Once you use dark mode in these 13 iPhone apps, you'll never go back
Not sold on your iPhone's dedicated dark mode quite yet? After using these apps, you will be.
Jason CiprianiContributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Have you used your iPhone's dark mode setting yet? If not, you should. Not only is it easier on your eyes, especially if you often use your phone in a dimly lit room, but using dark mode actually saves battery life, according to Google.
first added a system-wide dark mode with the release of iOS 13 last year, converting the primary light interface of Apple's core apps like Messages, Mail or Settings, into an all-black affair. Since then, third-party developers have slowly added support for the feature to their apps, with Facebook being the latest (and arguably biggest) developer to begin testing support.
Before iOS had its own dark mode, it was up to each developer to create a dark version of the app, leaving you to manually change themes for each individual app. Below are 13 apps that either directly support the built-in dark mode, or offer a setting of their own.
Watch this: Best dark mode iOS apps to try now
How to switch to dark mode
There are a couple of different ways you can switch to dark mode on your iPhone or
. You can have your device automatically switch based on the time of day, or you can manually turn it on/off through
Use the schedule by going to Settings > Display & Brightness and turn on Automatic. Next, tap on Options and select Sunset to Sunrise or set a Custom Schedule.
Add a dark mode toggle to Control Center by going to Settings > Control Center and looking for the Dark Mode control under More Controls and tap the "+" next to it.
Going forward, you can turn dark mode on or off by viewing the Control Center (swipe down from the top-right corner of your screen) and tap on the dark mode icon.
The number of apps that support dark mode continues to grow. If you search the App Store for "dark mode" you'll find a list of Apple-curated apps, along with apps that have "dark" in their name. While Apple's list is helpful, it's not complete. Here are some apps we've found on our own that look great.
Not everyone will have access to the Facebook app's dark mode quite yet as the company is still testing it, but you can at least check for it by tapping on the three-line icon to slide out the menu. Scroll to the bottom where you'll find Settings & Privacy. Tap it to view more options where, if your account has access, you'll find an option to turn on dark mode. If it's not there, you'll have to keep checking back.
This calendar app, which integrates all of your calendar services, including iCloud or Exchange into one easy-to-read interface, comes with a dark mode. When viewing the main screen, tap on the list icon followed by Settings > Appearance and select how you'd like Fantastical to look whenever the iOS system setting is changed between light and dark.
Twitter's dark mode looks pretty darn good. Turn it on by going into the Settings section of the app, then selecting Display and sound > Dark Mode and adjust when you want it to turn on. Turn on Use device setting for automatic switching along with your iPhone or iPad's mode.
To enable Reddit's dark mode, slide out the menu from the left side of the screen, tap Settings then turn on Automatic in the Dark Mode section. You can change just how dark the theme is by selecting Night theme and selecting your personal preference.
iA Writer is a handy app for writing and jotting notes. You can find its dark mode by selecting the gear icon when viewing your library, then select Appearance > System.
When you're browsing through your library, or looking for new books, the Apple Books app will use the system setting for light or dark mode. Once you open a book, however, you'll need to adjust it on your own. Reading a book on a light background at night is hard on your eyes, so Apple's Books app has a few different color options including a dark mode. When reading a book, tap on the "Aa" icon, then select the color to the far right. You can also adjust the brightness, or enable auto-night theme if you'd rather let your iPhone or iPad handle it for you.
Slack rolled out its dark mode a while back, and now it's tied directly to your system settings. There isn't even a setting in the app for you to turn it on or off. Whatever mode your phone or tablet is in, Slack will be in as well.
If you frequently need to sign documents from your iPhone or iPad, you've probably heard of or use SignEasy. Just like Slack, there isn't a setting for you to adjust. SignEasy will switch between light and dark mode based on the system setting of your device.
Google's Gmail app gained dark mode support in late 2019. By default, the app will follow your iPhone or iPad's system settings -- meaning if you have dark mode turned on, the Gmail app should follow. However, you can change the setting by opening the Gmail app, sliding out the menu from the left side of the screen and selecting Settings > Theme > Dark.
Facebook officially rolled out dark mode for Messenger a while back as a test, but you can now find the toggle with a tap on your profile avatar when viewing a list of your conversations. Night mode should be the first option in settings, with the ability to set as always-on or use the system setting.
Feedly's dark mode takes two a couple of taps to enable. Slide out the menu by tapping on the menu button in the bottom left corner, then select Choose Theme > Night Mode and selecting your preference. Easy, right?
Naturally, the Kindle app has similar settings to Apple Books, with in-book settings. When reading a book, tap on the screen to display the various buttons. Select the "Aa" button, then Layout. Select your preferred background color and then get back to reading.
Google Maps will use dark mode automatically when you're using navigation at night, but you can force it to use night mode when navigating during the day. Open Google Maps, slide out the menu on the left side of the screen, and select Settings > Navigation. Scroll down to Map Display and select Night.