Google announced in October that the Assistant light mode is gone on Android phones and tablets, and reiterated today that “Assistant Uses Dark Mode By Default.”
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The statement is unchanged from late October when it was shared to the Android Issue Tracker, but is now available more publicly in the Google Assistant Help community.
Google Assistant regularly tries new ideas to see what works and what could work better. This includes ways to make our products look and feel consistent throughout our product ecosystem. To offer a more helpful visual experience across all your devices, including Pixel Watch and Google TV, when you engage with Assistant on mobile Light mode is no longer available – it will now have a dark appearance, even if you have Dark theme turned off in your phone settings.
One takeaway is that Google has decided to stick with its design decision over the past few weeks and does not plan to revert back.
This comes as Google last week officially announced that Assistant is getting a “Search screen” capability to properly replace the “What’s on my screen?” button. As part of that Google Lens unveil, the mockup showed a light mode for mobile Assistant. Some people took this as a sign it was coming back, but keep in mind how the feature has been in development for some time. It was already spotted in testing in late August 2022, and the assets Google shared last week reflect that.
One possible upside for the company is that it now only has to design for one color palette rather than maintaining two. It comes as the company is clearly prioritizing work on Assistant’s voice experience, though it does often tout integrations between the assistant and Android apps.
Some users remain unhappy with this decision, and at least want the option to change back. You can leave comments in the support thread today.
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