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Do you want Dark Mode for iPhone and iPad? [Poll]

WWDC 2016 has come and gone without so much as a mention of a Dark Mode or Night Theme for iOS 10. For those who'd been hoping for one, the closest we got was the new Dark Mode for tvOS 10. And, obviously, that's fine for our televisions but not so much of our iPhones and iPads.

There have been some dark interface chunks found in the iOS 10 pre-release seed, leading some to hope that we might see more in future betas. But it's better not to confuse remnants with release plans.

Instead, I'm interested to know how many of you actually want a Dark Mode in iOS 10? How many would prefer something less bright, be it as a night theme or an all-day thing?

I've been asking for a dark mode for year and, if you have access, the request can be found at rdar://19760524 (closed as a dupe of rdar://11786790). Now, I'd like to know what you think. Please vote in the poll above and expand on your thoughts in the comments below.

Rene Ritchie
Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

47 Comments
  • Would be nice to have a choice of switching when you wanted to. I had a windows phone last year (don't laugh) and you had the option to change. I'm sure if Microsoft can offer it, Apple can. Sent from the iMore App
  • Why would anyone laugh? Windows phone are good phones Sent from the iMore App
  • I'm coming from windows phone. Believe me dark mode is not that attractive as it seems. Sent from the iMore App
  • Then use light theme on Windows. Simple Sent from the iMore App
  • I agree-- overrated Sent from the iMore App
  • I wouldn't use it, but I think it's nice to have choices.
  • I'd like to see a dark mode as the current nightshift mode is ok but could be better, I'd definitely have more use for a dark mode as I don't use the nightshift mode. Sent from the iMore App
  • It could come in handy Sent from the iMore App
  • Uhh. . . Yes!!
  • For anyone using any device in the dark it would be handy. I've been hoping for a dark mode for years.....
  • I used several custom roms when I was on Android that all had a dark mode, and i really liked it. I am using Night Shift on my iPhone now which isn't dark mode, but isn't half bad either. I would like to have a dark mode if possible.
  • Long overdue... Yes.
  • Apple's white gear is more popular than the black, and dark mode looks pretty stupid on white phones and tablets, so I'm thinking your poll is a bit off in terms of actual user support for the feature. It's always good to have choices, but IME the people who want dark mode are the "must have everything black" people, (and mostly young people of the XY variety).
  • Actually, dark mode would work better than apple's current nightshift at night. Not to mention most people with white phones/tablets won't complain about having it because "it looks pretty stupid" that is more like something a teen would say.
  • Negative Nanny strikes again.
  • I don't know why you say, "Apple's white gear is more popular than the black" when sales numbers have shown that the black/slate/space gray/whatever color iPhone has a black front has ALWAYS been the best selling color. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people stay things as though they are fact when in reality they aren't even 100% sure if they even are fact at all.
  • As someone for whom it was a very difficult choice to switch from Windows, yes please. Sent from the iMore App
  • While I'm all for the prevention of eye-rape while using your phone in a dim environment, introducing a dark mode and maintaining a cohesive user experience is much harder than it seems. I'm sure users who've employed dark themes on desktop operating systems or Android have had their senses jarred just from visiting predominantly white web pages on their browsers. I'm no eye scientist, but to my eyes, getting a sudden burst of whiteness within predominantly dark user interface feels far more damaging than having a sudden burst of black in a bright/white interface. Add to that the fact that iOS apps are basically theme "islands" within themselves - ie; there's no desktop wide dark theme you can force all apps to use with the flip of a toggle. Personally, I'd just like new iPhones to have dimmer minimum brightness settings. Currently, even with the screen brightness slider on my iPhone 6 set to minimum, it's still way too bright for my tastes with the room lights turned off. I remember older iPhones being dimmer in that regard.
  • You can change the minimum brightness in the setting
    http://cupertinotimes.com/get-flux-like-low-light-display-brightness-iph...
  • Good example. I have trouble using Pixelmator for Mac for the same reasons. The makers insist on black UI everywhere and won't take any feedback from users on the issue, but there are parts of it where you run into the default white UI of the OS and it's very jarring indeed. People need options. I think the adaptive screen tech Apple is introducing will solve most of the "dim lighting" situations though. As a rationale for dark mode, I don't see that it has much validity. Dark mode versus light mode is just aesthetics and preference. There never really has been any research or factual information that backs up the claims of it being "better on the eyes" or some such. That's just popular misconception based on feelings.
  • I love Pixelmator's use of black UI. I want the whole OS to be like that!
  • This is the only feature that I was looking for in iOS 10. I'm so dissappointed and angry that this feature did not make it, even though the web is full of this feature's request. iOS 10 is a joke with nothing else than stock app upgrades. White background hurts my eyes. I'm really angry.
  • Use Auto-brightness Sent from the iMore App
  • What is the difference? It only matters with amoled display...which is not present on iPhone at the moment. Sent from the iMore App
  • Use Spotify app and you will see.
  • I have dark mode on my Lumia. And it's great. Yes I would love one on my iPhone Also Sent from the iMore App
  • I think total black wouldn't be great as reading white text on black background makes my eyes go funny when I look away.
    Would be good to have a dark grey like on Lightroom and photoshop. Sent from the iMore App
  • Here’s another survey. How many choices, features, options are allowed before you label something bloatware? I love how the “choice is good” crowd is the first to complain about slowdowns, lags, latency, lack of simplicity and bloatware.
  • Love dark mode on twitterific. Why does adding a dark mode have to make the OS slow, lag, etc? It is just a dark mode.
  • I would love dark mode. For me, it gets turned on for any that has it as an option. Even on Windows 7, I use dark mode on software that supports it (Visual Studio, Notepad++, Sublime text, etc). It makes looking at hundreds of lines of code for 8 to 10 hrs/day easier. Flux helps too. =P
  • Once iOs is displayed on oled I would love to see dark theme mode. Would it prompt me to switch to iOs as primary? No your poll is very skewed. There are countless other issues that need to be addressed as a higher priority then dark mode.
  • Would mainly like it if it could be set to turn on automatically at night or at a certain screen brightness (like Tweetbot does). Sent from the iMore App
  • They could do something like they do with night shift and have it set to come on at certain times.
  • Id love a dark mode. I like everything dark.
  • This would be a major improvement for those who have light sensitivity issues. This is a situation where the amount of people suffering from this continues to rise and experienced by those with and without visual loss. Although I think the default theme does a great job I would definitely be in favor of having a dark theme as an alternative. Sent from the iMore App
  • You know, it's so funny, when Android was switching from Kit Kat's "HOLO" design to Lollipop's "Material Design", I was so sick of dark and really wanted light. How bright and cheerful Material was was one of the huge draws for me. However, now that I've been so saturated in light with iOS, and on the Windows front, have been using dark mode in the latest slew of Win10 insider preview builds, I would really like to see Dark mode come to iOS. Now, I really love dark in Windows, but have been kinda meh about dark in Android, so I don't know whether I'd fall in love with dark in iOS, or whether I'd try it and quickly switch back to light, but really this just seems like such a simple question to me - whether or not they should add dark - with such an obvious answer: a thousand times over, YES!!! Even if I end up not digging it, or sticking with it, just give people the choice! Dark would save battery, and a lot of people will love it! Don't get rid of the light option, but why the heck not add a dark? If they're going to do this for iOS, they really need to do it for tvOS, and also do a more thorough job with it in macOS. El Cap and Yosemite have a light and dark mode, but all it changes is the option bar up top and the background to the quick launch icon row below. They really need to make it something more holistic and system-wide.
  • I use the current Invert Colors setting almost exclusively. I'm a low-vision user, so my needs are different than most. I would be happy to see a dark mode included in iOS because it might offer improvement to the current inversion option and, more importantly, encourage developers to design their interfaces to recognize that some percentage of their customers prefer a dark background with light text and icons. As it stands now, Invert Colors, which I turn off and on with Accessibility Shortcut multiple times during the day, takes what you might call a sledge hammer approach to inverting the screen. Menus, button bars, or other elements that fall somewhere between very light and very dark are rendered so that I can't read them either with Invert Colors on or off. A more universally recognized dark mode might either cause developers to design screens to accommodate it, or would offer options for a user to circumvent screen items that are difficult to read. And, most importantly, a proper dark mode would show photos not as negative images, but as positives on a dark background, the way Windows themes do.
  • Dark gray with white text would be okay. But for me, personally, white text on black backgrounds causes distracting afterimages in my vision. Probably doesn't affect everyone that way but for me white on black is no bueno.
  • Even if you don't want it you can always turn it off. No brainier! Sent from the iMore App
  • Live photo when someone call you Sent from the iMore App
  • Let's go Apple and give us Dark Mode!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • I think Control Panel should have been black from the beginning, in order to give the UI a more "fine-crafted" look. As an interactive designer, I think the white looks like wax paper, which gives it a "cheap" look/feel. What do you think Rene Ritchie?
  • In addition to the general nicety of just having more choices...oh my gosh, YES. I can even speak to it working well in many of the app ecosystems where it'd be most beneficial since I use "dark mode" on any messaging and productivity apps where it's an option. My eyes thank me. It even works well in Night Shift, with no greater adjustment time required than you'd normally have when you start using it on the current, lighter iOS color scheme.
  • I want Dark Mode EVERYWHERE!!!!!! Every OS, every App, every widget and keyboard!!! I hate, hate, hate Apple's use of white in all of the interfaces. I've wanted Dark Mode for Mac for sooooo long!! Give me Dark Mode everything everywhere!!!
  • Why not? Let the user decide what they want. If Apple goes to AMOLED screens, like the rumors state, I can see a dark mode being included to save battery life.
  • I love dark mode on my Windows phone. No dark mode available for my Android so I use a dark wallpaper & many apps offer dark background. It's almost like having real dark mode Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Is it possible this is a release for iOS 10? Or for iOS 11? Sent from the iMore App