Google's Keep application appears to have taken one more step towards the implementation of a dark mode, according to a string found inside the latest APK version by 9to5Google, which reads "<string name="settings_enable_dark_mode">Enable Dark Mode</string>." The source was able to enable the setting and this resulted in a couple of UI elements to turn dark grey, revealing that there's still some work that needs to be done before the app's entire UI can adopt a true dark mode.
Once the feature is enabled, only the "Search your notes" and "Take a note…" fields at the top and bottom of the screen turn black, or rather dark grey, while the font is converted into a lighter gray. But enabling the feature doesn't change the color of other UI elements, indicating that dark mode is still undercooked and might take a while for Google to implement it, if at all.
It's been more than four months since a Google engineer on Reddit hinted that Keep will get a dark mode and users should stay tuned, so obviously, this has been quite a slow process. The reality is that strings of code found within an official APK don't necessarily guarantee an upcoming feature. They reveal that the developer is working on the said feature and this itself remains subject to change until an official changelog is released. Nevertheless, seeing Google's recent tendencies to update its mobile OS and applications to include a dark mode, Keep should follow suit eventually.
The string pertaining to dark mode was found in the latest version of Google Keep – 5.19.111.06 – which was released via the Play Store on March 18 along with an official changelog including bug fixes and performance improvements, as well as an expanded drawing canvas.
Android OS is getting darker
Even though the implementation of a dark mode for Google Keep seems to be a slow process, what lends more weight to the idea that the app will eventually receive this feature is the fact that Android OS, as a whole, should be getting a system-wide dark mode this year.
The Android Q Beta 1 released on Pixel smartphones in mid-March includes a system-wide dark mode which works with a number of Google applications, but this earlier implementation in the first beta release is quite buggy and can make some apps such as Google Photos unusable. Not because they can no longer be launched, but due to the fact that dark mode is undercooked and while backgrounds are black, so is the text, making it unreadable on the most part.
There's no telling when Google Keep will be updated to feature a dark mode of its own, but seeing how Google is working on implementing the feature system-wide with the release of Android Q, one guess could be that the note-making application will get a dark theme by the time the next version of Android OS will be ready for public release in the second half of the year. Either that, or Google will focus more on developing dark mode for Android Q, and other applications will get the developer's attention later. Only time and future APKs will tell.