One of the most talked-about features of the latest version of the Android OS is the system-wide dark mode. It has been in the works for quite some time and after enabling dark mode for some apps in the Android Pie, version 9, Google implemented it in Android 10. However, users were surprised to find that the scheduling of the dark mode has been removed in the subsequent beta editions of the OS. There’s now some revelation on why the company decided to withhold the feature. There’s also an indication that the feature may be reinserted when Google releases its next version, Android 11, in 2020.
Scheduling of Dark Mode
Ever since the scheduling of Dark Mode appeared on the first beta versions of Android 10, there was a surfeit of messages on various online forums wanting to know why Google removed the feature. The initial reactions to these concerns were not very forthcoming, except to state that it will be included in the next version. Now, in a note released by someone from within the Android Developer Relations team, some kind of clarification has been given. A person in the know-how says the decision to remove the feature has to do with the timing.
More appropriately, the different time zones in the world mean that the Dark Mode feature will have to first identify the location of the device and then check the daybreak and nightfall timings of that location and switch to the Dark Mode. This gets more complicated when the apps will also be seeking permission to determine the location of the device.
This is in conflict with the security policy Google is trying to adopt, of not giving blanket permissions to apps to access the location of the device. It is possible Google received the other reports as well of people complaining of their phones going into the Dark Mode even during the day time since they may be residing in a different time zone.
Will Rework and Include in Android 11
The issues identified have to be addressed by the developer team at Google. There are two inherent issues here. One is the calculation of the sunrise/sunset timings in each of the zones and the other is to solve the permission issue. So, its back to the drawing table for Google as far as the Dark Mode scheduling is concerned.