Should Apple make a 'dark theme' for iOS?

Back when iOS 7 was unveiled there was no shortage of opinions on its looks to be found around the internet. Some people liked the general look of it and some people felt it was is a bit too much. A mixed bag I guess you could say as was to be expected considering it was quite a turnaround difference from that of iOS 6. But at the time, no one had really gone hands-on with it or had the chance to give it some extended use.

Eventually, it got out to the masses and a lot of folks who hated it now loved it and a loved of folks who thought they'd love it hated it. Again, another mixed bag really, as always. But after a while for the most part people get used to change and it's no longer really an issue. Complaints such as the icons, which you don't hear too much about about these days in the grand scheme of it all, go away and people continue on.

Just changing the wallpaper and seeing the changes on the UI is enough for me.Fausty82, iMore Forums Member

One thing that still seems to come up though, is the the fact of just how white iOS 7 is. Some would even call it blindingly white and I kind of agree with that myself. Interacting with my iPhone in bed at night unless I adjust the display settings tends to blind me. To be fair, there is also a lot of transparency as well so having the right kind of wallpaper and settings can help reduce the level of whiteness but a lot of the interface isn't changeable within the OS.

Once you start moving into the default apps like photos and contacts, there is no wallpaper that is going to help. As we know it, a lot of other operating systems allow for such UI elements to be changed and if there was a jailbreak available for iOS, I have no doubt that a lot of people would be using it.

Yes on a dark theme as long as it makes the icons background dark as well.eve6er69, iMore Forums Member

So with that in mind, I took to the iMore Forums to set up a poll asking if folks would like to see a 'dark theme' of sorts on iOS, right now the poll indicates, a perhaps unsurprising, yes. They want to see a dark theme put in place so I bring the question to you all as well. Is the white too much? If there was a dark theme option to use would you use it or are you fine with the way things are right now? Have your say in the poll by visiting the iMore Forums.

Chris Parsons

Editor-at-Large at Mobile Nations, gadget junkie, energy drinker, ranter.

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Should Apple make a 'dark theme' for iOS?

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I would love a dark theme. I feel it would go better with the darker iPhones and iPads and also just be a welcome change from the one size fits all theme of IOS

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I'm not that eager to get a darker theme. But if they do make one, it shouldn't be that dark. The whites in iOS 7 are definitely a bit too bright though.

I recently purchased a Lumia 521 (I prepay and cannot afford a $400+ iPhone) and am also enamored with the dark backgrounds. It just makes the text POP :)

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Yes. Absolutely.
I've always wanted a few themes to apply to my iOS devices. In fact I've always wanted at least 4 that I could have auto-activate at specific times of the day. One for morning, noon, evening, & night.
YES TO THEMES!

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Yes! I would absolutely love to see a dark theme. I don't have a problem with all the transparency as they "adjust" depending on the wallpaper I'm using, but there is just TOO much white around, so yes I would like to at least have that option. Another downfall of all this iOS7 is that it seems like most apps take this as a synonym for plain white background (icons included) with blue letters, so someone please tell them that is ok to use a different color for God's sake and my own sight.

I'm not sure I agree. I love the "walled garden" that Apple has created. Giving people too much customizable options makes each device seem more like a personal device than an Apple device. Not everyone is a designer and when we give people too much freedom, the result is something that may feel more practical, but could potentially end up uglier, which is what I see when I see Android devices.
This is just an opinion so please take it with a grain of salt.

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I'm not sure I agree. I love the "walled garden" that Apple has created. Giving people too much customizable options makes each device seem more like a personal device than an Apple device. Not everyone is a designer and when we give people too much freedom, the result is something that may feel more practical, but could potentially end up uglier, which is what I see when I see Android devices.
This is just an opinion so please take it with a grain of salt.

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So you say no because what someone else may like you think is uglier..... Hmmm ok, changing theme from light to dark isn't going to change much at all. Plus why do you care what someone else's phone looks like? Especially with how most apple devices are put in ugly cases anyway.

I'm not saying that I personally care about other people's phones, but I'm sure Apple certainly does. They see the phones as advertisers or promoters of their products. If a friend or family member sees your phone and it's interface is elegantly designed with precision, it'll have an impact on the image that that viewer has on Apple. Does that clarify it a bit?

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A darker theme straight from Apple would keep that walled garden in tact. A theme doesn't necessarily mean customizing.

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but how exactly does simply creating a darker theme detract from that? It will be right from apple and if apple cared that much they would completely shut down the jailbreak community since with JB you can change just about everything on the phone. Plus the dark theme would go nicely with the new dark keyboard apple is adding.

I agree but a simple light and dark theme change is not that big of a deal. We are not talking about android customizations

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Yeah but first Apple gives us light/dark themes, what's next? Where does it end?!?!?!? #Madness

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I agree that tge walled garden part is a good thing, and I actually hold it against Apple that they seem to be loosening their grip on the whole ecosystem. That having been said I would like if they (Apple) made a darker theme. You could switch between them and that's it. I see no need to allow more customization than that.

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I always thought a dark theme improved battery life on an OLED screen but drained the battery on an LCD screen. Am I mistaken? Dark themes are great as long as it doesn't come at the expense of battery life.

You should google it, then you'd know and wouldn't have to hypothesize in an open forum, less embarrassing for you that way ;-)

I'd like to have the option to choose between a dark or white theme. iOS 7's white backgrounds are too much for me.

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I would definitely welcome a dark theme. iMessages looks pretty awesome when you switch to inverted. I could only imagine how a dark theme would look. Please bring it

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I personally would LOVE to see the option to choose between a light or dark theme. The white theme perfect for the white and gold iPhones and the dark theme perfect for the black iPhone. Also maybe the ability to pick a general color that could pervade the theme more. Apple should include more personalization.

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Yeah but inverting colors inverts all colors, so pictures and icons and everything else you want to stay the same will change, not just white to black...

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Not sure if anyone has posted this idea, but what about them using the light sensor (can't remember its proper name) to determine how dark the room is, and then switch if it is dark?

I would love to have the option. That one option could gain a huge amount of positive traction for the operating system and possibly be more desirable to people who are used to Android, though I think Google went all white for their new redesign in KitKat 4.4.

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iOS 6 looks very dated now an iOS 7 is the future. When iOS 7 first came out I took to it like a duck takes to water. It seemed like a very natural thing for me. I personally like iOS 7 as it is...

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Yes they should because doesn't the white use more energy? Could we conserve battery power that way? I changed it up on my kindle app to black with white lettering and it's easier to read.

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I use a dark Wallpaper and lockscreen but like the bright white UI I always keep my brightness at 3/4 which I find to be perfect

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Variety is a healthy thing, especially when the competition offers such. But still, this is iOS and Mr. Apple isn't known for its flexibility. Suits me ;)

I think a darker option should be available because honestly, the white UI just seems to cater to the white iPhone products. Even on Apple's homepage they only show iOS 7 on a white iPhone 5S. I would love to see a darker theme (maybe jus just as an option setting so Apple doesn't have to completely redesign the UI) for the black iPhone's.

With the current iOS 7, Apple seemed to want the interface to fit "inside" of the phone. As though the UI was just another physical hardware setting because the white just simply melts into your palm. But on a black iPhone, that isn't the case and I would love to see it act accordingly with a darker iOS 7 UI (iOS 8 option maybe?)

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Throwing my yes vote in the ring for a dark theme. The white is a bit overwhelming for my taste.

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Apple actually already does have a dark theme, it's in the maps app. If you use it to navigate at night it will switch to a darkened theme that looks amazing. It would be incredible it they brought it to the entire OS.

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If I had the space grey iPhone I would want a dark theme, however, I have the white iPhone and love the light theme with the blue. The redesign for iOS7 is very cool. The Apple UI is better than anything out there right now.

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I will start by saying that I really love iOS7 but I do believe that having a dark theme option is indeed necessary. I've never had a problem with all the way on my iPhone, and maybe it's because of the smaller screen but whenever I use my iPad I find myself constantly reducing the brightness to the bare minimum because my eyes can't handle the white and after a while they begin to feel heavy and even start sustained a little plus, it would give users just a little more customization.

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yes. for those that want it, cool. for those that don't want one, they dont have to turn it on.

i find myself running any and all images I want as a background wallpaper thru a photo editing app and lowering the brightness already. a darker theme (with an option to darken the selected wallpaper too) would be a nice addition for me personally

I'm enjoying the new iOS 7 just the way it is. But, if they added a dark theme, would be a bonus. There's nothing wrong with a little variety.

Sent from the iMore App

Under General - Accessibility - you can find the Invert Colors option, which is close enough to a dark theme built in. Would be nice if it didn't look so CGA color scheme though, not to mention that inverted colors is not ideal for all apps or web pages.

I would live a dark theme. I hated the colors of iOS 7 so much I went back to 6.1.4 before it was unavailable. I am running iOS 7 on my iPad but I hate looking at is. If they come out with a dark theme then I will update my iPhone.

Normally, the light theme is awesome. However, a dark theme would be much gentler on my eyes in the dark.

Sent from the iMore App

I like the look of the iOS 7 as it is. But, honestly, having an option to of applying a dark theme every now and then would be a welcome change.

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I'm not a big fan of dark themes but the whiteness of the current theme is a little too bright for me.

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White seemed bright to start but now I'm used to it I like it. Saying that though the dark keyboard in 7.1 leaks does look pretty sweet.

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Heck yes that would amazing imagine a dark theme and being able to change to the dark keyboard. I remember there being speculation when iOS 7 was first showed at WWDC since it was mostly shown on a white iPhone how it might be themed based on the color you had. Which kind of already happens with the boot screen.

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As long as they allow the choice of Theme like Windows Phone does then I have no problems with it as I'm quite enjoying the current theme atm, A dynamic Theme like what's used in the Weather App would be nice & tie it to the Clock so it changes based on the Time or even tied to the Weather App so it changes with the weather.

But as long as Apple give the user a choice and don't just thrust one Colour scheme on all users then I'd welcome any additions to the Colour scheme.

Yeah I definitely agree with the idea of a dark theme, done right it can look potentially better than the "all white everything" theme. And Jony Ive biggest thing was looks as far as the OS overhaul was concerned and beside it being better on the eyes in certain settings if I'm not mistaken helps in conserving battery life, and since we all know the likely hood of Apple Making room for a significantly bigger battery is not that great, I think we all love something that saves us battery life. #rantofthenight #teamapple #teamdarktheme

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I've thought Apple should make a dark theme since the first time I saw iOS 7.
At first I thought it was very feminine looking, but I have grown to like it. I would like it more if it was more blacks/dark grays.

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You can go into General> accessibility > Invert colours.
Not a great solution. Yes we need themes.

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In my opinion , it should not have any dark theme because the dark theme will make the simple yet beautiful design of Apple to look less attractive

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Yes, Please! I would LOVE a dark theme on iOS 7. There's too much white. Was skeuomorphism so bad that we've moved to non-existence? Couldn't they have removed the textures without removing the color schemes throughout?

If you guys want a dark theme iOS for night time please try this

Settings> general> accessibility then all the the way at the bottom there is "accessibility shortcut" click on that and choose "invert colours"

Now if you triple click the home button boom there is your dark theme ios for reading etc. pics will look weird though

A dark theme would be awesome. Many times I've been on my phone in a dark room and been overwhelmed by the white colour.

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NO! iOS 7 is just fine the way it is. I never get why people always try to make everything black. I think that white looks the best on the iPhone.

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Not all users use iOS the same way you do, for me at night the white is too bright even with the brightness at min. Plus I also use my iPad mini in my car, and again at night it's way to bright... I don't know why anyone would be against the OPTION to choose a dark theme. Just because there is a choice doesn't mean you have to choose it. Just sayin...

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That would be awesome. Can't wait for my tweetbot update with the dark theme.

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I would personally love a dark theme, although I agree that it's cool how you can just switch your wallpaper and get a darker feel, though not as extensive as a theme would be of course.

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I think they should and the will. It might be in iOS 8. The only problem might be that developers would have to make a light and a dark theme option on their apps. I don't see many of them doing that, at least not in a reasonable time.

Prior to iOS 7 people used to jailbreak just to change to a different theme. Now that we got that, people are still complaining.. Love it or hate it ! That's how it has always been with Apple!

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Actually, one of the first things I realized when I was first playing with iOS 7 is "this os doesn't have a dark theme?" But I honestly got used to it, but nonetheless I would love to see a dark theme, the phone would look awesome

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A big YES! When indoors, I used to have my brightness set at 20% but there were times, I found myself staring at too much white with iOS 7 and it's not the most comforting thing to stare at. A little over a week ago, I found myself toggling the brightness to 10-15% depending on the room's lighting. And even then, sometimes I still think it's too bright. The only reason I won't decrease the brightness below 10% is because when watching videos/playing games, I don't find the visuals too pleasing when it's too dim. Please make it happen, Apple!

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I think that would be great, but after iOS 7 and its appearance related to Windows Phone I don't think this would look good for Apple. I definitely see where they got the whole flat look and the multitasking tray certainly looks like it came from Windows Phone. By adding a dark theme, which Windows Phone also touts as one of its features, I'm beginning to wonder if Apple is running out of ideas.
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If apple promotes "experience" as an overall concept for apple users, why not let users choose their experience with a light or dark theme? I know that's not how apple does things but one can dream.

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The first time I saw te impressions of ios7 I immediately thought of the app any.DO this apps look and feel was exactly with what Apple was coming at the time. Nice thing is about this it has a dark theme already, so you can check what iOS would look like.

I like the current look. I personally don't like when apps have light or dark themes. I just cut the brightness down if I need to.

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I just don't like the overall whiteness. Besides that I present a lot via AirPlay to an Apple TV and the whiteness is highly distracting when switching apps (as is the new app switching graphics BTW).
But when you're into astronomy, the current fixed white theme is truly ghastly. And if anyone can do a good, thorough, iOS-wide dark theme it's Apple.

So I desperately hope the dark option will be created soon as an update for iOS 7.

Since I'm on a white iPhone, I like the whiteness of iOS 7 so far. But I can see how people with black iPhones would like a dark theme to match.

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I think it would be a nice touch to add a "night" mode to iOS. I really like the OS the way it is but dear god when you unlock your phone in the middle of the night it almost burns your retinas out.

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Yes! A dark theme would be very much welcomed. Since some individual apps come with a dark theme, we can already imagine what it would look like. That would be a nice incremental update prior to the release of iOS 8.

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Don't ruin the experience with too many options. Apple working in the sandbox and they have been doing that for so long that they still make the best looking sandcastles.

Spoken like a true iTard. Don't give me too many options, Apple knows best. One "size" does not fit all, unless Apple learns this, they will lose more and more market share to Android and WP.

Say what you want, I personally like a uniform state of technology. If you don't appreciate Apple products why troll Apple comments? Time well spent. Go back to your bridge.

The one thing that annoys me about the whiteness of IOS7 is in the iPhone Photos app, where you have a white background unless you tap the pic again. It then turns to a black background, which is infinitely better when looking at your pictures.

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A darker, more 'business professional' look would be a welcome swap out, I think. Inverting colours or turning down the brightness does not achieve the same thing - and this candy pop pastel OS can seem a bit, well...infantile at times.

A dark theme would be awesome, it's always nice to be able to personalize, and I'm sure Apple could make a really cool one. Even better would be having a few themes, or the option to create your own theme that is across the whole operating system. However, I think both of these are VERY unlikely, it just doesn't seem like something Apple would do. I definitely would like to see one, but I don't think my wishes will come true.

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Yes! There should be a night mode that syncs with your local time. Or a quick feature to toggle night and day displays.

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I would love a dark theme. Sometimes, the white of ios7 seems too bright. Especially early in the morning or late at night when I'm sleepy. I'd like the ability to switch back and forth. Maybe even set up a profile to do that on a schedule.

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GOD YES!

All white is sterile & strains my eyes. Give me the choice. Something apple seems loathe to do. They always take away all of the options. I love an ios 6 theme, a dark ios 7 theme as well as a light ios 7 theme and give me the option.

Yes please! Easier on eye sight. Not that I don't live the colourful iOS7, but a dark theme, aside from the keyboard would look super cool.

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I hope Apple decides to give us the option to select a dark theme. Sometimes the white is a little too much. Rene, like you at night when I'm in bed I have to turn down the brightness all the way down because the light kills my eyes.

Might be interesting, I love the black private mode look in safari and dark keyboard that comes up randomly...but then it might lead to people screaming for color options.

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A dark theme is a great idea, especially on the black (or should I say Space Grey?) devices, my black iPhone 5 and the bright icons don't really go together which disappoints me kinda. I'm probably just being picky.

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I absolutely think apple should implement this into the system. A dark theme would be sooo much better on the eyes at night... Even when I turn my brightness down to the minimum it still is too bright when waking up in the middle of the night and checking my phone. Additionally I use my iPad mini as my Radio in my car, and again with the brightness turned down to the min, it still it brighter than I want. It's also a little distracting from the road when you see a white screen in a car at night. I would love if apple would do that!

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Yes! I've had black themes on Android and loved them. Granted I eventually moved to something different . I did enjoy it though. It's hard to implement on iOS unless you jailbreak. I'd like the choice!

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Truthfully..it is a little girly to me. I know that sound bad but it does. Going dark might help. IOS7 is good but needs to dial down with the whiteness. Just saying.

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More choices is always better, besides it seems like they are playing around the idea with the rumored black keyboard on the upcoming iOS 7.1

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I would love to see a dark theme come to iOS 7, but why can't iOS offer different theme options like how Android's MIUI flavor does? I know Apple wants to keep the entire experience the same throughout all the various apps, but it would be great if they offered that theming ability.

I would LOVE a dark theme!!! I often read books in bed at night and it kills my eyes to hit the Home button and check my email one last time before I go to sleep!

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Personally I wouldn't want it (and am glad to see Android getting progressively lighter), but clearly many would like it and it'd go well on the space gray iPhones. So I wouldn't mind it being an option someday.

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I would like to see a dark theme that would be more of a night mode that the phone could change to depending on how dark the environment is around you.

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Having a dark theme on iOS would be lovely, it would offer a new look that would be great, be easier on some people's eyes when reading and add a bit of customization and that's all people really have left to ask for in iOS.

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