Everyone loves dark mode. It’s not only easy on your eyes but also saves a lot of battery juice. And for the past few years, Google has been pushing Dark mode on Android. It started with ‘YouTube’, and ‘Messages’ app, recently it came to Chrome and Android Q, and rumors have it, soon Google Drive will have Dark mode as well.
But are these the only app with dark mode? Turns out there are many 3rd party apps, that has a dark mode inbuilt. You might already be using some of them. So, let’s check them out. Shall we?
1. Google Messages
Google Messages has a dark mode on individual messages as well as menus. Enabling the dark mode is easy, simply go to the options button on the top right and tap ‘Enable dark mode‘ in the popup menu. The app goes dark instantly and stays dark throughout the chats and settings menus.
Check out Google Messages (free)
Textra is a popular SMS replacement app for Android with support for a dark theme. You can quickly compose a message by pulling the notification panel. You can customize the app screen from light to Night, Dark, and Pitch Black.
To turn on the dark mode, tap the options button on the top right and go to settings. Tap ‘Customize Look‘ and change the theme to Dark. Textra can replace your existing messaging app and offer a similar experience if not better.
Check out Textra (free)
Slack app for Android comes with a Dark mode which you can enable to make the late night meetings more bearable. Tap the Options button on the top right and select Settings. Scroll to the bottom and enable Dark mode.
After enabling the dark mode, the entire app turns dark but the top and sidebar remain the same color. If you want to go full stealth mode then you can change it to a darker theme. Sadly, there is no option to do it from your phone and you would have to open the Slack app on your computer.
Go to the Slack app on your computer and click your workspace Name on the top left corner. Click Preferences. You’ll find all the themes available for the app, you can enable any one of the themes by clicking the bubble next to it. Kill the app on your phone and restart Slack again and voila! Dark theme Slack with Dark Sidebar.
Check out Slack (free)
4. Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger has a lot of cool features like you can play games on the Messenger, make it your default SMS app, and yes, a dark mode, which can be activated by sending a moon emoji to a chat. Alternatively, you can go to settings and enable the Dark mode here as well.
Check out Messenger (free)
Skype has finally released the dark mode on Android app. If you don’t see the feature yet, just update your Skype app from the Play Store and tap your profile avatar. Select ‘Settings’ and go to Appearance. Here you’ll find two modes; Light and Dark. You can change the chat bubble color and choose the high contrast dark theme which would make it completely black and white.
Check out Skype
6. Solid File Explorer
Long before the ES File Explorer was pull down from the Play Store, Solid File Explorer has become my go-to File Explorer. A decent file explorer should support a maximum number of file types, and extra features like file encryption, extraction, cloud integration and of course, dark mode.
There are multiple themes ranging from White to Auto Light + Black, it allows you to fully customize the file explorer to blend with the overall theme of your phone. You can also change the color of the header to a darker color and make the accents darker as well.
Check out Solid Explorer (free)
7. Google News
Google News is a popular news aggregator app which lets you read news from different sources on one app. You can read about specific topics or subscribe to stay up to date with current events.
The dark mode on Google News is only limited to the app interface, as soon as you load a news article, it loads with the layout of the website instead of converting it to apps native layout. Other than that, the dark mode is fine. If you already use Google News then you can continue using it otherwise the next app is probably a better option for you.
Check out Google News (free)
The dark mode on Feedly is way better than Google News as it offers a consistent dark mode all around. You can read all the articles without having to worry about bright screens again. The only caveat is the websites which redirect you to their own webpage, for that we can use special web browsers which support dark mode.
Check out Feedly (free)
9. Google Chrome
We all use Chrome or have used it at some point and it may not be the best browser out there, it is certainly better than most. The browser doesn’t natively have a Dark mode but there is a workaround using Chrome Flags.
It requires activating two Chrome Flags on your web browser, one flag lets you activate the dark mode for browser’s UI and the other one darkens the webpage. Activating the flags is super easy and you can enable the dark mode by following this guide.
Check out Chrome (free)
10. Samsung Internet Browser
Samsung Internet browser is the closest competition to chrome. It has inbuilt support for adblockers, controls on the bottom, and a well implemented dark mode. Samsung has figured out that the dark mode is the future and it especially looks very good on Samsung’s Super AMOLED screens.
The option isn’t hidden behind a maze of options and you can toggle the feature from the Menu. Tap the Hamburger icon on the bottom right and tap the button that says Dark mode to turn everything dark. It would not only change the UI but also the website content and unlike Chrome, it doesn’t just invert the colors of the components. If you want to do dark mode right, do it with Samsung Internet Browser.
Check out Samsung Internet (free)
Dialer and Contacts
11. Google Contacts
Google Contacts has a dark mode which would help you achieve a more consistent look on your phone.
To turn the dark mode on, tap the hamburger icon on the top left. Go to Settings, and select ‘Choose Theme‘ under the Display section. You can choose between Light, Dark, and a custom theme set by Battery Saver.
Check out Google Contacts (free)
12. AMOLED Wallpapers 4K and HD
Most high-end smartphones have super bright screens which get to ridiculous levels. This app has a collection of wallpapers which are designed keeping these phones in mind. You can browse through categories which range from Abstract to subjects like skulls, space, and heroes. The quality is sharp and the wallpapers look amazing on full HD displays.
Simply, select an appropriate wallpaper and set it as your wallpaper on the home screen and lock screen. Yes, you can set different wallpapers on both.
Check out AMOLED Wallpapers (free)
Maps and Navigation
13. Google Maps
If you use Google Maps regularly for navigation then you would know that it automatically turns on the night mode navigation once the sun hits the horizon. You don’t have to wait for that and can change it from the settings.
Go to the Maps app and tap the Hamburger button on the top right and select settings. Scroll to Navigation Settings, Change Color Scheme under Map Display. Set it to Night and done. Now every time you plan a route on Google Maps, it would always show it in Night mode irrespective of the time of the day.
Check out Maps (free)
YouTube offers a dark theme which is much better and you can activate it with just a few steps. Tap your avatar on the top right and go to settings. Select General Settings and enable the Dark theme.
Check out YouTube (free)
15. VLC Media Player
VLC has a lot of features under the hood which makes it a decent choice for a video player. For example, you can play a video in almost any codec with VLC, it supports closed captions, subtitles, multi-track audio, auto rotation, gesture controls, PIP, etc.
The layout is dynamic by default on this app which you can change and set the dark theme as the permanent layout. Tap the hamburger icon on the top left, and go to settings. Scroll down to Extra Settings and tap Interface. The first option is DayNight mode, select the Black theme to go dark.
Check out VLC (free)
16. Weather Underground
A weather app that tells you more than just ‘if it is going to rain today?’. It offers local weather forecasts in addition to interactive radar, satellite maps, and also notifies you of any upcoming severe weather alerts. The data is crowdsourced from different users, weather station and enthusiasts to create a hyper-local network. You can view forecasts of up to 10 days. The Dark mode changes the layout to a dark gray but the map in the app remains white.
To activate the dark theme, tap the options button on the top right and select Settings from the list. Choose Dark mode under Visual Style and your Weather app is now dark.
Check out Weather Underground (free)
A good keyboard app goes a long way and Gboard is one of the few keyboards out there that offer useful features other than emojis. It has gestures, multiple language support, inbuilt google search, and even a clipboard. You can change the theme to one of the darker ones to add stealth to the late night chats.
To change the theme, go to Gboard Settings and select a theme. You can choose from a variety of categories like Solid color, landscapes, and gradients. Tap show more button below Colors theme and select the darkest theme. It would show you a preview, tap Apply to set the theme.
Check out Gboard (free)
Swiftkey is another keyboard app on my list which is really good.
To enable the dark theme on the keyboard, go to Swiftkey Settings and tap Themes. It will show you all the themes available for your keyboard, select a theme and download it for your phone.
Check out Swiftkey (free)
You can directly buy the digital copies of your favorite books from Amazon and start reading on the Kindle app on your Android.
The dark theme for Kindle only changes the layout for the App UI, if you want to read the books in the dark mode then you can simply change the background to black. It helps the eyes during night time and saves battery.
Check out Kindle (free)
20. EBook Droid
Let’s say you have a lot of PDF files on your phone, how would you read those files? Kindle certainly isn’t an option. Ebook Droid is your friend, you can read all the major document formats such as PDFs, DjVu, XPS, FictionBook, comic book formats, etc.
The dark mode can be applied to any document on this app. You just have to open the app, tap the options button on the top right and select Book Settings. Checking Day/Night box would turn the dark mode on and would also invert any images in the PDF. You can fix this by checking ‘Positive images in night mode’ option.
Check out Ebook Droid (free)
The standard Email apps used by most people is either Gmail or Yahoo mail but those apps do not have a dark mode. Nine is a complete email app that supports major email servers like Exchange Server, Hotmail, Gmail, Outlook, iCloud, etc.
The dark mode is decent and gives you a black background instead of dark gray like other apps. Activating the theme is easy and you just have to go to Settings > General > Appearance > choose your theme. After that check ‘Use True Black‘ to turn on the black background. Now, even the emails would show up in the black theme. However, if you want, you can preserve the message body theme as well.
Check out Nine (free)
22. Google Clock
An alarm clock, timer, stopwatch, and a clock all in one package. Google Clock is a perfect choice if you want a dark themed app. It is dark by default so you don’t have to worry about activating the feature anymore. The app integrates with Spotify to play your playlist as an alarm. You can also trigger your Google Assistant routines with this app.
Check out Google Clock (free)
EverNote is officially a note-taking app but you can also use it as a planner, organizer, and a notebook. You can scan handwritten notes, add images, links, or audio to the notes.
The dark mode is available but not turned on by default. Tap the hamburger icon, and toggle the switch next to Dark theme and done.
Check out EverNote (free)
24. Google Photos
If you’re running Android Oreo or above, you can enable the dark mode for Google Photos in the latest version 4.18. Simply go to Settings > About Phone > Tap Build Number seven times. It would generate a prompt which would read ” You’re a developer now”.
Go to Settings> System> Developer Options> Scroll down to Night mode> Always On.
Check out Google Photos
Dark Mode Apps for Android
These were my picks for Dark mode apps for Android. If you have high-end Samsung phone running One UI, consider enabling it, if you haven’t already. It darkens the Settings, notifications menu and Quick Settings right off the bat. The dark mode extends to Samsung apps like the Dialer, Contacts, Gallery, Calendar, etc.
The option to enable the dark mode is not hidden behind a maze of settings and you can even toggle it from the Quick Settings Menu. To enable the Dark mode on Samsung One UI, Go to Settings > Display > select Night mode from the list of options. You can enable the Night mode to use it comfortably during the night. It would only affect Samsung apps.
OnePlus users can also enable dark mode from the Settings page. It is available on OxygenOS 3.0 and above.
To enable the Dark Mode on OxygenOS, go to Settings > Display > scroll down to Themes. You can choose one of the three options listed; Colorful, Light, and Dark. Enabling the dark mode would turn the Settings, App drawer, and Quick Settings Dark. Notifications, however, remain light. OnePlus apps like the dialer, contacts, and messages also change the theme to dark to match the phone’s overall theme but that’s about it.