Dark mode is everywhere. Both Android 10 and iOS 13 added the feature natively, and many of your favorite apps now include the option. So far, Google has been on a mission to add it to all their apps, and we just got another one, Google Photos.
As with all of Google's dark mode apps, this is more of gray background instead of a true black. However, don't let this deter you. Even with this color, you still get the battery saving benefits of dark mode. For now, Google hasn't included a toggle within the app, so unlike Messages and Dialer, it isn't as straightforward. But in a few steps, you can enjoy the cool new look in your Photos app.
You will need the latest version of Google Photos. Go to the "My Apps" section in the side menu of your Play Store app and see if there's an update button next to Google Photos. If there is, select this button to update Photos. I tested this feature on v.4.18, so as long as Google Photos is running this version or newer, you will be able to use dark mode.
- Play Store Link: Google Photos (free)
If the update isn't available on the Play Store for you just yet, you can sideload the new version from APKMirror. This is a trusted site that hosts APK files that were pulled directly from the Play Store, so there's no malware risk and you will continue to receive updates to Google Photos from the Play Store in the future.
- APK Link: Google Photos (APKMirror)
Unlike other Google apps, there is no toggle for dark mode in the Google Photos' settings. Instead, you'll need to take advantage of the night mode toggle in Developer Options, which is why this feature requires Android 9.0 or higher (the toggle wasn't added until 9.0).
By default, the Developer Options menu isn't accessible. You will need to unlock it first by going to Settings –> About Phone, then tapping "Build Number" seven times in rapid succession. If you'd like more help, we have an in-depth tutorial on how to activate Developer Options at the link below.
- More Info: How To Unlock Developer Options on Android
Now, from your phone's main Settings page, open the Developer Options menu. If Developer Options does not appear on the main Settings list, open the "System" sub-menu, then tap "Advanced" (if present) and choose Developer Options from there.
Once inside the Developer Options menu, scroll down just a little bit and select "Night Mode." Then, from the popup, select "Always on."
Open Google Photos, and now, instead of a white background, you will see a black one. Not only does it look cool, but will save you battery as well, especially if your phone has an OLED panel (such as AMOLED or POLED).