Some Chromebook dark things


One of the defaults on my Chromebook drove me crazy. Everything was so bright that it was almost painful to use in low light conditions, particularly in the evenings. For years, I’ve had Windows and Macintosh OS display things in dark mode. I just find it so much easier on the eyes.

A long time ago, the only option was to choose a dark theme to apply to the browser but it only applied to the browser. I wanted more.

I was happy when the same sort of functionality became available on the Chromebook. At this point, it’s a flag that’s accessible from chrome://flags and specifically the flag that is here.

Just go to the flags and search for “dark” and you’ll get there quicker.

It’s just a matter of changing “Default” to “Enabled”, rebooting the computer and navigating to the setting where you’ll find this toggle.

Tapping it immediately switches the menus, tabs, and shelf to show as dark. Tap it again in case you forgot how bright the default can be!

My choice, as you can see from the screen capture above, is to have the Dark theme turned on.

There is another setting that overrides remote defaults on webpages and makes them all dark as well with white and contrasting text.

To be honest, while I’ve tried this, I find it just TOO dark and Chrome makes some decisions about what the contrasting colours are. I prefer to leave it off.

The above looks like this…

When I think about it, I guess that it makes sense. Dark Mode is something that ChromeOS has total control and when you ask it to apply dark to other webpages, it just applies its own rules.

While I prefer dark where I can, I find it nicer to let the application adjust itself. For example, I like the fact that Twitter offers a couple of dark options in its configuration. The designers on the remote end will have done the heavy lifting and arranged things that make sense to them.

I like “Dim” instead of “Lights out”.

Who am I or the Chrome browser to override their design decisions?

I do tend to muck about with settings for things that I use regularly. I’ll admit that I’m kind of partial to a dark background except in the WordPress editor and display. I guess that I like the metaphor of screen display as a substitute for paper.

What are your thoughts about dark mode? Do you use it at all? Do you have a philosophy about what works better for you? I’m not a designer so, if you are, I’d be very interested in your insights.

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