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After you use dark mode in these 13 Android apps, you'll never go back

Dark mode is not only easier on your eyes, it's bettery on your phone's battery.

dark-mode-android

Samsung's Galaxy S10 Plus with One UI's dark mode enabled. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

If you're a fan of using a dark mode on your phone, 2019 has been a good year. Google released Android 10 with full dark theme support in August, followed by a dedicated dark mode on Apple's release of iOS 13. Why does dark mode matter? According to Google, the benefits of using dark mode on your phone is twofold: It uses less of your phone's battery, and causes less strain on your eyes in dim environments.

Google had flirted with an official dark theme for the past couple of years, and even included a half-baked version in Android Pie 9.0. But with Android 10, the company is providing developers with the proper tools to support a full-fledged dark theme. 

Below are apps we've found that support Android 10's dark theme, or the developers have implemented their own dark mode setting and where you can find it.

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Android 10's system-wide Dark Theme will save battery life. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Use Android 10's systemwide dark theme

Turn on Android 10's dark theme (also referred to as dark mode) by opening the Settings app, selecting Display, and turning on the Dark Theme option. Alternatively, you can swipe down from the top of the screen and look for a night theme/mode toggle in the quick settings panel. 

The process for enabling Android 10's dark theme will vary depending on the manufacturer of your phone, if the steps outlined here don't work for you, then use the search function in the Settings app.

With dark theme turned on, any apps that have been updated with support Android 10's dark settings, along with Google's own apps, will automatically switch to their respective dark themes. 

Based on Google's own numbers, odds are you don't have a device that runs Android 10. With that in mind, below are apps that either support Android 10's dark theme, have a dark theme of their own, or offer both.

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In Android 10, you can now apply a dark theme to Gmail.

Screenshot by Clifford Colby/CNET

Apps with a dark mode you have to use

After months of talking about and teasing a dark mode in the Gmail app, Google delivered. Well, kind of. The app update required to use Gmail's new dark mode is rolling out slowly. When your app updates, dark mode will automatically turn on when you enable dark theme in Android 10, or you can go into the app's settings followed by General Settings > Theme and select Dark from the list.

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Dark mode in Android Messages. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

The official Android Messages app has a lot of features, but the app also supports automatically switching alongside Android 10's dark theme, as well as having a dark mode you can manually enable if you don't have Android 10. You don't have to dig through the settings to turn it on, either. Open the app, tap on the three-dot menu icon in the top-right corner then enable dark mode.

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Left: Google Calendar's dark mode. Right: Google Keep's dark mode. 

Google

Google Calendar and Keep both have a dedicated dark mode with support for Android 10. In Calendar, slide out the side menu and go to Settings > General > Theme > Dark to manually turn it on. In Keep, go to Settings > Enable Dark Mode

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Feedly's dark mode makes extended reading sessions easier on your eyes. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Feedly's dark mode is found by opening the side panel then selecting Night Mode. It's a nice touch, especially if you spend a lot of time reading various news stories and articles. You'll need to manually turn on Night Mode, even if your phone is running Android 10. 

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Enable dark mode in Facebook Messenger with just a few taps. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Facebook Messenger first tested a dark mode that had to be unlocked by sending a crescent moon emoji in a conversation thread. After testing was completed, the feature became official and can now be just turned on in the Settings

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PocketCasts in dark mode.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

The first time you launch popular podcast app PocketCasts on a device running Android 10, you'll be asked to allow the app to automatically switch between its light and dark theme based on your system's setting. You can manually enable dark mode by going to the Profile tab, then tapping on the Settings icon in the top-right corner. Next, go to Appearance > Theme. Pick from Dark or Extra Dark.

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How to turn on night mode in Google Maps.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Google Maps doesn't have a dedicated dark mode throughout the entire app. Instead, there's a night mode used during nighttime navigation that you can force the app to use at all times. Slide out the menu on the left side of the screen then go to Settings > Navigation settings. Scroll down and select Night under the map display color scheme section.

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The official Reddit app has several themes, one of which is Dark. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

The official Reddit app uses a few different dark mode settings, and can be controlled by Android 10's system setting. You can turn on the night theme at all times in settings under Theme, or you can let the app decide when to go dark based on the time of day or whenever your phone is in battery saver mode.

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Go dark in YouTube.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

The YouTube app looks a lot better with dark mode enabled. Turn it on by opening the app and then tap on your profile icon > Settings > General > Dark theme. Currently, Android 10's system setting doesn't affect YouTube's dark theme. 

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Slack has a few different dark themes. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Spend a lot of time in Slack? Then, yeah, you'll want to use its dark mode. It will automatically change with Android 10's system setting, or you can find the toggle in the app's settings by tapping on the three-dot icon in the top-right corner then Settings. Scroll down and find Dark Mode, then turn it on.  

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Tumblr's dark mode should make reading text posts in the dark easier on your eyes. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Tumblr recently updated its app to include a new Color Palette feature, adding three themes, one of which is a dedicated dark mode. To view the new themes, open the Tumblr app, click on your profile icon > settings icon > General Settings > Color Palette

There are plenty more apps that support a dark mode or night theme. If you really want to go all-in on dark mode, the best bet is to look in each app's Settings section (appearance or display subsettings are a great place to look) for the option to change the look of the app.

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Dark mode sure makes photos stand out. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Google Photos now has a dark mode that's activated whenever you enable a dark or night theme on your Android phone. You won't find a toggle in the app's settings menu and there's no specific update that appears to have enabled it. 

Dark mode for non-Android 10 devices

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The process for enabling dark theme in Android Pie. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

If your phone is running Android Pie, you can enable its built-in dark mode. The process will vary based on who made your device and any customization made to Android. But for the most part, the following should work: Settings > Display > Advanced > Device Theme > Dark. Once it's turned on, check out the quick settings panel or your Google Feed -- both of which should now be dark. 

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Night mode on the Galaxy S10 Plus.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

When Samsung rolled out its One UI interface refresh for Galaxy phones, which includes Android Pie, a Night mode was added (instead of the dark theme approach). Enable Night mode in Settings > Display > Night mode.

Samsung's night mode takes a more aggressive approach to darkening the interface. For instance, almost immediately the Settings app goes from a white background to black. The quick settings panel and individual notifications will be dark, as well. You'll also find dark versions of nearly all preinstalled Samsung apps when dark mode is enabled.

Enabling a system-level dark mode or theme ensures that you're getting all the dark mode your device can dish out. What apps do you regularly use that offer a dark mode? Let us know in the comments. 

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