Google Assistant Dark Mode – How To Enable It
Google Assistant’s dark mode is more than just a style choice, as it can also extend battery life, but enabling a darker theme may not be so obvious.
Google has the ability to use a dark mode for Assistant when using an Android phone or an iPhone, but how to enable the feature might not be so obvious. When the change is made from harsh, bright screen, it can be quite a relief on the eyes and has benefits for the device as well. Personalizing the look of the screen is also important and the muted tones of a dark theme will likely find favor among those that use their phones more at night or indoors in a low light setting.
Dark mode, or dark theme as Google calls it, has a long history in technology. In the early days of computing, every screen inherently used a light on dark format. CRTs (cathode ray tube) were the dominant display technology before laptops and monitors that incorporated flat panel LCD and LED screens were possible on a large scale. That’s why games that simulate old hardware often use green text on a black background. Google has offered some form of dark mode in its smartphone operating system since 2019 when Android 10 was released.
Google Assistant has the ability to display in a dark theme, whether using an Android phone or an iPhone, and this might happen automatically for some users. For others, it must be enabled and the method can vary depending upon the manufacturer and which version of the operating system is installed. On the Google Pixel, most newer Android phones, and the iPhone, Google Assistant will automatically appear with light text over a dark gray background if the display is set to dark theme in the Settings app. With an Android phone, opening the Settings app and beginning to type ‘dark theme‘ in the search bar should reveal the appropriate option. With an iPhone, the same method, but typing ‘dark mode‘ will bring up the control. Enabling the system-wide display setting is usually enough to switch the Google Assistant to its dark theme.
Manually Enabling Dark Mode
For Android devices that still show Assistant with a light theme, conflicting with the system settings, it can be switched on manually with these steps. First, open Google Assistant, which appears as ‘Google‘ in the app drawer, then tap the ellipsis button, which looks like three horizontal dots, to see personalization options. Tapping Settings, then General, and then scrolling down to find Theme will reveal the control that’s needed. Choosing ‘Dark‘ will force Assistant to use the dark theme.
Dark mode is more than a personal preference or style choice since it is also known to reduce battery use. The power savings depends on the type of display in each phone. For most devices, the brightness of the screen is often the biggest factor in how long the battery lasts. Lowering overall brightness definitely helps stretch usage time between charges and this is true for both LCD (liquid crystal display) and OLED (organic light-emitting diode) displays. For OLED displays, every pixel that’s on draws power and the brighter pixels use more energy.
However, dark mode is less effective at reducing power drain when using a phone with an LCD display, since it uses blocking or filtering to control pixels rather than light generation. The greater power use comes from backlighting which is the actual source of screen brightness for this display technology. Regardless of when or why dark mode is used, it’s best when all elements and apps agree on this, so there isn’t a glaring whiteout when opening something new. With the tips above, it should be easier to manage Google Assistant’s theme on any Android phone or on an iPhone.
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