After teasing for about a year, WhatsApp has finally launched its dark mode feature to Android and iOS users today. A beta version of the feature was in the tests for quite some time now, and a public roll out was imminent. The Dark Mode feature is slowly being made available to its 2 Billion users around the world.

After working on the feature for a long time, it was released through a launch video. The video, much appropriately entitled “Hello Darkness”, includes a previously unreleased version of “The Sound of Silence” by Paul Simon.

The feature, officially available to all users today, will be automatically enabled for users that have switched to the dark theme mode on the system level within iOS 13 and android 10. Other users may need to switch to dark mode through the theme option in the WhatsApp settings menu. Since the feature is still being rolled out, users may not be able to see the feature on their phones immediately.

In this case, users can attempt to update the app through Google Play Store or the App store depending on their operating system.

The dark mode feature comes in different shades for Android and IOS- it is pure black on IOS 13 whereas Android 10 has a slightly dark greyer shade. The messaging app has acknowledged that it spent some time on research and experiments in two major themes with a focus on dark mode readability and the hierarchy of displayed information. The first one ensures that the content is readable by complying with the theme of the app with the system defaults on IOS and Android. The second theme is about ensuring distinguished colours of elements within the app to make information stand out.

The themes together will reduce glare, lowers brightness and improves contrast and readability. Dark modes across smartphones have increasingly become common, as people continue to put an increased amount on strain on their eyes through constant smartphone function. Dark mode results in much lesser-stress on eyes, specially during night time usage and low light settings.  In addition to these advantages, the dark mode also saves device battery making it a compelling feature.