Apple's new dark mode looks great on the Mac -- but it's iOS that really needs a true dark mode

Milan Ilic Photographer/Shutterstock
  • This week, Apple announced the next version of the Mac operating system, macOS Mojave, will feature a system-wide “dark mode” for the first time.
  • Developers and Apple fans love the new dark mode, but what really needs a true system-wide dark mode is iOS.

This week, Apple finally gave Mac developers and customers something they have been wanting for ages: a true “dark mode” for the Mac operating system, macOS.

MacOS Mojave, coming later this year, will include a true dark mode for the first time.

This isn’t just making your screen or menus darker; you could always do that. In Dark Mode for MacOS Mojave, Apple literally made everything dark, from the windows, to the backgrounds of apps like iTunes and Calendar, and even the dock and Finder. It’s thorough, and it looks great.

Of course, you don’t have to use dark mode, but it’s certainly easier on the eyes, especially if you’re spending time in front of your computer at night. And, if you want the best of both worlds, Apple even added a cool feature to macOS Mojave called “Dynamic Desktop,” where the entire look of your computer, including your wallpaper, changes throughout the day, transitioning from a lighter look in the daytime to dark mode at night.

Apple wwdc 2018AppleDark mode in MacOS Mojave

What’s nice here is that Apple is giving Mac users options: If you like the traditional “light” look of MacOS, great. But if you want dark mode – either all the time, or just at certain times of day – that’s there, too.

If only Apple applied this great new feature to iOS.

Dark mode would be perfect in iOS, especially now that Apple is starting to make iPhones with OLED screens. Dark-mode apps like Twitter and the Apollo Reddit client not only look incredible on the iPhone X, but they also help your phone save some battery life since brightness can be a big drain on smartphone batteries. At this point, every app maker should be thinking about putting a dark mode in their apps.

To be fair, though, there is an unofficial dark mode built into iOS, called Smart Invert, but it’s not very good. Smart Invert only swaps light for dark colours in certain apps, and it looks awful when looking at certain web content, or in popular apps like Instagram or Pinterest. Apple can do much better than Smart Invert.

Apple should give iPhones and iPads a true dark mode for the same reason Mac computers now have it: Choice is good, and dark mode looks good.

A space-grey iMac Pro running the dark mode in MacOS Mojave, for instance, is going to look incredible. Imagine how much better-looking it would be to have the next batch of OLED iPhones running more dark-mode Apple apps like a dark mode Calendar, or a dark-mode Messages app, or better yet, a dark-mode Mail app.

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