw significantly less power than white ones, which could help extend your phone's battery life a little. This is true for all displays, but if your phone has an OLED screen, pixels that need to appear black are actually switched off, saving even more juice.
Finally, dark mode just makes a refreshing change. For a long time, Google's material design principles meant its apps had mostly bright, clean white interfaces, but over the last couple of years it's gradually worked on developing alternative styles.
More choice is always welcome, so it's good to see Google continuing to develop and improve the experience for anyone who opts for the dark side.