In its most recent major update, Apple added a new Dark Mode to iOS. When activated, Dark Mode darkens the background in preinstalled apps (Settings, Notes, Contacts, Messages, Phone, Maps, the App Store and far more) to ease eyestrain when using your iPhone at night, and also to look cool.
Dark Mode can also affect the way third-party apps look; Apple can’t force developers to implement this, but lots have fallen in line. There’s a Dark Mode in Twitter and Slack, for example.
Google continues to hold out, with YouTube, Google Docs and Google Map all remaining stubbornly white-backgrounded even when you turn on system-wide Dark Mode. And WhatsApp was a similar case – until now.
To turn on Dark Mode in WhatsApp you need to get version 2.20.30 or later. We recommend having auto app updates, in which case this will appear on your iPhone in due course; but you can force this to happen by going to WhatsApp’s App Store page on your iPhone and tapping Update.
Turn on system-wide Dark Mode
Now you’ve got the right version of WhatsApp, turning on Dark Mode is performed exactly the same way you turn on Dark Mode generally. Go to Settings > Display & Brightness and tap Dark at the top of the screen. WhatsApp will take its cue from iOS and switch to a dark background as soon as you turn on the mode.
You can also access Dark Mode from Control Centre (its icon is the black/white circle) if you’ve told iOS to display it there. If not, go to Settings > Control Centre > Customise Controls, find Dark Mode in the bottom list and tap the green plus sign so it moves to the top list.
Finally – and, we think, most conveniently – you can schedule Dark Mode to activate when it gets dark outside. In Settings > Display & Brightness, tap the toggle next to Automatic so it turns green, then tap Options and select Sunset to Sunrise. (This will then display either Light Until Sunset or Dark until Sunrise, depending on whether or not Dark Mode is currently on.)
If you’d like to use this mode on a non-Apple handset, read the following tutorial by our colleagues on Tech Advisor: How to get WhatsApp dark mode in Android.