UPDATE: Google now says that its confirmation about an upcoming dark mode was a “miscommunication with the team that handles AOSP issues”. What will be added is a developer feature to toggle night mode for app testing.
Now that smartphones primarily use OLED displays (even LG has made the switch!), many people out there would prefer if Android itself supported a dark theme or dark mode to truly take advantage of the screens the software is displayed on.
Technically speaking, Google has at least been interested in the idea. We saw a preview of the functionality way back in Android Marshmallow, but unfortunately, it never made it to the full public release, and we didn’t see it again in Android N or Android O, either.
To help fix that, one Android user filed an issue through the Google Issue Tracker (by way of 9to5Google) which was meant to draw Google’s attention to the fact that hardware in today’s smartphones supports dark themes much better than light themes, and that they’d like a fundamental change to this particular situation. The suggestion was that Google should add this feature in some subsequent Android release.
A Google employee responded to that ticket, saying that they would pass it on to the Android engineers. Months went by with no word on the subject, until recently the particular ticket was marked as “fixed”. The Google employee then also noted that the “engineering team has added this feature” and that it would be present “in a future Android release”.
So it looks like it’s happening! Which is exciting. Technically speaking, Android P is “a future version of Android”, so here are a bunch of fingers crossed that we get to see the dark theme/mode debut at this year’s upcoming Google I/O.