Google has started rolling out dark mode for its search engine on desktop web browsers. Google Search’s dark theme has been in testing since at least December 2020. With the setting turned on, the Google homepage, search results pages, and Search settings will have a dark grey background and light text instead of the typical setup where the background is light or white, and the text is dark.
Dark themes have become popular on many of the world’s biggest social media platforms in recent years, including Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. The biggest apparent benefit is in reducing energy consumption on OLED displays.
Because these screens have individually-lit pixels, each that produces a darker or black background can either be turned down or switched off in dark mode, cutting power usage.
However, most typical laptops or monitors with LCDs won’t benefit from this much as they use CFL or LED backlights that have to be switched on for anything to be visible on the screen. An increasing number of laptop manufacturers have started using OLED displays on their premium devices. More users are therefore expected to benefit from dark mode themses in the future.
Another claim is that dark mode emits less harmful blue light, which can strain our eyes, particularly at night.
This, however, has not been proven in any peer-reviewed scientific studies.
In fact, some argue that dark mode requires your eye’s iris to open up wider to read the text, causing increased strain.
It should be noted that the feature is rolling out over the next few weeks, so it might not be available immediately on your device.
To see if you can use it now, follow these steps:
From the Google Search homepage, select “Settings” at the bottom right.
Alternatively, click the gear icon (Settings) at the top right of a results page.
Select “Search settings” from the list that pops up.
In the tabs on the left, choose “Appearance”.
You will then be able to choose from three settings for your colour scheme:
Device default: Automatically match the colour scheme of your current device.
Dark: Light text on a dark background.
Light: Dark text on a light background.
Select “Save” at the bottom once you have chosen.
MyBroadband tested the feature on a Surface Laptop 3 running Chrome Version 93.0.4577.63 (64-bit) running the latest Windows 11 Beta build.
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