Google products continue to evolve from time to time and YouTube is no different.
The Android version of the app may finally receive the update users have been asking for a long time now, the dark mode.
When using apps, it has been pretty common that you end up using your smartphone in the bedroom at night. Despite reducing the brightness to the lowest possible levels and changing blue lights on your phone, it may not be easy to avoid strain with a bright white app interface. The developers of YouTube Android version did take users’ suggestions into consideration and are working on introducing a dark mode for the app real soon.
While no official confirmation comes from the development team, the Android enthusiasts who wouldn’t stop at nothing tore down the codes in the latest version of the app. They were surprised to find that it contained codes that denoted a dark mode is under development. It is probably in its early stages, not even in beta yet. Watching videos with a bright white background usually makes your eyes tired sooner than they should. The developers already rolled out the black background in YouTube gaming so as to appease gamers and a similar version of the code should now be implemented in the original app.
At the moment, the feature is being identified with a name called Dark Watch which may or may not change with time. It is an internal code name the team is using to identify the dark mode on YouTube Android. Inside the code, there are sentences and commands that read ‘use dark theme’ in the watch panel which confirms that it is indeed the one that you may have been expecting for a very long time.
The problem with introducing such a background is that some icons and text on YouTube become completely invisible when the white background is removed. The autoplay toggle button sometimes look too bright or too dark. The list of suggested videos and the controls on the video don’t look clear either when the mode is switched on which confirms that they are still in early stages making it difficult to talk about this feature.
With millions of videos being streamed every day and users showing massive interest in browsing video content more than text or images these days, YouTube has to be really careful in not alienating their massive fan base when rolling out such new features. Before the dark mode is officially announced and goes into beta, the designers should work on the UI to ensure all the key functions, the buttons and text is clearly visible when everything is turned to black.
A balanced user interface is essential in order to be able to browse the app. After all, users would never be frustrated when they try to find a particular button that is probably still there but invisible because they are using a black background. Another issue is that most users will be switching on the mode only when they are watching videos in total darkness. The brightness level on the controls, next video and other options should be neither too bright nor too dark giving ample work for the designers to do before they can showcase this feature to the world.
While the dark mode for YouTube on Android is still in its beta stages, it is exciting news for all users who have been looking forward to it for a long time. It may take time for the feature to be rolled out but when it does, the reduced brightness will also help OLED screens last longer, like the ones on the Pixel 2.