The long wait for a dedicated WhatsApp dark mode is over, with the latest app beta now finally adding the native darkened theme to the messaging app.

After first seeing hints that we might get a dark mode in 2018, the fact that the world’s second-most-popular non-Google Android app has taken such a long time to implement this AMOLED-friendly mode is welcome but slightly disappointing.

If you are enrolled on the WhatsApp beta, certain users are seeing the new theme after updating to version 2.20.13. However, those not able to update can sideload the APK file to get the dark mode on their devices without having to enroll.

As far as dark modes go, the WhatsApp implementation isn’t the best out there, though. It’s simply a deeper grayscale color to make WhatsApp easier to use at night or in low-light environments. How you feel about it will definitely depend on just what you consider a “true” dark theme.

However, WhatsApp’s new dark mode does honor your device system settings if you wish. There is a toggle within the app settings that you can enable to auto-switch when you have your system dark mode enabled — or you can simply leave it activated all the time.

We’re not entirely sure when the new dark mode for WhatsApp will roll out for stable builds of the messaging app. But it’s great that an app with over 5 billion installs now finally has what many would consider an essential darker, OLED-friendly theme. If you haven’t already, you can join the WhatsApp beta program right here.

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Damien Wilde

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