Is it called Android Q or Android 10, I’m unclear. Also, how do I enable Dark Theme / Dark Mode on my phone once I have Android 10Q running?
Pretty sure that it’s not going to be called Android 10Q by anyone other than perhaps the IRS since that sounds like a form they probably have in their library. 🙂 But Android 10 – the common name for the newest Android OS – is pretty slick with a lot of nice innovation and incremental improvements! Unfortunately, while dark mode is indeed one of the big updates, it’s not actually functional across all of Android, even the Google apps.
For example, on the Android 10 information page, Google shows Gmail running in dark mode, but as we’ll see below, the current version of Gmail as of this writing does not support dark mode. Maybe next week’s update? Two weeks? Who knows. Still, for interaction with Android itself, dark mode is a definite improvement.
Enough chat, let’s jump in and enable it. On your phone running Android 10 [I’m using a Google Pixel 3 for this demo] go to Settings. It’ll look same as it ever has:
There’s a bit more information shown on this screen I think, notably battery life and storage info without having to dig for it, which is darn handy, but you don’t want to slog through menus and submenus, that’s for da n00bs. Instead use the search box to search for “dark”:
Yup, search for “dark” and it shows you exactly where to go to get to Dark theme in Display. Tap on that match and you’ll not only go to the correct Setting, but it’ll even flash to show you which control to tweak:
There ya go, mixed in with a number of other features that can make your Android 10 experience way better (I’m a big fan of Night Light and strongly encourage you to enable it at sunset through the evening). To stay focused, however, tap on the slider control adjacent to “Dark theme” and enable dark mode.
It’s a pretty immediate and dramatic change!
Pretty cool, and it looks even better on the Android screen. Unfortunately, however, you’re early to the party so not every key app supports dark mode as of yet, not even most of the Google apps. For example, when I went to check out Gmail [latest version, just updated every app on the phone post-Android 10 update] you can see that it’s, well, still light mode:
Disappointing, really, but I imagine that one day in the very near future Google Assistant, Gmail, Google Maps and all the other apps in the Google portfolio will suddenly support dark mode. Then let’s talk about Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, and the rest of the programs you use every day. Someday. 🙂
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about Android for years. Please check out my extensive Android help area while you’re here to see all the tutorials on the list!