WhatsApp’s next update is designed to give your smartphone battery life a boost (and will make late-night texting much easier on the eye!)

  • ‘Dark mode’ converts icons, menus and backgrounds to a darker shade
  • It is designed to dampen the blinding effects of some apps when viewed at night
  • WhatsApp will roll out the feature to users worldwide in its next software update
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WhatsApp is set to introduce a new feature that boosts your battery and makes late-night texting a little easier on the eyes.

The setting, dubbed dark mode, converts icons, menus and backgrounds to darker colours in a bid to dampen the blinding effect they can have when viewed in pitch black conditions.

The tool is also better for battery life as it cuts the brightness used by the smartphone to power the display. 

A slew of popular smartphone apps, including YouTube, Microsoft Outlook and Twitter, have already introduced the feature.

Dark mode, which has already surfaced in the early beta test versions of the next WhatsApp update, is expected to roll-out to users worldwide very soon. 

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WhatsApp is introducing a new feature that boosts your battery and makes late-night texting easier on your eyes. ‘Dark mode’ is set to be rolled out to users worldwide in the next software update released by the Facebook-owned company (stock image)

Like the dark mode already in use by other smartphone apps, the tool aims to cut the amount of blue light that reaches your eyes.

Blue light can disrupt your sleep patterns by meddling with the body’s internal clock, and scientists recommend limiting your exposure to it late at night. 

Dark modes, sometimes known as night mode or dark theme, typically flip the switch on an app’s default colour scheme to achieve this goal. 

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WhatsApp’s plans for a dark mode were sniffed out by technology blog WABetaInfo.

The publication regularly combs through WhatsApp’s beta code to uncover new features and has a solid track record for leaking upcoming WhatsApp features.

In a post to Twitter, the site said: ‘I’m happy to exclusively give the good news: WhatsApp is finally working on a Dark Mode! It’s a dream.

A dark mode setting features on several popular apps including Outlook (left image shows normal, right image shows dark mode), Facebook and Twitter. It converts icons, menus and backgrounds to darker colours to make them easier on your eyes

‘There are many important secret references in recent updates.’

As well as sleep benefits, dark mode also helps your battery last longer.

For those with devices that use OLED screen technology, blacks displayed on the screen will not activate individual pixels – meaning much less power is required.

While dark mode is currently included in the latest beta, this is no guarantee the messaging service will decide to roll-out the tool to its users worldwide.

WhatsApp regularly tests new features that do not make it into the final version of the app update. 

WhatsApp was not immediately available for comment.


Smartphones used before bed can cause restless nights because their light disrupts the body clock (stock image)

Blue light has a bad reputation for its role in disrupting sleep.

Smartphones and other gadgets used before bed can cause restless nights because their light causes melatonin suppression – a chemical which controls the body clock.

But there are some positives, according to a recent study, that looks at how blue light can make the brain more alert if it is used at the right time.

Researchers at Mid Sweden University compared the effects of caffeine and blue light on the brain and found them both to have a positive effect.

Interestingly, people exposed to blue light performed better on tests of brain function that included a distraction.

The same distraction, however, proved too much for caffeine users, who performed poorly.

‘Blue light and caffeine demonstrated distinct effects on aspects of psychomotor function,’ said the authors of the report.

‘It has the potential to positively influence a range of settings where cognitive function and alertness are important.

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