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How to use Android Pie's Dark Mode to save battery life

Google has added a dark mode to Android, which not only looks cool but helps you save on battery life.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Android users have been begging Google to add a dark theme, or mode, to the mobile platform for years. With Android Oreo, Google added a dark mode that activated based on the wallpaper you were using. Google then removed the feature, saying it was accidentally released. Starting with Android Pie not only is dark mode back but now you can manually switch to it. 

Why would you want to use a dark mode besides the look? According to Google, it saves battery life. All of that empty white space that your phone's been using requires more power, which in turn drains your battery. A darker interface uses less power and is less taxing on your battery. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

The process will vary based on your device, but these are the general steps you'll need to take: 

  1. Open the Settings app and select Display 
  2. Tap Advanced and scroll down until you find Device theme
  3. Tap it, followed by Dark

Now when you view your app drawer or the quick-settings card (swipe down from the top of the screen), it'll be in dark mode.

Samsung's One UI, which includes Android Pie, is rolling out to some devices right now. Enabling dark mode for One UI devices requires you to go to Settings > Display > Night Mode and sliding the switch labeled "Turn on now" to the On position. 

Each device maker will have a different method of implementing a dark mode. Samsung, for example, uses Dark Mode across all of its own apps. But third-party apps, such as Chrome or Gmail don't reflect the setting. 

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Originally published July 19.
Update, Jan. 25: Added details about saving battery life.

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