Some users have discovered a “secret” Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL dark theme in the newly released devices. I should say that this isn’t a true dark mode like many users have been requesting for years but it’s the closest thing we’ve got. Plus, with all of the individual apps that offer dark themes; adding this into the mix can almost give you a system-wide dark mode.
So, how does it work? What users have found is that a lot of system features like the app drawer, settings pages, and notification tray take on a dark theme when the user activates a dark wallpaper. Basically, Google wants the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL dark theme to correspond with the wallpaper the user has chosen. It’s not a perfect solution; especially if you have an awesome, bright, colorful wallpaper. However, if you don’t mind a dark wallpaper then this is the best way to get a Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL dark theme.
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One of the main advantages of a dark theme is the battery saving potential. AMOLED displays use a lot less battery life when a dark them is used because pixels in OLED displays will not light up if the area they need to display is black. Over an entire day that can equal a lot of battery life saved.
Some people also find a dark mode is easier on their eyes. I tend to agree with this, especially if I am using my device in the evening. My Reddit app, for example, has a dark theme. Switching from that app to, say, Facebook can be very jarring. It’s like someone flashing you with their high beams while driving. This brings up another issue with a dark theme… Google could implement it for the system apps and features but it doesn’t help much if some of your most-used apps don’t have a dark theme option. I mean, how often do you find yourself staring at your app drawer or notification tray in comparison to the apps that you make use of everyday?
So, in conclusion, there still isn’t a true Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL dark theme for users to make use of. However, Google clearly has made some steps to give users that darker system appearance that they have been asking for. Hopefully the next step is a manual toggle that can easily turn on a dark mode no matter what kind of wallpaper you use on your device. Until then, this little Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL dark mode hack will have to do the trick.