It's been a very long time coming, but it appears that Google is finally ready to release a dark mode interface for the Google Play Store.
Google had intended to release dark versions of all its first-party apps in time for the launch of Android 10, which features a system-wide dark mode that changes all apps' color schemes automatically. However, it seems that a few apps proved particularly time-consuming to adapt, and weren't ready in time for the new operating system's release.
The two major holdouts were Gmail and the Google Play Store, but on September 11, a dark version of Gmail started to appear on phones running Android 10.
Now, XDA Developers reports, a black-themed Play Store is also beginning to roll out on Google Pixel handsets. The new design only seems to be available for a few users so far, but we anticipate it rolling out globally very soon.
If other first-party Google apps are anything to go by, the new design will only be available for Android 10, so Android Pie users will have to stick with the current store for the time being.
Why go dark?
There are three main reasons to try Android 10's dark mode. Firstly, it's easier on the eyes – particularly when you're using your phone at night. The jury is out on whether bright phone screens (and blue light in particular) actually affect the quality of sleep, but it's certainly not pleasant squinting at a bright, white interface in a darkened room.
Secondly, darker phone screens use less power, extending battery life. Google's own research has shown that not only does overall screen brightness has a dramatic effect on power draw, pixel color also has a noticeable impact. At maximum brightness, a white pixel draws far more juice than a black one (which was slightly embarrassing for Google, which until recently had encouraged app developers to keep interfaces as bright and white as possible through its Material Design guidelines).
Finally, and most importantly for some, dark apps just look cooler. Once the new Play Store and Gmail themes roll out worldwide, Android 10 will be Google's best-looking mobile OS to date.