Early on I installed the beta version of macOS Mojave on my MacBook, because I was looking forward to the dark mode. During testing I immediately noticed that every time I switch between dark and light design, I have to navigate to the settings with a lot of effort. At some point I thought: "This has to be easier, a simpler solution has to be found". The idea for NightOwl was born. At first I started to develop a simple menu bar app that allowed me to switch between the two modes. Since the small tool brought me a lot of added value, I thought that other users could also benefit from my app. I designed a suitable app icon and made the first version of NightOwl available for download.
Dark Mode uses a dark color scheme that works system wide, including with the apps that come with your Mac. Apps from other developers can adopt it, too. If an app doesn't use a dark color scheme when Dark Mode is turned on, it doesn't support Dark Mode, or it has its own settings for working with Dark Mode or controlling its color scheme.
Since I installed Mojave, I've been on a quest to set a dark mode for everything. This includes all the third-party apps I use and frequently visited websites. I also found a utility that automatically enables dark mode at a given time, making it smarter.
Dark Reader is an awesome extension that automatically adds a dark mode to every website. And it has a surprisingly good hit rate. Most of the websites that I visit regularly work well. The background turns dark gray with white text. And you can adjust the brightness and contrast to make the background completely black.
The best part of Dark Reader is how customizable it is. You can create themes or turn off dark mode for individual websites. This is useful for websites that already have a stellar dark mode, like Gmail, YouTube, and others.
The new Gmail update comes with a great new dark theme. Click the Settings icon, select Themes, scroll down, and select the Dark theme. We've covered how to customize Gmail in other ways, too.
There's an amazing collection of dark mode Mac apps that pair well with the stock apps. The best part is that most apps on the list can synchronize their theme based on your system preference. So when you switch from light mode to dark mode in your system preferences, all supported apps will instantly switch to dark mode too!
Ulysses is the best writing app for macOS and the recent update for macOS Mojave brings a new dark theme with an improved contrast ratio. The syntax and links are in blue, which makes them much easier to read.
Fantastical 2 is the preferred calendar solution for those who don't like the stock Calendar app. It's featur- rich, comes with natural language processing, and looks great on Mojave. Its built-in dark theme activates whenever you turn on macOS's dark mode.
Things is a simple yet gorgeous task management app for Apple devices. It takes the complexity of the Getting Things Done system and distills it into a simple UI that's a pleasure to use and look at. Things 3 for macOS has been updated with an equally gorgeous dark theme.
Tweetbot is still the best Twitter client for Mac. The recent Tweetbot 3 update brings a new design and a dark theme. Like many other professional apps on this list, Tweetbot can automatically change the theme based on your macOS theme preference.
Spark's recent update makes it one of the most innovative email apps on macOS. You can now chat with your team members from inside an email and collaborate on emails before sending them out. The new dark mode looks great too.
ReadKit is one of the best RSS readers for macOS. It supports a ton of syncing services and offers great reading customization. Switch to the dark theme and make your RSS reading easy on your eyes. ReadKit can match your system theme as well.
Many professional independent apps on macOS have been updated with a dark theme. If you use an app like iA Writer, AirMail, Todoist, OmniFocus, Sublime Text, Day One, and other favorites, just go to the app's preferences and look for theme options.
Don't forget that dark mode is just one of macOS Mojave's awesome new features. After updating, you should also try out the new stacks feature, dynamic wallpapers, and the refreshed screenshot utility.
Dark Mode changes the appearance of OneNote interface elements from light to dark, which can improve readability in low light environments, increase the legibility of the user interface as well as your notes, and provide better contrast.
To make your Mac darker, click the Control Center icon in the top-right corner of your screen and select Display. Then click Dark Mode and Night Shift to turn them both on. While Dark Mode inverts the colors of certain apps, Night Shift makes your screen look less blue and more yellow.
In iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and tvOS, people often choose Dark Mode as their default interface style, and they generally expect all apps and games to respect their preference. In Dark Mode, the system uses a dark color palette for all screens, views, menus, and controls, and may also use greater perceptual contrast to make foreground content stand out against the darker backgrounds.
Avoid offering an app-specific appearance setting. An app-specific appearance mode option creates more work for people because they have to adjust more than one setting to get the appearance they want. Worse, they may think your app is broken because it doesn't respond to their systemwide appearance choice.
Ensure that your app looks good in both appearance modes. In addition to using one mode or the other, people can choose the Auto appearance setting, which switches between light and dark appearances as conditions change throughout the day, potentially while your app is running.
In rare cases, consider using only a dark appearance in the interface. For example, it can make sense for an app that enables immersive media viewing to use a permanently dark appearance that lets the UI recede and helps people focus on the media.
Soften the color of white backgrounds. If you display a content image that includes a white background, consider slightly darkening the image to prevent the background from glowing in the surrounding Dark Mode context.
Design separate interface icons for light and dark appearances if necessary. For example, an icon that depicts a full moon might need a subtle dark outline to contrast well with a light background, but need no outline when it displays on a dark background. Similarly, an icon that represents a drop of oil might need a slight border to make the edge visible against a dark background.
Make sure full-color images and icons look good in both appearances. Use the same asset if it looks good in both light and dark appearances. If an asset looks good in only one mode, modify the asset or create separate light and dark assets. Use asset catalogs to combine your assets into a single named image.
Dark mode helps make working in Slack easier on your eyes by using a darker, higher-contrast color theme. You can turn on dark mode from your Slack preferences, or sync dark mode in Slack with your operating system (OS) settings on certain devices.
The dark canvas does not convey how your document will print, or the default view your collaborators will see when they open it. To confirm the default view (white canvas), use the Switch Modes button to flip the page color to white. Never want to see a dark canvas? Go to Word > Preferences > General > Personalize and select the Turn off Dark Mode option to disable both the dark Office theme and the dark page color, or the Dark Mode has a white page color option to continue using Dark mode with the white page background.
Apps linked against macOS 10.14 or later should support both light and dark appearances. If you build your app against an earlier SDK, you can still enable Dark Mode support by including the NSRequiresAquaSystemAppearance key (with a value of false) in your app's Info.plis file. Do so only if your app's appearance looks correct when running in macOS 10.14 and later with Dark Mode enabled.
If you want to force complete dark mode everywhere in your app, you can force it by simply adding NSApp.appearance = NSAppearance(named: .darkAqua) to the AppDelegate method applicationDidFinishLaunching()
It generally leaves areas that already have dark backgrounds alone, resulting in a fully Dark Mode design. Fortunately, most email clients that use this method also support Dark Mode targeting, so you can override the client-default dark theme.
So if you already designed your emails to have a dark theme, this scheme will ironically force them to become light. Unfortunately, this is currently the tactic used by some of the more popular email clients, such as Gmail app (iOS), Outlook 2021 (Windows), Office 365 (Windows), and Windows Mail.
In the examples below, you can see the light backgrounds have been converted to dark versions of the original colors and areas that previously had a dark background with light text are now light with dark text.
It is a small application always running in the background and doing for you a great job if you need to switch often from Dark mode to Light mode in a click, without the 3 steps usually necessary to do it in the more canonical way.
In macOS Dark Mode, Mail will automatically set a dark background for messages. If you prefer the light background, go to Mail Preferences > Viewing > and deselect the Use dark backgrounds for messages box.
Similar to Mail, the option to configure your background back to a light one lies in Preferences. Deselect the Use dark backgrounds for note content to bring back the needed contrast.
You might not notice the difference straight away, but the theme will gain darker colors and higher contrast. Try switching between different accent colors over time and see which one works for you best. 2b1af7f3a8