YouTube’s mobile app gets a dark mode


YouTube’s mobile app is getting a dark mode. The company announced this morning its dark theme, first introduced on its desktop site last year, is launching today on the YouTube iOS app and arriving soon after on Android. With the setting enabled, YouTube’s background turns from white to black throughout the YouTube experience as you navigate, search and browse its app.

The setting is meant to give YouTube a more cinematic feel, but it has other advantages, as well.

It can be a bit easier on the eyes to use a dark theme when you’re staring at a screen for a long period of time, for example, and it can help you to better focus on the content, not the controls. Some tests have also shown dark themes to save battery life — that’s helpful for an app like YouTube where users are spending more than an hour per day watching videos on mobile devices.

YouTube says its dark theme will cut down on glare and allow viewers to take in the true colors of the videos they watch on mobile.

The option to turn YouTube dark was first introduced among a series of updates to the YouTube desktop experience in May 2017, when YouTube’s cleaner, simpler and Material Design-inspired interface also rolled out. The option to enable a similar dark theme on mobile soon became a top request.

It appeared that YouTube was toying with the option of a dark mode on mobile when several users spotted the feature in testing in January. YouTube didn’t confirm at the time whether or not the company was planning to release dark mode to mobile, but it looked likely.

With the launch of YouTube’s dark theme on mobile, YouTube is the latest high-profile app to offer this option. A number of apps today have embraced dark mode, including Twitter; Twitter clients Tweetbot 4 and Twitterific 5; Reddit and the Reddit clients Beam, Narwhal, and Apollo; podcast player Overcast; calendar app Fantastical 2; Telegram X; Instapaper; Pocket; Feedly; and many more.

To enable the dark theme on iOS, tap the account icon, then go to Settings and “Dark theme” to turn the setting on and off.

The option is available today on iOS and will arrive soon on Android.

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