The growing appeal of dark mode

Guests look at their phones at the Prada show during Milan Menswear Fashion Week.
Guests look at their phones at the Prada show during Milan Menswear Fashion Week.

OPINION: Tech giants and app developers are scrambling to update their products so they have the latest must-have feature - dark mode.

Dark mode changes the background of apps to a darker colour like black or grey.

The rise of this new trend is set to peak in the next few months as Google updates Chrome, the world's most popular web browser.

The three main reasons for its rise in popularity is that it makes reading text on a screen easier on the eyes, it uses slightly less power (especially for smartphones), and it allows you to have a different look for your phone or computer, ie, it's cool.

As everyone uses their device more, developers are trying to make apps that help eliminate the harshness associated with white backgrounds.

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Dark mode is also better for your eyes if you're reading your phone or computer at night in a dark room.

Tech companies have recently been releasing a version for all or some of their products.

Don't hurt your eyes while you capture every moment.
Don't hurt your eyes while you capture every moment.

Microsoft has a dark mode feature in Windows 10 and Apple introduced a dark mode for its Mac computers late last year. 

However, the trend has been slower to catch on with social media. While Twitter has a dark mode for its app, the two big players in the sector, Facebook and Instagram, don't have a dark mode though Facebook Messenger does.

One of the best implementations so far is on YouTube, where a dark background works well while watching videos. 

The website features a cool switch in the top left corner that lets you toggle back and forth between light and dark mode.

The downside of dark mode is that white text on a black background is harder to read that the traditional black text on a white background.

That means it more suited for apps where you read small amounts of text rather than something like a feature story on a news website, so don't expect the New York Times to have a dark mode any time soon.

If you read a lot on your smartphone and don't want to fuss around with changing settings in various apps, there is an alternative.

Night shift (Apple) and night mode (Android remove the blue light spectrum from your display, making it easier on the eyes, especially in dark environments. It may not be as cool as a dark mode but it is effective.