How Google Chrome Makes the Web Dark on Android and How to Try Out This Feature

A dark mode is already available in Google Chrome on both mobile and on the desktop, but the search giant wants to push things even further with a feature that would technically make the content on websites dark as well.

Early implementations of this feature have been around for a while in the Canary builds of Google Chrome, but more recently, the company reached another milestone on Android, significantly refining the experience with this dark mode for web content.

In just a few words, what Google wants to do is make the entire web easier on the eyes by simply adjusting colors, like the page backgrounds, turning everything to dark or at least to darker colors.

Needless to say, one big challenge for such a feature is to keep colors untouched in a way that doesn’t affect the experience on websites, especially because this involves changing some settings of each page.

One of the essential parts of this behavior is the page background, which as you can see in the screenshots here, goes completely dark.

But until now, one thing that Google couldn’t get right is adjusting colors in those areas where photos typically reside, in most of the cases ending up inverting colors.

By the looks of things, this issue has been resolved recently, and Google Chrome for Android (Canary) now displays images correctly when this dark mode is being used for web content.

Google Chrome dark web content

However, this is a feature that’s still in experimental stage, so Google would further tune it as we advance towards the moment the company would promote it to a more stable channel.

For now, you can try it out on your Android device by installing the latest Canary build and following the steps below.

The first thing you need to do is install Google Chrome Canary version 77.0.3850.2 or newer – this is the build that I used for the tutorial and everything seems to be working correctly.

Then, in the browser on your Android device, type the following code to access the flags configuration screen:


chrome:flags

In the search box at the top, type the following code to find the flag that enables the dark web content:


Android web contents dark mode

As the flag itself notes, this “enables dark mode on web contents in Android.”

Switching this flag to enabled requires you to reboot the browser, so do that and then the dark mode should be enabled for all content. There’s no visual option in settings to enable or disable this feature, so if you want to turn it off, you’ll have to follow the same steps and switch the flag to disabled.

Google Chrome dark web content

Whenever you load a website, Google Chrome Canary should automatically apply this dark treatment, and the most noticeable part is the black background. Not everything is working properly right now, and some menus could be rendered incorrectly, especially if they are using more complex effects or custom fonts.

On the other hand, this dark content mode has evolved a lot since it was first implemented in Google Chrome, and living proof is this fix for inverted colors. Google has clearly made it a priority, so sooner or later, it should become a key feature of Chrome browser on Android.

Needless to say, the search giant hasn’t provided any ETA as to when it should be ready, but it’s better for the company not be in a rush, as this is something that requires more testing to ensure a smooth browsing experience regardless of website.

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