Dark Mode in iOS 13 proven to extend battery life of OLED iPhones

The launch of iOS 13 last month finally enabled Dark Mode for Apple’s mobile operating system, and a battery test proved that activating the feature extends the life of iPhones with OLED Displays.

Activating Dark Mode switches out the iPhone’s background for a darker version, with darker highlights for the display. iPhone owners are allowed to set the feature to activate at specific times of the day, but they can also choose to have it turned on permanently.

A test carried out by YouTube channel PhoneBuff, however, gives iPhone owners on iOS 13 a reason to always have Dark Mode activated on their devices.

The test used a fully-charged iPhone XS and a robotic arm, which was programmed to do various things on the display while the device was in Light Mode and in Dark Mode. The tasks included typing text on the Messages app, scrolling through Twitter, playing videos on YouTube, and accessing Google Maps.

By the time that the battery of the iPhone XS in Light Mode was depleted, the iPhone XS in Dark Mode still had 30% of its charge remaining. The test was conducted with both screens at a brightness of 200 nits, and iPhones on different brightness levels may lead to different outcomes in terms of percentage — though a longer battery life for an iPhone in Dark Mode should stay true.

Black on an OLED screen means that the pixel is powered off. With more pixels deactivated in Dark Mode compared to Light Mode, this results in improved battery efficiency. In comparison, iPhones with LCD screens, such as the iPhone 11, still have their pixels turned on when showing black, so they are not able to enjoy longer battery life when on Dark Mode.

To activate Dark Mode on iPhones that have been upgraded to iOS 13, users will simply have to access the Settings app and enter the Display & Brightness menu. The option to permanently switch to Dark Mode is under the Appearance header, but for users who would like to only activate the feature at certain times of the day, the Automatic toggle will set it up. There are also some iOS 13 wallpapers that react when Dark Mode is activated.

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