How to enable the dark theme in iOS

How to enable a dark theme in iOS 13 on iPhone

Apple has released the 2019 iOS 13 update for the iPhone, which, among other things, added a dark theme to the operating system. Fans of Apple’s mobile devices have been waiting a long time for this update, and now the dark theme is available on all devices updated to iOS 13.

The following iPhone models received the update to iOS 13:

  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 6s/6s Plus
  • iPhone 7/7 Plus
  • iPhone 8/8 Plus
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone XS/XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone 11/11 Pro/11 Pro Max

All devices that have the ability to update to iOS 13 got a dark theme.

Dark theme support

The app created in Xcode 11 by default supports a dark design in iOS 13. But for the full implementation of the dark mode, you need to make additional edits:

enable, dark, theme

A new UIColor initializer has been introduced in iOS 13:

Add a static function to create color with support for switching between light and dark design:

CGColor does not support switching between light and dark design. It is necessary to manually change CGColor after changing the design.

It is also possible to add a color for dark design in resources.

But I prefer to add colors in the code.

For images, just add the image option for the dark design directly in the resources.

Let’s make a small sample application.

The app will have two windows and three screens.

The second window: the ribbon screen and the user profile screen.

Pros and cons of the updated gadget interface

Before you enable Dark Theme on iOS, it is recommended to familiarize yourself with the advantages and disadvantages of such an option. To begin with, what are the benefits of the feature:

  • If there isn’t enough light in the room where the smartphone is being used, a dark interface will reduce eye strain while reading;
  • In some applications, the text requires a syntax highlighting, this mainly applies to program editors, in this case the black interface will make it easier to read the text;
  • when the contrast between the text and the background is high, it eases the tension and the reading of messages.
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But in addition to the presented advantages, this feature has its own disadvantages. The downsides include:

  • when there is enough light in the room, the text is perceived more difficult, so the eyes get tired faster;
  • when apps that require reading text are used, eyesight can be strained if the text is light;
  • The high contrast of the text and the background also leads to increased eye strain, and it will be harder to read white letters on a black background.
  • Note
  • On the iPhone, this mode can only be activated if the user has updated the software to iOS version 13.

The real test of autonomy with dark design

I decided to do my own testing. I’ve been using my iPhone exclusively with a light theme for a week, and then with a dark theme for a week.

In both cases, the same brightness settings were used, no change in iOS version, app set, or usage scenarios. Just in case, before testing turned off True Tone to get rid of the color shades change when lighting changes.

All apps that support dark backgrounds were put into forced night mode, and for the Safari browser I used a special trick to enable Dark Mode on sites without its support.

Got the best possible dark mode that any user can adjust without sacrificing usability. One week a monotonous white background was set as the background image, and the second week an exclusively black image.

The measurements were not exactly uniform, but for comparison I found two almost identical days with similar iPhone usage scenarios.

Lunch: Messenger work, text editing via smartphone, browser browsing, LTE work.

Evening: About 40 minutes of navigating in the car, reading the news, and taking and viewing photos.

During these test days, I did not play games, did not use apps without a dark theme, and kept the background activity on my smartphone to a minimum.

In the end, with the light theme in the evening the charge dropped below 20%, I got 3 hours and 45 minutes of screen time. With the dark theme, the screen time was more than 4 hours, and the charge level was 25%.

We get about 45-60 minutes of extra work with a dark theme for an average day of smartphone use.

The dark theme in iOS will appear in one of the next betas of iOS 10

Prior to the release of iOS 10, there were rumors that the new operating system for mobile devices would get a dark theme. However, at WWDC 2016, not a single word was said about the dark theme.

From this, many concluded that the rumors of a new feature did not come true. Nevertheless, a detailed examination of the first iOS 10 beta confirmed the dark theme.

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Jailbreak developer Andy Wijk has posted some images showing the Messages app in a dark design. To do this, Andy had to do some work and make the as-yet-unrealized functionality work in the iOS simulator in Xcode.

How to install iOS 10 beta right now without a developer UDID.

To be more specific, while examining the headers in the operating system, a developer found a reference to CKUIThemeDark in the ChatKit framework. He wrote a short tweak to make ChatKit use the dark theme on top of CKUIThemeLight. He uploaded the result to iOS modeling tool, where the dark design was presented in all its glory.

At this time the new theme is not yet fully “polished” and only works in the Messages. Nevertheless, its presence indicates that Apple planned (or is still planning) to implement the dark design. Whether this feature will eventually be implemented, though, remains to be seen. It’s likely that the new design will appear in one of the next betas of iOS 10.

Setting a dark theme in iOS. smart inversion

Advanced iPhone users have found a way to change the appearance of the main screen, menus and standard apps without the built-in developer feature. So, starting from iOS 11, the creators have provided the opportunity to implement a smart color inversion, which results in a design almost identical to the official night mode.

Check the software version and update it if needed via Settings. General. Software Update. The phone will automatically start checking for updates when it connects to the network. Choose the right one, click download and install. It is recommended to back up all data before doing this.

Next, open the settings section (the icon in the main menu with the image of a gray gear). Select the “General” section and click the “Universal Access” tab. A list of options will appear before your eyes, which you can customize as you wish.

A useful set of settings can be seen by opening the “Display Adaptation” section. Many users do not know how to use these settings and lose the opportunity to optimize the device according to their own discretion and taste. There is also an option to customize the screen for users with visual impairments.

Select the “Color Inversion” option. In version 11 of the system, the standard color inversion settings have been enhanced with the new “Smart Inversion” option. To activate the option, you just need to move the slider. The smartphone also has a tooltip telling you that the option performs a reversal of all system colors, except for images, photos and videos, as well as programs and applications that already have a dark design.

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Most of the system interface has a gray-white appearance. After switching, the background in most sections of the menu will become black.

The color will change in all menu sections and all windows. As for apps, they may react a bit strangely For example, applying the feature may invert colors on Instagram photos, while photos in the gallery will look just right.

If desired, you can set the color inversion to turn on more quickly. It is possible to do it in options. After entering “Universal Access”, press “Key combination”. “Smart inversion” and set the combination that is not already occupied, for example, a triple press on the “Home” key.

Dark theme in iOS instagram

To fully appreciate the innovation, it is worth to perform a couple of simple operations. The scheme of the action depends on what OS the phone is running on. Earlier similar effect was achieved by means of special applications and browser extensions of pub category. But it caused many negative factors. Theme and social networking content become dark.

For this reason, the newly adopted innovation was very actively perceived by users. In the application of the social network the dark mode is not provided. To set a comfortable option, you need to act through the settings. It provides an opportunity to use the background for dark time of the day. To make the screen dark, you need to reduce the brightness on the gadget, you can not find a more convenient option.

Setting the dark theme in iOS for automatic switching depending on the time of day

The night theme can be not only activated, but also set to activate automatically, based on the Night Shift principle. The user has the ability to set the time interval of activity in the settings of the theme and work with it in the dark time of day. This will help reduce eye strain and reduce the effects of blue on the retina. The bright glow interferes with the production of melatonin, which is responsible for sleep.

The dark theme is set up by going to Settings → “Screen and Brightness”.