Dark mode is all the rage on Android right now, with many of even Google's own apps either having or being in the process of adding support for shadier themes (and it's not just Google apps). Soon, Android itself will support a darker palette at the OS level - something many in the community feel is years overdue. Now, it seems the Assistant UI is getting in on the action, and the team's first stab has, to put it plainly, not gone well. Just look at these screenshots.

This is a black-on-white monstrosity, pretty much eliminating all of the anti-eye-searing benefits of the dark mode by surrounding them with a blinding white background. It's missing the point to an extent that almost feels intentionally cynical, as though the Assistant team is giving us this because "there, you asked for it." This UI is rolling out to a large number of users right now, and it's so bad that I have to wonder if it was an accident - Google can't think this looks good.  It has the appearance of an unfinished Frakenstein interface mashup, when what it should look like is the nicely-done dark Discover interface that's been rolling out to select groups of users for a while.

The dark mode cards are part of a larger update that puts access to these cards in the bottom bar interface of the Assistant, which you can read more about in our post here.

Let's hope this little experiment gets pulled, or better yet, actually completed to its logical conclusion (i.e., get rid of all that damn white). Because yuck.

We've pinpointed the version which triggers this change as v9.5, the beta that is currently rolling out. On some devices the behavior is controlled by enabling the system-wide dark theme option via developer settings, though others are seeing the new dark cards even without that setting on or available. It's possible that not everyone will necessarily see these black cards hitting their device, even if they are in on the beta. As always with Google, YMMV.

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