What is dark mode?

Hands held up in heart shape as silhouette in front of blur of lights in stadium concert
Dark mode can be easier to read in low-light settings like this!
The mail.com Mail Apps for iPhone and Android both offer dark mode. But have you ever wondered why people use dark mode? And is dark mode really better for your eyes and your device’s battery?
Everyone who uses a smartphone is probably familiar with dark mode by now. In some cases, it may have even suddenly appeared on your phone after an operating system update – suddenly your display is black with light-colored text. Congratulations, you have dark mode!

Dark mode can go under different names, such as black mode, dark theme, night mode, or light-on-dark. But the idea is always the same: on a device such as a smartphone, laptop or tablet, the default setting of the user interface is a light screen displaying dark text. Dark mode reverses this color scheme, giving the screen a black or dark background.

What is the purpose of dark mode?

The traditional light background/dark text setting of your device was designed to be easily readable thanks to this high degree of contrast. By swapping this setup for a dark background/light text, the amount of light emitted by the screen is reduced, but the readability is still good because the contrast between text and background is maintained. This makes dark mode more suitable for use in low-light settings where you don’t want to disturb other people, for example a movie theater or a room where someone else is sleeping.

Does dark mode save battery?

It can, but that depends on whether your device has an LED screen, like most laptops, or an OLED screen, like many newer models of smartphones. In an OLED screen, the black pixels don’t use any power, so turning on dark mode can result in significant battery savings. An LED screen, on the other hand, uses the same amount of power even if the screen is completely black, so dark mode will have no effect on battery usage. To find out what kind of screen your device uses, simply check the manufacturer’s specifications.

Is dark mode better for your eyes?

There does not seem to be any official consensus on this question, with some claiming that dark mode can cut down on eye strain and dry eyes in a low-light setting, while others say that the light-on-dark text is harder to read, leading to eye fatigue. Many people do complain that dark mode is harder to read in bright, sunny conditions. On the other hand, dark mode emits less of the “blue light” that can make it harder to sleep, so it’s probably the better choice when you use your phone right before bedtime.

How do you turn on dark mode?

If you’d like to use a dark background on an iPhone or Android phone, you can activate it in your Settings. Once you have turned on dark mode here, most third-party and system apps that support dark mode will automatically change their appearance. The same will apply in reverse if you turn off dark mode. However, there may be a few apps that do not support dark mode or that need to be switched manually. It is also possible to set some phones to switch automatically from light to dark mode between sunset and sunrise.
Screenshot showing display and brightness settings on iPhone
It's easy to turn on dark mode in your device settings, like on this iPhone

Good to know: The mail.com Mail apps for iOS and Android support dark mode. If your smartphone’s display settings are set to Dark, the app will automatically appear with a black background. If you have dark mode activated on your phone and our app still appears in light mode, please make sure that you have the latest version of the Mail app installed.

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