Stock launcher on the Pixel devices offers a half-baked dark mode, many aspects of the UI are still light, and it's not the most fortunate implementation of it, by any means. Android 9 Pie does not really offer a dark mode on a system level, even though some rumors claimed it will, but that may change with Android Q, at least according to the newest report. It seems like Google has confirmed that dark mode is coming to Android Q, though that confirmation came by accident. This was revealed in the post on the Chromium bug tracker by a Googler called Lukasz Zbylut. He basically said that the "dark mode is an approved Q feature", and that the team wants to ensure that all preloaded apps support dark moe natively. He also added that all UI elements need to be ideally themed dark by May 2019, and that the dark mode master setting will be under Settings -> Display -> Dark Mode in Q. Later on in the thread, he did mention Display -> Night Mode as well, so it remains to be seen where will the setting be located. Not soon after that confirmation arrived, Google has changed the permissions for that thread on the Chromium Bug Tracker, so if you're not working for Google, you can no longer see the content of the source link. This, actually, adds more fuel to the fire, the fact that Google opted to change permissions for that entry only gives us more hope that the dark mode will be baked into Android Q. In case you'd like to check out what that listing looked like before Google locked it, a screenshot is included down below.
Is It Really Coming?
Some of you may still be skeptical when it comes to the Android Q dark mode, even after this listing, but do keep in mind that Google had released the dark mode for a number of its applications thus far, while it will probably do the same for a number more until May 2019. The company had released the dark mode to YouTube, (Android) Messages, Contacts, Google News, and Pixel Launcher apps, while a part of the Google Maps app also received such treatment. Considering this entry, we're expecting a number of additional Google-made apps to receive a similar treatment by May 2019, when the Google I/O 2019 is scheduled to commence. At Google I/O, the company will share some Android Q news, as it's the case every year when it comes to a new version of Android. Amongst those news, Google is expected to announce a system-wide dark mode, presuming that we're right, and that the feature is coming.
Why Is Google Planning To Add Dark Mode To Android Q?
Google has finally realized the benefits of having a dark mode. The company actually released some info regarding battery-saving properties of darker UI elements for OLED panels, and considering that more and more phones are being released with such panels, including a system-wide dark mode in the next major version of Android seems like a no-brainer. Flipping the switch and enabling can save you quite a bit of battery on OLED displays. As per Google's findings, at 50-percent of brightness, in YouTube app, the difference in battery consumption between light and dark mode is only 14-percent, but that difference grows to around 60-percent at a 100-percent brightness. This is just an example, of course, but the benefits are clearly there. There's a good reason why many Android manufacturers opted to include a dark mode in their implementations of Android, manufacturers such as Huawei and OnePlus, for example. Both Huawei's Emotion UI (EMUI) and OnePlus' OxygenOS Android overlays offer a proper dark mode. Now, in order to save most battery life, applications you use also need to offer dark mode, which is something Google is aware of, and that is why it is including such an option in its applications. The more apps offer a dark mode, the better, though the company still has quite a few apps to "convert". Applications such as Gmail, Calendar, Chrome, Play Store… and a ton more, still do not offer such an option, but they hopefully will in the future, as those are the apps that consumers use quite a bit, and having such an option built in would certainly help with battery life.