Dark mode: rita’s iDevice Advice for September 23, 2019, in addition to Matt’s excellent article on this topic

Dark Mode:  Rita’s iDevice Advice for September 23, 2019

Note:  These instructions were written for sighted persons, who are not using voiceOver.  If you are using VoiceOver:  when the instructions say “Tap on an item”, perform a one finger double tap.


One of iOS 13s most highly anticipated change is also one of its simplest.  The latest version of Apples mobile operating system finally introduces a Dark Mode for your iPhone and iPads interface.  Once it’s on, formerly white interface elements of iOS change to black (or a deep slate gray), and the text shifts to a brighter color for better legibility.  That means that many Apple apps (such as Mail and Music) will now put less of a strain on your eyes at night, and Dark Mode may even improve your battery life.

Turn on Dark Mode with Siri:  The absolute easiest way to turn on Dark Mode is to simply tell Siri to turn it on.

To turn it on, say, “Hey, Siri, turn on Dark Mode” or “Hey, Siri, turn on Dark Appearance.  It will immediately switch over.  To turn it off, say, “Hey Siri, turn off Dark Mode” or “Hey, Siri, turn off Dark Appearance.

Turn on Dark Mode through Control Center:  To turn on Dark Mode through your iPhone or iPads Control Center.  Open Control Center by swiping down diagonally from the upper-right corner of your devices display.  Hold down on the Brightness indicator.  It’s the one with the sun icon.  In the full-screen interface that pops up, you will see a toggle for Appearance:  Light in the lower left.  Press it, and your phone will immediately switch to Dark Mode (and the toggle will now read Appearance:  Dark).  Alternatively, you can add a shortcut to Control Center so you can cut out a step.  Go to Settings > Control Center >Customize Controls.  At the bottom, you will see Dark Appearance under the section Heading More Controls.  Press the green plus sign (VoiceOver user’s will double tap on the “add” button) to the left and iOS will add it to your main Control Center interface.  From now on, whenever you want to turn on Dark Mode, just open your Control Center and press that icon.  The icon looks like a half-moon with a circle inside it.

Turn on Dark Mode through the Settings app:  Open the Settings app.  Press Display & Brightness. At the top, you will see two configurations for Light or Dark.  Press Dark. You are in Dark Mode.  You will also see a toggle for Automatic.  Flip that toggle to green if you would like for your iPhone to automatically switch to Dark Mode between sunrise and sunset.

With iOS 13 and iPad OS, you can now enable a system-wide Dark Mode, shifting the overall appearance to a darker color and giving your eyes a break, especially at night. When Dark Mode is enabled, you’ll see a dark background with white letters, instead of the typical white background with dark letters.

When you first update to iOS 13, you’ll be asked to choose the first appearance. Selecting “Light” will allow you to see exactly what you’ve always seen, while the new Dark Appearance is the other choice. TTJ personally recommends setting a schedule for Dark Mode, such as, from sunset to sunrise. You can adjust these settings under Settings>Display and Brightness>Appearance. You can also instantly toggle between light and dark appearances from this Settings screen. You can even toggle Dark Mode from within Control Center. If you do not see the new appearance toggle in Control Center, go to Settings>Control Center>Customize Controls, and add the options you want.

Most built-in Apple apps have been enhanced with a special dark theme that presents itself whenever Dark Mode is enabled, and many third-party app developers will soon take advantage of such capabilities if they have not already done so. The AppleTV also has a Dark Mode option, and actually has for a while now. To enable it, go to Settings>General>Appearance on your AppleTV. Selecting “Automatic” will have a similar effect as setting a schedule on your iOS devices.


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