Android 10 Brings Dedicated Google Chrome Dark Mode

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Google's dark mode for Chrome is finally leaving its 'beta' period alongside Android 10 according to recently-spotted tweets from the official Twitter page for the browser.

That means users will no longer have to navigate Chrome's hidden flags menu to turn on experimental features or run a beta version to turn down the lights on the typically white-themed browser.

Activating the new theme only requires the latest version of both Chrome and Android, which only just recently started rolling out to select handsets.

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Once installed, a new "Themes" submenu can be found tucked away under the settings menu. The "Dark" option will be one of three selectable themes on that settings page. The other options are "Light" and a "System default" that follows the wider system theme.

Chrome's dark mode is more incognito than pitch

Now, the Chrome team's tweet clearly says that the mode will be easier on both users' eyes and their smartphone's battery. But at least the latter part of that claim may be debatable. That's because the new theme isn't actually all that dark.

Instead of opting to douse its UI in the deep black hues found in many applications that have adopted a 'dark' theme, "Dark" in Chrome is aesthetically very close to the browser's incognito mode.

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That means the browser's menu UI, Omnibox, and other elements shift to a decidedly dark-gray motif instead of a true black coloration. Google has chosen to accent that with white text and icon elements.

Websites and pages, conversely, don't receive a dark theme makeover via the new setting. So, only those sites that have been set up to show in a dark theme will do so.

The new theme will undoubtedly be easier on the eyes for many users and could, in theory, save some battery life on some devices. For those who may have hoped to save a lot more on AMOLED or OLED displays, that's just not going to happen this time.

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On those panels, true blacks hues effectively turn pixels within the panel off. The grays in the new Chrome theme are going to leave every pixel at least partially active.

Android 10

Dark mode arriving for Google Chrome alongside Android 10 isn't entirely surprising since the update does deliver a similar system-wide theme. That update is already rolling out to Pixel-branded devices starting today and should arrive on other OEMs in short order.

The dark theming from Android 10 is one of the update's biggest user-facing features, impacting the entire system-level UI. It's also one of the biggest updates to hit desktop variants of the browser. The only variant of Chrome that still seems to be left out is Chrome OS.

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One of the other major changes in the new version of Android includes enhancements to privacy.

That starts with the addition of new controls for Web & App Activity and Ad Settings under the Privacy menu in Settings. Google is also delivering some much-needed bug fixes and security changes via the Play Store directly. That's as opposed to relying solely on OEMs. Last but not least, apps can now only use location data when the app is actually in use.