How to Use Google Photos in Dark Mode on iPhone and iPad

How to Use Google Photos in Dark Mode on iPhone and iPad

Google Photos is a great alternative to the native Photos app on iPhone and iPad. Fantastic image viewing and editing features, combined with unlimited photo and video backups, make it an absolute must on your device.

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But what was sorely lacking in Google Photos was a dark mode. Most native and third-party apps have displayed darker color schemes for some time. Interaction with Google Photos therefore created a mixed experience, especially late at night.

Fortunately, Google has finally added support for dark mode with Google Photos version 4.49. If you are using an iPhone or iPad with iOS 13 / iPadOS or higher installed, you should have no problem using the app in dark mode.

Activating dark mode in Google Photos

Before you start using Google Photos in dark mode, be sure to update the app – it must run on version 4.49 or higher to work in dark mode. Go to the App Store, search for Google Photos, and then tap Update. Once Google Photos is up to date, you’re ready to go.

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The functionality of dark mode in Google Photos is related to the color scheme of the system of your iPhone and iPad. So you have to switch the interface of your iPhone or iPad to dark mode, and Google Photos will automatically change the color theme.

If you’ve been using iOS 13 or iPadOS for a while, you may already know how dark mode works on your device. Start by opening the Control Center on your iPhone or iPad. On iPhones with Face ID, this requires a swipe down gesture in the upper right corner of the screen – the same gesture applies to all iPads running iPadOS. If you’re using an iPhone with a Home button, swipe up from the bottom of the screen instead.

On the Control Center, perform a Haptic Touch (long press) or a 3D Touch gesture on the light bar – once it has zoomed, press the Dark Mode icon at the bottom of the screen.

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And voila! This should activate dark mode for the entire device, which includes Google Photos and other supported apps.

Point: You can also configure your iPhone or iPad with a schedule in dark mode that will automatically trigger at night and turn off during the day.

The Google Photos app looks great in dark mode and is a feast for the eyes. It is well implemented throughout the application – you can find it in the four main tabs, the Settings panel, the photo editing screen, etc. Even the fonts look slightly gray and are not visible on the dark background.

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In addition to the aesthetics, the use of an application in dark mode improves the battery life of iPhones with OLED screens. However, the dark mode in Google Photos is not really “ dark ” – if you look closer, it is at best a deep grayish. The color still looks fantastic, but only the perfect black pixels count towards battery savings. Bummer.

There is no signing option to activate dark mode in Google Photos. You must turn on dark mode for the entire iPhone or iPad, even if you only want to use Google Photos in dark mode.

However, you can make the whole process of changing the color mode a little easier. To do this, you must place a Dark Mode control in the main area of ​​the Control Center.

Start by going to iPhone / iPad Settings> Control Center> Personalize controls. From this screen, add the dark mode to the list of active commands.

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You can then remove the Control Center and quickly activate / deactivate dark mode when using Google Photos. Beats in front of Haptic Touch or 3D Touch the light bar. It also works for other applications.

Google Photos in Dark Mode – iOS 12 and earlier

If your iPhone or iPad is not capable of running at least iOS 13 or iPadOS, then don’t give up hope. You can still use Google Photos in dark mode using the Smart Invert feature built into iOS 12 and earlier.

Smart Invert works by inverting the colors on your screen to generate a dark mode effect. But he’s smart enough to leave the images alone.

Just go to the iPhone / iPad Settings app> General> Accessibility> Accessibility shortcut, then enable Smart Invert Colors as an accessibility shortcut.

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Whenever you want to use Google Photos or any other application, in dark mode, press the Home button or the Power button three times (on devices with Face ID). To deactivate Smart Invert, triple-click the Home or Power button again.

Don’t stay too late

Google Photos looks great in dark mode. Finally, you can use it at night without having your eyes blinded. However, Google Photos needs its own separate dark mode toggle – photo gallery apps usually look great in dark mode, but having to change color modes for the entire iPhone isn’t enough. And what about a few perfect black pixels? Battery life is also important.


Can anyone else see your images stored in Google Photos? See the next article to find out.

Last updated on May 1, 2020

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