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Google officially announces Gmail dark mode is rolling out on Android

Gmail finally joins the likes of Google Keep, Maps, and Messages in offering a dark mode on Android.

Published onSeptember 24, 2019

Update, September 24, 2019 (11:32 AM ET): In the article below, we describe how 9to5Google spotted a Gmail dark mode implementation. However, many folks still don’t have dark mode even though it’s been weeks since the reveal.

Today, though, Google finally publicly affirmed that a dark mode for Gmail is rolling out now for both Android and iOS. We checked our devices here at Android Authority, and still didn’t see the dark mode, but at least we now have official word that it is on the way.

In Android 10, Gmail’s dark mode will kick in automatically if you have the system-wide dark theme enabled. It will also kick in automatically on Pixel devices when Battery Saver is enabled. If you want to manually activate the dark mode, you can do so within Gmail by heading to Settings > Theme and selecting “Dark.” If you don’t see that option yet, you still haven’t received the update.

Original article, September 11, 2019 (05:55 AM ET): Google has been on a months-long quest to bring dark mode to its vast armada of Android apps in the run-up to the Android 10 release. It isn’t stopping yet, as Gmail is the latest app to have received the eye-friendly theme.

According to 9to5Google, Gmail’s dark mode has arrived via a server-side update rather than an app update. The outlet says you’ll still need version 2019.08.18.267044774 of the app, but this doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you’ll get the theme.

The app allows users to switch between light, dark, and the system default. The latter presumably means it will follow whatever system theme is currently activated on your device. You can check out a few screenshots below, courtesy of 9to5Google.

As you can see, Gmail adopts a dark grey color scheme rather than the OLED-friendly black seen on some apps with dark modes. A black theme tend to save more juice than a dark grey theme on phones with OLED screens. Regardless of whether it’s black or dark grey, you should still expect power-savings when compared to light themes.

In fact, Google noted last year that YouTube’s dark mode (using dark grey) resulted in power-savings of up to 60 percent compared to the normal light theme. So heavy Gmail users with an OLED phone might see some battery gains.

The addition of dark mode in Gmail means it now joins the likes of Google Keep, Maps, Messages, and Files By Google in offering the option. Are there any more Google apps that should receive a dark theme? Let us know in the comments!

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