Raise your hand if you've heard this before: the Android version of messaging app WhatsApp will soon be adding a Dark Mode. Back in March, WhatsApp tested this feature by allowing Dark Mode to be used on the setting pages only. And the background was more of a dark gray than black, which is a big deal as we will now explain. You see, Dark Mode reverses the typical UI; instead of showing black text on a searing white background which can strain eyes (especially at night or in a dark room), content in Dark Mode is shown as white text on a black background. Not only is this less irritating to the user's eyes, there is also another reason to enable Dark Mode.
Those using a handset with an AMOLED display can save some battery life by turning on Dark Mode. That is because the color black is created on an OLED panel by turning off the pixels in the appropriate areas. Pixels that are turned off do not draw on a phone's battery. Cool, eh? But (and this is a big but), if the background isn't exactly black but is a dark gray, the battery life-saving aspect of Dark Mode is voided.
Once again it seems that Dark Mode is very close to being pushed out to WhatsApp for Android
The WABetaInfo site, citing those who have tested Dark Mode on WhatsApp, reports that the feature is ready to be pushed out to its Android app. As for the iOS version of the messaging app, last month we passed along the rumor that two different variations of it will be offered based on the user's iPhone Accessibility Settings. The iOS version of Dark Mode still needs a little work. Besides Darjk Mode, iOS users will soon be given the opportunity to enable a Low Data Mode that will stop the automatic download of voice messages when enabled; this will allow the user to cut back on network data usage. And there will also be WhatsApp support for Haptic Touch. With this feature, a user can touch and hold on the app icon to see additional options.
As it turns out, there are a few hacks that will allow users to get a sneak peek at what Dark Mode will look like on WhatsApp. If you own a phone running Android 10, make sure that you have the system-wide Dark Mode enabled (Settings > Display > Toggle on Dark theme) and that you're a member of the WhatsApp beta program. Send a YouTube link to one of your contacts. Open the QWERTY keyboard and tap on the video's thumbnail to activate the picture-in-picture player. If your fingers are crossed tightly enough, you will see WhatsApp in Dark Mode. Be warned: the hack does not always work. Those using iOS can sneak a peek at WhatsApp's Dark Mode by sharing a photo over the messaging app.
So once again, we can tell you that Dark Mode is coming to both the Android and iOS versions of WhatsApp. But at this point, we'll believe it once we see it. WhatsApp, of course, is owned by Facebook which closed on the $21 billion purchase back in 2014. For those wondering whether the recent rollout of RCS in the U.S. is going to impact WhatsApp, for now, we would answer in the negative. While the next generation of Android messaging does offer some of the features found on WhatsApp (read receipts, the ability to know when a reply is being typed out, larger character cap, the capability to share larger image and video files), RCS does not yet provide end-to-end encryption. Depending on what you do to put bread on the table, this might be something that you need from your messaging app. Google has said that it is looking into adding end-to-end encryption to RCS sometime in the future.