Android won’t be getting long-awaited systemwide ‘dark mode’

Android fans were in for a bit of disappointment regarding Android’s long-awaited dark mode. Earlier this week, a Google employee stated that the company was working to implement a systemwide dark mode in the upcoming Android P. It turns out that those statements were the result of miscommunication between Google employees and users on the company’s issue tracker forums.

In response to a user’s query regarding “dark mode,” a Google engineer said that “our engineering team has added this feature” and that “it will be available in a future Android release.”

Sadly, this is not the case. Google has recently clarified its stance on this issue, and has stated that it will not be implementing a systemwide dark mode. Instead, the company is working to make it easier for third-party developers to implement the feature within their own apps.

The engineer recently took to the forums to clarify his previous remarks and address any confusion.

“What we *have* added in a future Android release is a developer-facing setting (via Developer Options) to toggle the -night UI mode qualifier, which will make it easier for developers to create and test apps that implement night mode,” the engineer wrote, as reported by Tech Crunch. “This qualifier has been in the platform since Froyo (SDK 8) and globally modifiable via UiModeManager since Marshmallow (SDK 23); however, there was never an explicit toggle made available anywhere in Settings.

“If it’s any consolation, we will also not be adding Hot Dog Mode (where all UI elements are yellow and red).”

While increased third-party support is welcome, the news will likely still come as a disappointment to Android users who were hoping for a universal dark mode that could be toggled within the OS’s base settings. Some Android devices do support a system-wide dark mode based on a user’s wallpaper settings, but many people were hoping for something baked into the core Android OS.

Dark mode has become popular in both third-party apps and Google’s own first-party services such as YouTube. In addition to users who simply prefer the aesthetics of dark mode, the feature has some practical uses in terms of power consumption.

Unfortunately, it looks like Android fans will have to rely on third-party apps for the time being.