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Latest beta update brings dark mode to WhatsApp; here’s how to try it yourself

At long last, WhatsApp is embracing the dark side. The Facebook-owned instant messaging app, after months of testing, has begun rolling out a dark mode toggle to Android users on the beta channel. The new black theme works across the entire app and even overhauls the backdrop of the settings menu.

Starting WhatsApp version 2.20.13, users will find a Theme option inside Settings > Chats. You can choose between the usual Light and Dark themes or set it to adjust automatically based on your phone’s battery level. On phones running Android 10, WhatsApp’s dark theme can also follow your default Android preferences.

WhatsApp dark mode
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Unfortunately, it’s not an OLED screen-friendly dark theme like the one you have on Instagram. Instead, WhatsApp has opted for a tad lighter gradient likely to ensure people don’t have any difficulties reading text. This is still in relatively early stages, though. Therefore, it is possible the company may add an extra option for OLED displays in the future.

For now, WhatsApp’s dark mode is limited to Android users who have enrolled in the beta program. However, if you’d like to give it a shot, you can without much hassle.

All you need to do is head over to WhatsApp Beta’s signup page, log in with your Google account, and click the Become a Tester button. Next, head over to the Play Store on your phone and update the WhatsApp app. Alternatively, you can visit a site like APKMirror and manually sideload the latest WhatsApp beta version. We recommend backing up your chats first before you switch.

WhatsApp is the last of the four Facebook apps to receive the dark mode treatment. The rest of the social network’s apps including the primary Facebook client, Messenger, and Instagram have had a dark theme for months.

WhatsApp has yet to comment on the release and we’re not sure when will it be made available to the public. If history is any indication, it will take at least a month before the feature is rolled out to all Android and iOS users. We have reached out to WhatsApp and will update the story once we have a response.

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Shubham Agarwal
Shubham Agarwal is a freelance technology journalist from Ahmedabad, India. His work has previously appeared in Firstpost…
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