Google is finally testing dark mode for Google Search. It’s about damn time.
Our eyes have been tortured by the harsh white of the internet for far too long. To the point that an entire industry of eyewear has popped into existence to supplement the pain endured by staring into the bright white void. As I write this in a text editor that does not have dark mode, one has to wonder why everything is not dark mode capable from the start? Why, after 24 years has Google finally started working on a dark mode and not from the beginning? Was it a matter of time? Of cost? Did Google just not give a crap until now?
More and more apps (more common on mobile) are rolling out dark mode as an option. Robinhood, WeBull, Reddit, Instagram and Twitter all have dark mode. Even Facebook has dark mode. Whatsapp rolled it out last year. Google’s own Play Store has it, as does Gmail and Maps. Dark mode saves battery life on OLED phones, especially iPhones. So why isn’t every corner of the internet, especially on mobile, dark mode capable? It’s a question that hopefully, within the next few years, no longer be relevant as everything will be dark mode.
While mobile is a different development environment than web, the challenges of coding a dark mode theme as an alternative to the skull piercing super nova-scale brightness we’ve become accustomed to. According to one of my developer friends, it’s much more a design issue than it is a technical one. In his estimation (and you should mildly trust his opinion on this as like myself, his face is in multiple monitors on the daily), creating a web page from the get-go to also come in dark mode shouldn’t be a point of contention, especially for the web.
MORE FOR YOU
To be fair, it is debatable to whether or not dark mode is better for your eyes or not. It does help you get to sleep a bit better, and it reduces glare. For those of us who work in modern dungeons turned into home offices, it is a bit more comfortable on the eyes. Not to mention that dark mode used to be the default. If you are old enough to remember CRT monitors from back in the DOS days, then you remember that sticky green text floating in the pure darkness of the screen back in the early days. We were born into the darkness. We thrived in the darkness and built what you perceive as light, from the pits of nothingness itself.
Another random Twitter person informed me that one thing that creates a bit of difficulty with dark mode is it’s not a strict inversion of light mode, it’s a totally separate scheme. Fine. Whatever. That’s what developers are paid for. Companies not paying attention to a feature that should be the default for so long, then touting dark mode as it’s some revolutionary upgrade is weak sauce. It’s insulting to a generation of web and app users who have some expectation of visual options with the sites and apps they use the most. Google Search, being the most visited web page on the internet — in the world — has left us in the light for far too long.
If it’s a cost issue, fine, it’s a cost issue. There are billable hours involved, there are meetings and project planning. That excuse might have flown 20 years ago as Google was still building its superiority on the internet. No more excuses. Give us dark mode already, pull the plug on this well-lit white room and let us slip happily and comfortably into the night.