As a leak of Android Q confirmed earlier this week, dark modes will play an important role in the next version of the mobile operating system. Google has been revamping apps in recent weeks to feature the other theme, with more updates planned. Now, Google Assistant appears to be the latest service due for a dark mode.
Just as Google finishes redesigning Assistant with more compact controls and rounded corners, the company is now developing a dark mode. Assistant is starkly white and overlays a bright sheet over every other app.
The latest Google app beta rolled out last night with cards that feature black backgrounds and white text. This is enabled when users have either the battery saver running, or if “Night mode” in Pie’s Developer options menu is “Always on.”
In version 9.5, this dark mode is applied to every Google Assistant result from the weather to flights. When viewing your full query and answer history, all responses will adopt the black theme when either of these two settings are enabled.
Meanwhile, this look is also applied in Assistant’s Google Now-esque Updates screen. Cards in various sections like “Coming up for you” and “Keep track of things” feature white text on black backgrounds.
The Google Assistant dark mode is clearly still in development as the rest of the interface is still stark white with black text. Transitions between the regular and dark view are choppy and not seamless, often requiring a reload and losing what a user was viewing. When opening Assistant Updates with the dark theme, it takes much longer to load than the regular view.
Google app 9.5 is currently in beta, and it’s not yet clear whether the current dark more for Assistant will remain once the update hits the stable channel next week. As is, these sharp color contrasts are not very appealing and quite an eyesore. It’s very likely that this isn’t the final design iteration of the dark theme.