Google tells developers that Dark Mode saves battery life

Google tells developers that Dark Mode saves battery life
Google has added the Dark Mode feature to several of its Android apps this year. One reason is to prevent the brilliant white background of Android's Material Design from blinding users. Another reason is that Android models with AMOLED panels save a lot of battery life when Dark Mode is enabled. For those unfamiliar with Dark Mode, this UI setting flips the usual screen set up of dark text on a white background to white text on a dark background.

During this week’s Android Dev Summit, Google told those developers attending that adding a Dark Mode to their apps will result in extreme battery life savings. A chart displayed by Google at the event shows that at 50% screen brightness, YouTube in Dark Mode consumes 14% less battery life than when the app is in normal mode. At 100% brightness, the battery consumes 60% less battery power using Dark Mode.

Another chart projected by Google showed that in regular mode, a screenshot of Google Maps at maximum brightness consumes 250mA of battery power on an AMOLED screened Pixel handset, compared to 230mA of battery power used on an LCD-screened Apple iPhone 7. But in Dark Mode, battery consumption on the Pixel drops 63% to 92mA. Another chart shows that a 2016 Pixel, with the screen at at maximum brightness, consumes approximately 330mA of power compared to approximately 60mA of power with the display set at maximum black.

AMOLED displays do not require the use of a backlight, unlike LCD panels. Thus, with an AMOLED screen, a black color simply means that none of the red, green or blue pixels are turned on. That not only saves battery life, it means that the contrast is sharper when reading text on a black background with an AMOLED screen.

Google is partly to blame for designing so much white into its Material Design. But it is trying to help save eyes and battery life by offering Dark Modes on many of its apps, and that trend will continue. There are many Android users, like yours truly, who love the look of Dark Mode even under well lit conditions.



1. AmashAziz

Posts: 2934; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

I want to see dark mode in chrome. It isn't available yet, is it?

3. jerrycutshaw

Posts: 48; Member since: Apr 27, 2011

Me too!

20. Griffith

Posts: 3; Member since: Feb 26, 2017

You could download Kiwi Browser. It's a chronium fork, great ad blocking, tons of features. It has better dark mode than Mozilla, which sometimes inverts thing which should not.

2. warrenellis93

Posts: 556; Member since: Jul 21, 2011

I dont know if that is scientifically accurate, but i like black themes on my samsung

11. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Those themes only activates High contrast mode, but yeah whatever works.

4. gamehead unregistered

EVen more reasons to support it

5. frozz

Posts: 32; Member since: Jul 10, 2017

oh hey thanks i have said this only like million years ago

6. Alex_12

Posts: 57; Member since: May 30, 2018

Well then you probably very very old now... Better late than never.

7. Kevro_86

Posts: 66; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

Hmmmm.... How many years have we known this now???

8. AbhiD

Posts: 851; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

Lol, Google being an almost Trillion Dollar company is realising it just now while a small company like OnePlus is providing full system wide Black Theme ever since OnePlus 2/3. Google, we only expect this from you - Blacken Up Everything. Don't do just the dark mode. Turn it into Pitch Black. That not only looks better but is even more efficient for Amoled screens. Why not just go back to kitkat and pre kitkat days where everything used to be centred around black? Keep the current Material Design 2.0 with color theme being Black. That's it. Doesn't require a rocket Science.

13. mootu

Posts: 1537; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

OnePlus has to ensure compatability with one phone. Google has to ensure compatabilty with every Android phone which is thousands. Not as easy as you seem to think.

15. AbhiD

Posts: 851; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

How do you explain the black interface upto Kitkat then? Google had so much less resources back then, yet was doing it successfully before moving on to crappy whites everywhere.

9. hansip87

Posts: 228; Member since: Nov 10, 2015

I feel funny that i thought Google designed Material Design in the first place is to combat Samsung popularity (whose screen is AMOLED) BUT with added Samsung ecosystem alongside which bothers Google. But now when its devices wear AMOLED too, They changed back. Oh well. how time flies..

10. Vasras

Posts: 17; Member since: Nov 08, 2018

Elsewhere in the news - water is wet! Amazing discovery by Google engineers!

12. baldilocks

Posts: 1542; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

Never been a fan of dark modes.

16. e8ght

Posts: 27; Member since: May 25, 2013

Took google long enough to recognize this.

17. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3163; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

In other news, Google accidentally discovers fire and proclaims it helps reduce cooking times.

18. Krjal

Posts: 437; Member since: Dec 19, 2013

I use dark mode whenever and wherever I can and I've been using Youtube Vanced mod for ages thanks to its black theme. Google is way behind the times on this. I'm glad they're finally getting around to it at least...

19. ev0trix

Posts: 30; Member since: Sep 08, 2015

uh durrrr

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