Google has been teasing a dark theme for Maps for a year now, and after some code surfaced that pointed to traces of a dark mode in version 10.50 of the app, we've now got our first look at a proper, finished night-compatible theme in version 10.51.1. It's currently rolling out as a limited server-side update to a few people only.
Android 10 brought support for application theming last year, allowing developers to customize the in-app experience with light and dark looks. The feature wasn't adopted by many third-party apps at the start — even Google is still tweaking the dark theme experience on its own Phone app. But as time passes, more developers climb aboard. Now the latest to joining the dark mode train is language-teaching app Duolingo.
Google has made a small adjustment to how its Phone app handles light and dark theme settings. Previously, Phone had its own binary toggle for light and dark theme, which was separately (and non-intuitively) overridden by the system setting. To make things a little bit easier, the binary on/off toggle has been replaced by three separate options: light theme, dark theme, and a system default setting.
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Despite the fact the dark mode arrived system-wide on Android 10 back in September 2019, it's been pretty slow-going for the feature on Google's own first-party apps. The Play Store, one of Google's most essential Android apps, only began receiving dark mode in March, six whole months after Android 10 dropped. If you want to force the Play Store into its new dark mode all the time (understandable — there's a lot of white space in there these days), it's pretty easy. Here's how.
Google has been teasing and working on a dark theme for Maps for well over a year, but it's yet to come to full fruition. It looks like that's about to change, as app sleuth Alessandro Paluzzi and 9to5Google have found evidence that Google might be close to release dark mode to the public.
It's been more than a year since Google's various apps started getting a dark theme to fit with Android 10's system-wide mode picker. Some were prompt to adopt it (Contacts, Messages, Phone, Photos), others took a bit more time (Gmail, Search), and a few were very slow to jump on the bandwagon (Drive, Translate, Chat). Slower than all of these combined are Maps and Home, and today, the latter finally made the leap to the dark side.
Zoom has understandably been one of the most popular apps around these last few months as people have had to forgo in-person meetings — both personal and business — for online video chats. The desktop client has had a dark mode for a little while now, but Android users have had to suffer blinding menu screens before jumping into late-night calls. With the latest update, Zoom for Android finally gets dark mode and a few others new features to boot.
Google Translate's dark mode rollout has been an interesting saga to follow. It first showed up in February but looked like a massive eyesore or a very early prototype, then it disappeared for months, despite being available for everyone on iOS. It popped back up again last week, looking better and fresher, but only bestowed its magic on a few users. A few days after that, it began showing up for more people and now seems to have widely rolled out to (almost?) everyone.