Gmail for Android gains buggy dark theme in settings

Apps & Updates

Gmail for Android


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Many Google apps now feature dark themes ahead of system-level support in Android Q. In recent weeks, more and more G Suite services have been updated, with the latest dark theme partially live in Gmail for Android.

Version 2019.06.09 (via Android Police) of Gmail widely rolled out yesterday with the early stages of a dark mode. If “Dark Theme” in Android Q or “Night mode” in Developer options” on Pie is enabled, opening “Settings” from the bottom of the navigation drawer will reveal the early stages of a darker look.

Visually, it is not usable yet, with black text displayed on a gray background, while the “Settings” title does not appear in the app bar. That bug is also present in “General settings” and account pages, however, the list of options is legible.

Preference titles use a darker shade of gray, while descriptions are slightly brighter. Checkboxes have been tinted to a darker shade of blue. The overflow menu on this page gets a similar treatment.

gmail settings dark theme 1
gmail settings dark theme 2
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This is currently the extent of dark theme in Gmail settings. It’s still buggy, with a close of the application from Recents occasionally required to view the dark mode.

The main inbox view, account switcher, and emails have yet to be themed. It’s not clear how Google will handle messages since newsletters and other correspondences are often image-heavy and feature white backgrounds that cannot be easily changed. This is a similar dilemma to Gmail on the desktop web where theming is available for the general UI, but not for message bodies.

Overall, the dark theme for Gmail settings is similar to Google Keep’s, which just rolled out last month. There will presumably be a preference to enable manually, with Gmail likely also respecting device preferences. Like Google Calendar and Drive, this will be a very welcome addition.

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