Google has rolled out a new theme for its search engine – taking things to the darkest level possible.
The search giant announced in February it was rolling out a Dark theme, with the initial results showing lighter text against a very dark grey background. Now, Google has taken this to the furthest point possible, with its background going fully black (hex #000000).
The reason for this change is the growing number of smartphones and laptops being manufactured with OLED and AMOLED screens – on which the light grey text on a fully black background ‘pops’ a lot more and becomes much more accessible.
Furthermore, OLED and AMOLED smartphones wouldn’t need to light the parts of a screen using a fully black background, which offers savings to battery life too.
To activate the Dark theme, head to Google then click Settings. From here, click Appearance and set the desired theme. Saved settings will then be available whenever you sign in. That said, you may still see the dark grey theme for a short while even after switching, as Google is thought to be rolling out this latest change gradually. In this case you cannot easily get the darkest theme without looking at alternatives from the Chrome store, so the easiest solution is to wait.
There has been speculation that Google could soon offer separate Dark and Darker themes, to keep the grey and full black options, though this has yet to be confirmed. It may also release a new feature that tweaks the mode based on time of day. An ongoing developer test on Android devices sees the phones switch from Light mode by day to Dark mode at night. Furthermore, users have the option to set the switch either at a time that suits them, to coincide with sunrise/sunset, or to turn on at bedtime.
If successful during the beta testing stage, this feature could make it into the release of Android 13, set for release in Q3 2022.