As many people had hoped, Google has been progressively adding dark modes to some of its core apps. Last month, there was even a teaser added to the Play Store changelog for the Google Phone app that promised to give users a choice between the all white look that has become so common, or a dark look that promises to be easier to the eyes, especially at night. The latest version is out, but unfortunately, this update won't be the one to enable dark mode. However, with a bit of tinkering, it's possible to see what the new theme looks like in its current state.


Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android's application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information. It's possible that the guesses made here are wrong or inaccurate. Even when predictions are correct, there is always a chance that products could change or may be canceled. Much like rumors, nothing is certain until it's officially announced and released.

The features discussed below are probably not live yet, or may only be live for a small percentage of users. Unless stated otherwise, don't expect to see these features if you install the apk. All screenshots and images are real unless otherwise stated, and images are only altered to remove personal information.

Dark mode

No point in beating around the bush, this is what dark mode currently looks like. Google is going with a gray background rather than pure black pixels. Opinions are split about which is better. The color scheme is simple and matches the standard blue branding of the Phone app.

Of course, the first screenshot shows that the dark theme isn't complete yet, but it looks like there's relatively few things remaining to be touched up. The main screen has a gradient at the top that has to be reversed, and the settings screen still has dark text where it should be white. I'm also not sure if the automatically generated thumbnails for users without a picture are supposed to still be light pastels, or if those will also go through a darkening process. They certainly seem out of place in an otherwise dark screen.


The setting to change this is currently still hidden from regular users, but when it goes live, a toggle will be added to the Settings -> Display Options screen with the name Dark mode.

<string name="display_options_dark_mode_title">Dark mode</string>
<string name="display_options_dark_mode_key">display_options_dark_mode</string>/xml/display_options_settings.xml
<SwitchPreference android:persistent="true" android:visibility="gone" android:title="@string/display_options_dark_mode_title" android:key="@string/display_options_dark_mode_key" android:defaultValue="false"/>
Activation details

A custom Xposed module was used to activate dark mode. This is the code from handleLoadPackage.

if (!lpparam.packageName.equals(""))

XposedHelpers.findAndHookMethod("ciy", lpparam.classLoader,
new XC_MethodHook() {
protected void afterHookedMethod(MethodHookParam param) throws Throwable {


Visual tweaks to Settings

We've hit the major topic of dark mode, but there actually is one small visual tweak that you'll see after updating (no modding required). The Settings screen lost its blue title bar, switched to white navigation bar, and added back dividing lines that used to be common in the Holo days.

I'm not above begging... Please, Google, do not bring back the divider lines. I didn't know I cared until they they were gone, and now I never want to see them come back.


The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.

Phone by Google
Phone by Google
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free