Life

WhatsApp dark mode: what are the benefits, and how do I use it?

Posted by
Kayleigh Dray
Published
A couple in bed using their phones

Dark mode is the most requested feature from WhatsApp users everywhere. 

It’s been a long time coming, but WhatsApp is finally getting the feature we’ve all been waiting for: dark mode.

The tool, expected to launch in the next few days, inverts the colours of your screen to create a darker theme for messaging in the dark.

WhatsApp said it focused on two key areas during the development of this technology:

  • Readability – “We wanted to use colours that are closer to the system defaults on iPhone and Android respectively.”
  • Information hierarchy – “We wanted to help users easily focus their attention on each screen. We did this by using colour and other design elements to make sure the most important information stands out.”

What are the benefits of WhatsApp dark mode?

A spokesperson for WhatsApp said: “It’s designed to reduce eye strain in low light environments. And we hope it helps prevent those awkward moments where your phone lights up the room, too.”

WhatsApp dark mode: what it looks like
WhatsApp dark mode: what it looks like

That’s not all: the tool is also rumoured to help users squeeze every single minute out of their battery life.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of all, though, is that WhatsApp dark mode will emit less damaging blue light, giving you the chance of a better night’s sleep in the process.

How will WhatsApp dark mode improve my sleep cycle?

The blue light emitted by our smartphone screens actually restrains the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your circadian rhythm and sleep cycle. This makes it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.

However, it’s incredibly difficult to ignore the allure of a WhatsApp notification after 9pm. We’ll have to make sure that, going forward, we opt for dark mode after bedtime.

How do I enable WhatsApp dark mode?

Users on Android 10 and iOS 13 can use dark mode by enabling it in system settings. 

Users on Android 9 and below can go into WhatsApp Settings > Chats > Theme > select ‘Dark’.

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Images: Getty/WhatsApp

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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