How to enable Gmail dark theme on iPhone and Android

Google is now officially rolling out the dark theme for the Gmail app on iOS and Android. The rollout started earlier this week, but Google notes that it could take about two weeks for the dark theme to reach all users. If the dark theme is available to you, but you don’t know how to turn it on, then don’t worry, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will tell you how to enable Gmail’s dark theme on iPhone and Android.

enable Gmails dark theme

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Gmail’s dark theme – what it brings?

You may be wondering why you need Gmail’s dark theme when Android 10 and iOS 13 have a systemwide dark theme. A point to note is that the dark theme does not get automatically applied everywhere, the apps must also need to support it. So far, the Gmail app lacked a dark-mode setting, but now, Google is finally rolling out the much-coveted feature.

Gmail’s dark theme is pretty user friendly and looks impressive as well. For the inbox, Google has adopted a dark shade of gray, instead of black, while the search field on the top is lighter gray. The navigation drawer is similarly tinted as well. Gmail’s dark theme also extends to the compose screen with the body of the text using white text.

Coming to the messages feature, the search giant has used white for the sender text, subject line and time in this view. The message body preview is gray. For the already read emails, a fainter color is used. Similarly, the generic avatars, labels, and other colors have been tweaked as well to be less bright and be more in line with the overall theme. The profile images, however, remain unaffected.

Now that you know what to expect from Gmail’s dark mode, let’s see how to enable Gmail’s dark theme on iPhone and Android.

How to enable Gmail’s dark theme on iPhone and Android

First, let’s see how to enable Gmail’s dark theme on iPhone running on iOS 13.

If you have already set the new systemwide dark mode on iOS 13, the Gmail app will automatically apply the dark theme as soon as you get the latest Gmail update. If you haven’t yet enabled the systemwide dark theme, or are using iOS 13’s Light appearance, then follow the below steps to enable Gmail’s dark theme on iPhone:

Step 1 – go to the Gmail app and tap on the hamburger menu in the top left.

Step 2 – scroll down to the bottom, and tap Settings.

Step 3 – tap on Theme and then Dark.

That’s it! Gmail’s dark theme will now be enabled. Similarly, you can also enable the Dark Theme in iOS 11 and iOS 12. All you have to do is visit Gmail’s Settings and select Dark Theme.

Now, let’s see the steps to enable Gmail’s dark theme in Android 10.

Step 1 – go to the Gmail app and tap the hamburger menu in the top left.

Step 2 – scroll down to the bottom and tap Settings.

Step 3 – tap General settings and then from the top of the list, tap Theme.

Step 4 – tap Dark. Or, if you have already set the dark theme as the system default, then tap System default.

In the Android 10, you can also enable the apps to adopt the default settings, including applying dark theme, automatically. To do this, go to Settings, and tap Display. Now from the bottom of the settings list, toggle on Dark theme. That’s it!

If you are using the second way of applying the systemwide dark theme in Android, then it will only work if you have updated the apps. Alternatively, on the Google Pixel phone, you can apply the Gmail dark theme by just enabling the battery saver mode. Enabling the battery saver mode automatically triggers the system-wide dark mode to save battery, and this will apply to many of the apps on your Pixel phone, including contacts, camera and Gmail. However, for this also, you need to have updated apps.

Benefits of dark mode

Dark mode is currently one of the most demanded features. Prior to enabling the Gmail dark mode, many other apps had already come out with the support for dark mode, including apps like Facebook Messenger, Slack, Reddit and more.

The dark mode has many benefits, and the most important is that it helps to protect your eyes from the whiteness of the phone screen. Bright tech screens have often been linked to blurry vision, headaches and watery eyes. Also, it is believed that lowering your exposure to the blue light you come in contact with throughout the day would also help you sleep better.

Apart from the health benefits, another major benefit of the dark mode is that it helps to increase battery life. Such a mode consumes less power, and thus, extends the battery performance. However, a point to note is that the battery saving benefit is true for the OLED screens and not for the phones with LCD screens.

In OLED tech, every single pixel lights up to give an image. So, when using the dark mode, the phone shuts off the pixels that it doesn’t need. On the other hand, LCD uses the backlight to show images on the screen.




About the Author

Aman Jain
Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at amanjain@valuewalk.com