Google has officially announced dark mode for Android Q at I/O and has updated the Material Guidelines telling developers how to properly implement the theme in their apps. But of course, there’s always going to be some apps that simply won’t receive a gray look, be it because it’s abandoned or just not a priority to the developer. To test how the OS could circumvent these, Android Q beta 3 introduces a brute method that forces all apps into dark mode.

The feature is available in the developer settings or by searching for the keyword override force-dark (after first opting into developer settings, naturally). When the dark theme is activated, all interface elements on your screen receive intelligently reversed colors, similar to Chrome’s experimental dark mode tests at the beginning of the year. For some apps, this ends up looking neither good nor functional, but take a look yourself.

As you can see, it’s hit or miss for now. Bad examples include Telegram and Whatsapp, with both not really going dark, and Telegram’s text becoming unreadable. But I like the way the Google app and Instagram look and hope for a similar official implementation soon. WebViews and Google Chrome remain completely untouched by this mode.

Right now, the forced theme also interferes with the standard white mode, as whites end up staying inverted here, too. This is the case for Google Feed, among others. Obviously, this feature is still a work in progress and might very well disappear or improve before Android Q launches later this year.

  • Thanks:
  • Jordi,
  • Armando,
  • Jonathan