A new iPhone feature lets you switch your display to a
form of “dark mode,” meaning the screen appears black instead
The feature is an accessibility setting called “smart
It works well in Apple-made apps, but won’t work
correctly in most third-party apps.
Thanks to a new feature in iOS 11, you can finally give your
iPhone a form of “dark mode.”
Called “smart invert,” the tool lives inside your phone’s
accessibility settings and changes the appearance of your screen.
Rather than a white background, the screen will look black
instead, and some other colors will change, too.
Lots of other apps and platforms have a true “dark mode,” like
Twitter and even the Mac desktop. But iPhones have only ever
offered the feature as an accessibility option for those who
are vision impaired, and it hasn’t always worked well for
everyone. Apple’s previous color-invert feature reversed
every color on your phone, so green apps appear
purple, red apps appear blue, and for those who aren’t
vision impaired, everything generally looks like you’re seeing it
through night-vision goggles.
With smart invert, white backgrounds switch to black, but
rather than swapping out every color for its opposite on the
color wheel, the feature only swaps some, or simply dims
them — making them appear slightly duller than normal.
To turn on smart invert, go to Settings > General >
Accessibility > Display Accommodations > Invert Colors >
Here’s how it looks using Google Maps:
It’s the same old Google Maps you know and love, but the colors
are fun and different, and the app itself is easier on your eyes,
though it takes some getting used to.
And here it is in Apple Music:
It’s worth noting that while smart invert works on some
third-party apps — Facebook, Google Maps, and Email by Edison
Mail among them — it doesn’t work well with others. When trying
it on Instagram and Pinterest, smart invert swapped the
colors in every photo, giving them the night-vision effect. So
while those apps will still work, it may be best to use smart
invert only at night or in dark rooms.