Bring the darkness here
Google is finally testing the dark mode for Google search. It’s fucking time.
Our eyes have been tortured by the harsh white of the internet for far too long. To the point that an entire eyewear industry has sprung up to complement the pain suffered from staring into the bright white void. When I write this in a text editor that doesn’t have dark mode, one has to wonder why doesn’t everything work in dark mode from the start. Why did Google finally start working on a dark mode after 24 years and not from the beginning? Was it a matter of time? Of costs? Has Google just not given a crap until now?
More and more apps (more often on mobile devices) are optionally introducing dark mode. Robinhood, WeBull, Reddit, Instagram, and Twitter all have dark mode. Even Facebook has a dark mode. WhatsApp introduced it last year. Google’s own Play Store has it as well as Gmail and Google Maps. Dark mode saves battery life on OLED phones, especially iPhones. Why isn’t every corner of the internet capable, especially in mobile dark mode? It’s a question that hopefully won’t be relevant in the next few years as everything will be in dark mode.
While mobile is a different development environment than the web, the challenges of coding a dark-mode theme as an alternative to the skull-piercing super-nova brightness we have become accustomed to are challenging. According to one of my developer friends, it’s more of a design problem than a technical one. In his estimation (and you should trust his opinion a little on this, since I have his face on multiple monitors every day), creating a webpage from the get-go shouldn’t be a problem to appear even in dark mode, especially for an argument the web.
To be fair, it is debatable whether or not dark mode is better for your eyes. It will help you fall asleep a little better and it will reduce glare. For those of us who work in modern dungeons that have become home offices, it’s a bit more easy on the eyes. Not to mention, dark mode used to be the default. If you’re old enough to remember CRT monitors from the earlier DOS days, remember the sticky green text that floated in the sheer darkness of the screen in the early days. We were born into the dark. We thrived in the dark and built from the pits of nothingness what you perceive as light.
Another random Twitter person shared with me that one thing that causes some trouble in dark mode is that it is not a strict reversal of light mode, but a completely separate scheme. Fine. What ever. This is what developers are paid for. Companies that don’t pay attention to a feature that should be the default for so long and then advertise dark mode because it’s a revolutionary upgrade are poor sauces. It’s an insult to a generation of web and app users who expect visual options with the websites and apps they use the most. Google search, the world’s most visited website on the Internet, has left us in the light for far too long.
If it’s a cost problem, it’s a cost problem. There are billable hours, there are meetings and project planning. This excuse could have flown 20 years ago, when Google was still expanding its superiority on the Internet. No more excuses. Already give us the dark mode, unplug this well-lit white room, and let’s slip into the night happily and comfortably.