Apple has been taking baby steps toward adding a true dark mode to iOS and macOS.The company has realized that there are many users of its mobile and desktop operating systems who have had enough of bright white backgrounds.
Currently in macOS, only the Dock and Menu Bar have a dark mode available for users. You can enable it by clicking on the General icon in System Preferences, and then clicking on "Use dark menu bar and Dock."
While it's helpful to use dark mode for those two parts of the macOS interface, many users (including me) have been longing for a true dark mode that encompasses all of macOS. Making dark mode available for just the Dock and Menu Bar simply isn't enough for us.
Fortunately a Mac developer has posted a couple of promising screenshots on Twitter that indicate that macOS Sierra has a hidden dark mode that goes far beyond what is in El Capitan.
Buster Hein reports for Cult of Mac:
Guilherme Rambo, a Mac developer at GitDo, discovered that the improved dark mode can be activated in various native apps like Safari, System Preferences, Finder and TextEdit, bringing Apple computers one step closer to a true dark mode.
Third-party apps may also be able to take advantage of the feature in the future, according to MacMagazine, which says Apple informed developers during a WWDC session last month that they should use native controls when crafting Cocoa apps.
By using native controls, Apple will be able to facilitate the adjustment to a dark mode that can be easily applied by all third-party apps. Apple didn’t list dark mode among the new features on macOS Sierra, so it’s possible it might not be ready in time for the public release of macOS Sierra this fall.
A true dark mode can’t come soon enough in macOS
I was very happy to come across this story on Cult of Mac. I’ve been longing for a dark mode in macOS for a very long time since I do all of my work on my 5K iMac, and I am very tired of glaring white backgrounds.
I keep the brightness down on my iMac, but staring at white backgrounds just becomes annoying day after day. I’m actually writing this post via IA Writer in its own dark mode, and it’s so much easier on the eyes since I can use a black background with white text.
I’ve also been running the macOS Sierra beta, but I’ve not found a way to activate this new dark mode. I did a bit of searching, but still could not find a way to test it. Hopefully someone will release a how-to soon so beta testers of macOS Sierra can play with dark mode.
I have my fingers crossed that Apple has a plan to get a true dark mode ready for the final release of macOS Sierra in the fall. If that happens I will be very happy indeed.
And I’m not the only one interested in a true dark mode on the Mac. I’ll leave you with these comments from a recent Reddit thread about dark mode in macOS Sierra:
QuickMcRunfast: “As a human being with cones and rods that are sensitive to photons, I appreciate this.”
SynchronicityIII: “I don’t know if it needs to get any darker but it should definitely be more wide spread. Right now it’s only the menu bar, dock and spotlight. Should definitely be expanded to the right click menu, finder and other app windows.”
Missbytes: “guys this is the greatest thing ever
i want dark mode on all my Apple devices and it’s finally happening
watchOS: this is done!
tvOS: also DONE!!
iOS and macOS:️ in the works!
this is a major UX change for me that I will enjoy every time I use the above products
WMDMA: “Needs to extend to all UI chrome, desktop, and browser.”
Jonneygee: “Browser rendering would be very difficult. I’m envisioning hideous white-background images on top of a black background because they didn’t use .png files. Anyone remember the nightmare that was WebTV?”
WMDMA: “Not that hard really. Analyze page brightness with images excepted, if bright enough then invert brightness on everything except images and dim the images.”
Heyyitstom: “Even if there were dark modes coming to iOS 10 and Sierra, what would Apple’s reasoning be in not releasing them for testing in the betas? ”
KateWalls: “It might be destined for a mid year update, like what they did with iOS 9.3. Its also possible they are waiting until Macs capable of True Tone have been released (which would pair very well with a dark mode).”
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