An update to the official Wikipedia app for iOS is currently rolling out with an all-new “Black” reading theme for iPhone X. The new display feature, which accompanies the existing dark mode, has been developed specifically with OLED devices in mind, according to the developers.
Not only does the true black theme look good on the new iPhone’s 5.8-inch display, it also potentially offers energy-saving benefits, since black pixels in an OLED panel basically switch off and consume far less power, giving avid Wikipedia readers another reason to use the official app over the website.
In addition to the new theme, the Wikipedia app update promises faster article loading and less data use. The speed improvements are mostly down to the fact that images are no longer pre-loaded and now only download when they’re about to be displayed or saved.
Wikipedia is just the latest app to add a true black theme to its display options, with other popular apps like Twitterrific and Bear Notes also having included similar features in the last few weeks.
A native Dark or “Night” mode for iOS is one of the most popular long-running user requests, but Apple has yet to officially add support for such a feature, despite the added technological rationale for one on iPhone X.
The closest option for iOS 11 users is the “Smart Invert” accessibility feature, which is basically a tweaked version of the classic “Invert Colors” that aims to avoid inverting colors in images, although it’s pretty inconsistent in this regard. The option can be found in the Settings app in General -> Accessibility -> Display Accommodations -> Invert Colors.
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The official Wikipedia app for iOS [Direct Link] has been updated this week with an all-new dark mode, letting users adjust the app for better Wikipedia browsing and reading in low-light environments. Aside from expected darker colors, the new dark mode is said to include “image dimming,” so brighter pictures aren’t as harsh when scrolling through Wikipedia entries.
A separate option in sepia colors is available now as well, and Wikipedia said that users will also be able to adjust text size in appearance controls.
Dark mode! Read in comfort with new Appearance controls, including dark colors and image dimming. Make those late night Wikipedia sessions easier on the eyes. Choose between sepia, dark or white themes to read Wikipedia your way!
The version 5.6 update also introduced an iMessage sticker pack for Wikipedia users, and a few new ways for readers to explore and discover new articles. In the Explore feed, an “on this day” card will highlight interesting events that happened on the day in question throughout history, with a timeline that users can scrub through to see other events on the same day.
Standalone iOS apps have been gaining support for dark mode individually over the years, although a system-wide solution introduced on Apple’s part remains omitted from any version of iOS. The upcoming launch of iOS 11 will include a new “Smart Invert” feature in accessibility options, reversing the display’s colors with an overall effect that’s similar to what users want out of dark mode. But the feature doesn’t extend to all UI elements in iOS 11, including exceptions related to images, media, and some apps.