I like apps that provide me with the ability to activate a dark mode that goes easy on the eyes when it is really dark around. Thankfully, there is no shortage of apps on iOS that support the switch to a dark(er) theme.
There are, however, differences as to how the actual switch between themes is triggered. The general approach for controlling the switch between themes can be subdivided into three groups:
– DYI: the user is expected to explicitly decide when to switch between light and dark mode and then perform a gesture or go to the settings and flip a switch that toggles dark mode (Overcast, Pocket Casts, Editorial, Fantastical).
– GPS: The activation of the dark mode is computed out of the geolocation of the device (Twitterrific, Hello Weather, Instapaper).
– The dark mode is activated when the screen brightness falls below a certain (in ideal cases, user-defined) threshold (OmniFocus, Drafts, Tweetbot, Pocket, iBooks).
In some (rare) cases, apps implement a mixture, i.e. support a brightness-based and an explicit switch between light and dark mode.
In terms of my personal ranking, I like the brightness-based approach most, followed by the explicit switching.
The GPS-based switch really puzzles me. I mean, It’s not that we don’t have light in our homes after sunset. So why would you want to switch from a light to a dark theme just because that big glowing fusion reactor is no longer visible for the rest of the day?
In reality, apps require access to location services for the sole purpose of being able to switch themes sometimes around dusk or dawn. Not great news for the battery.