Google: adding Dark Mode to apps saves battery

Black!

There has been a spate of adding dark modes to apps, websites and operating systems in recent times. Many people simply prefer the look, while others say a darker theme is easier on the eye. But there is also the school of thought that says dark mode saves battery life.

And this is very much the message that Google is sending to Android developers. At the Android Dev Summit this week Google highlighted the massive difference Dark Mode makes, seemingly in a bid to encourage more developers to embrace the idea and add the option to their apps.

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Dark Mode is not just more aesthetically pleasing to many people, there are real battery-life boosts to be had -- and Google has the numbers to prove it. Touting the benefits of Dark Mode, Google showed that with screen brightness set to 50 percent, using YouTube with Dark Mode enabled resulted in 14 percent less battery usage. With screen brightness set to 100 percent, the saving jumps to 60 percent.

These are not numbers to be sniffed at, but the biggest savings are to be seen on phones with AMOLED screens as anything that is black does not require pixels to be powered. Slides from the event, shared by Phone Arena, show Google comparing the power usage of its own Pixel phone with an LCD iPhone 7. It shows a 63 percent battery saving when displaying a screenshot of Google Maps in normal and night mode.

Google has been introducing Dark Mode options to increasing numbers of its products, and with the company now pushing developers to do the same, we're likely to see a darkening of apps over the coming months and years.

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