Everyone and their grandmother has been jumping on the dark mode bandwagon. Even Twitter was forced to rethink what “dark mode” really is and update its app accordingly.
Heck, Android now offers an easy way to enforce a system-wide dark mode instead of relying on themes and other crude user optimization methods that have been employed in the past.
Dark “modes” and themes are popular with users because they not only go easy on the eyes but also, for those with devices with AMOLED displays, they go easy on their battery as well in addition to standing out, aesthetically.
For WhatsApp, one of the world’s most popular messaging apps, dark mode has been coming for so long yet not coming leaving the most unsettled of users with no option but to risk getting banned from the platform by going with third-party applications offering the feature that WhatsApp does not approve.
All of that is coming to an end soon if the latest update to WhatsApp’s beta app is anything to go.
Version 2.20.13 of the app, which started rolling out yesterday and is available for beta testers in the country directly through the Play Store (enrol) and third-party sites like APK Mirror as well, brings with it a “dark” theme. This theme can be activated from WhatsApp’s dark settings.
Version 2.20.10, which it replaces, brought with it hints of an impending update to stickers on WhatsApp.
According to WhatsApp fansite WABetaInfo, choosing the “System default” option when selecting a theme will result in the system-wide settings of the device also being implemented in the app. This will be beneficial to those who have already upgraded their smartphones to Android 10 and turned on the system-wide dark mode. When “System default” is selected, WhatsApp will respect their wishes and “dark mode everything”.
Another option which is not available in the build I am testing on my phone – since it is on Android 10 already – but which is available on devices running Android 9 Pie and previous versions, “Set by Battery Saver”, when selected, will automatically switch to a light or dark theme (mostly dark) in order to conserve battery.
It is not clear when the dark theme will be hitting the stable release channel so that all WhatsApp users can have it but we can expect to be ambushed one of these fine days.