With One UI, Samsung introduced a system-wide night mode for its Android Pie devices. The new feature darkens the manufacturer's proprietary software such as the Calculator and Messages apps and also alters the overall menus and interface colors, but still requires you to manually enable dark mode in other applications like Messenger or Slack. Android Auto, on the other hand, happily receives this setting and defaults to it, no matter the time of the day.
Indeed, it appears Samsung called it "Night Mode" for a reason: Activating the feature in your phone's system settings will force Android Auto to use the same mode, which means you'll end up with a dark interface even during the day. While this could still be acceptable, people — like me — who prefer brighter schemes, will be stuck in "blinding mode" in the middle of the night, which could make driving particularly uncomfortable and somehow hazardous. Some users have reported night mode is also interfering with Maps while they drive, but we've only been able to reproduce the bug in the main Android Auto interface.
Forcing Android Auto to display in night mode using developer settings doesn't fix the issue, and the only "solution" for the time being is to change the entire device's interface to the appropriate one when you're about to drive. Thankfully, you can use the notification bar's quick settings toggle to switch from one mode to the other, or even set up a Bixby routine that de-activates night mode when your phone connects to your car's Bluetooth after 8 AM.
Google is aware of the problem and stated a patch "should roll-out in an upcoming version", without specifying when. We'll update this post once it's released.
- See Mean