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Safari could soon have per-website dark mode options on iPhone and iPad

iOS 13 Dark mode
iOS 13 Dark mode (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple could soon let people set individual websites to appear in dark or light mode.
  • Safari currently supports dark mode but it's an all-or-nothing approach.
  • Code in iOS 15.4 suggests the feature is on the way.

A future iPhone and iPad update could allow people to set a dark mode setting for individual websites rather than the current all-or-nothing approach, according to a new report.

The latest iOS 15.4 beta update has internal references to a new per-website dark mode option, according to a 9to5Mac report. It's thought that the feature would be independent of the dark mode setting that controls the rest of iOS and iPadOS and would instead control only the specified website. Want to see iMore.com in dark mode but every other website in light mode? That's what this change is for!

As found by 9to5Mac in the WebKit code, Apple is implementing a new option that allows "overriding the system color-scheme with a per-website preference." For example, you can choose to always view a specific website in Dark Mode, even if your phone has Light Mode enabled.

The same report notes that Apple also appears to be working on a way for Safari to block modal alerts that are designed to look like system alerts. That alone could be a security improvement for Safari users, with websites then unable to spoof system-level messages from within a web page.

There is currently no way of knowing when or if these changes will be made available to everyone, but it's possible they will be enabled before iOS 15.4 ships to the world this spring.

Apple is set to announce the next big iOS release, iOS 16, at its 2022 WWDC event. If past years are any indication we should keep our diaries clear for the early part of June — although we don't yet know whether an in-person event is likely or if the virtual events of the last two years should be expected.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

1 Comment
  • Instead of working on dark mode, Apple needs to support web apps as the web standards were laid out, like the HTML5, Javascript, CSS, which was finalized back in 2014. Safari still restricts web apps, and how they can operate and run on iOS. Even third party browsers can't run web apps, like they can on other platforms. Apple needs to stop their monopolistic, evil control over 3rd parth web browsers. As well as Safari itself.