by Jim Lynch

Will Apple add a dark mode to iOS 9?

Jan 13, 2016
iOSMobileSmall and Medium Business

Night Shift in the iOS 9.3 beta is a step in the right direction, but iOS still needs a true dark mode for eye comfort and easier reading.

Apple recently released the first beta of iOS 9.3, and Night Shift is one of its standout features. Night Shift changes the color tint of your iOS device’s screen depending on the time of day. At night it will use a warmer color with much less blue. While this is a step in the right direction, iOS still lacks a true dark mode.

dark mode ios 9

A dark mode (or night mode as it is called in the app) screenshot of the Narwhal app for Reddit. iOS needs a similar system wide version of dark mode for eye comfort and easier reading.

If you’ve ever used dark mode (or night mode or whatever it might be called) in an app then you’ll know why Apple needs to add it to iOS 9 in a future update. A true dark mode would let each user opt for white text on a black background instead of being forced to see black text on a white background.

A dark mode in iOS 9 would be a major help for those users who dislike the brightness of a white background. Some people feel that a white background is like a flashlight shining into their eyes when they use their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

I use dark mode in all of my apps whenever possible

I can’t say I blame the folks that want a true dark mode in iOS 9. Whenever possible I use dark mode in my favorite apps. For example, I use it when reading in the Kindle app, browsing Reddit in Narwhal and in just about any other app I can.

And being able to use a dark interface is also one of the reasons why I like Amazon Prime Music better than Apple Music right now. Amazon’s default interface is a black background with white text. It’s far easier on my eyes than Apple Music’s white background with black text.

I’m not alone in wanting a true dark mode in iOS, check out some of the comments in a recent thread in the Apple subreddit about the possibility of a dark mode in iOS 9:

BabysGotTheBends: ”At night I like the f.lux idea but during the day I still prefer the dark theme as it’s easier on the eyes.”

Quinndrummer: ”Yeah I regularly use dark mode in Alien Blue and Tweet bot throughout the day. I like bright lights like the next man, but sometimes you just want something easy on the eyes to read, and white on black > black on white.”

Retroshark: ”For me it is because most of my life is spent staring at logic. Every day I get to the point where the OS UI is too bright, but the logic UI is too dim. My eyes hurt and I get migraines. I do love the OS X environment but I feel there should be an option.

I like to work with the screen as dim as possible to save power and increase my stamina when working on time sensitive projects. I think it would be a nice alternative for us editors and producers who literally stare at a static screen for very long periods of time. ”

RedditV4: ”The point you make really is that when night mode is enabled not only should the interface switch to white-on-black but Safari should dynamically adjust page appearance to match as well.”

Iloveyou271: ”I use dark themes on Reddit mobile, desktop, my Gmail, and a few other places. I strongly prefer it. I wish I could do the same with messages, settings, notes, and CloudMagic. ”

More at Reddit

Will Apple add a dark mode to iOS 9?

As you can tell from some of the comments above, there is a real demand for dark mode in iOS 9. But will Apple eventually add one in a future update to iOS?

Before the release of the iOS 9.3 beta, I might have said that it wouldn’t happen. But Apple surprised me with Night Shift. It seems that the company is listening and slowly adding features that iOS users have long requested.

So I have my fingers crossed for a true dark mode in iOS 9 or perhaps iOS 10. Only Apple knows if it’s coming, but I’m much more optimistic now that we have Night Shift than I was before that feature was included in iOS 9.3.

Stay tuned, hopefully dark mode is on the way for iOS.

Did you miss a post? Check the Eye On Apple home page to get caught up with the latest news, discussions and rumors about Apple.