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Almost any app, whether desktop or mobile, has a dark mode feature these days. Dark mode essentially makes the background of a program a dark gray or blue with the text in contrast.

Google Contacts version 3.2, the latest update, comes with a new dark mode setting. The update may not be on all devices yet. Contacts follows the Google News app redesign in October.

According to Android Authority, Contacts' dark mode will stay on if the user has "Set Night Mode" switched to "Always On."

SEE: How the advantages of 'dark mode' can help your health, your phone, and your wallet

With more apps moving to dark mode, Google might be following suit after negative feedback about its Material Design updates. One app's update that got a few complaints was the Calculator app.

It makes more sense for developers to add a dark mode option to their apps, besides the popularity factor. Having a dark mode display option decreases eye strain, disrupts sleep less, saves on battery life, and aggravates some medical conditions less.

Googled homed in on the battery saving benefits of dark mode displays at the Android Dev Summit this year.

"We know that users care deeply about their battery life and the display tends to be the biggest power user of your device," Chris Banes, an engineer in Android Developer Relations and Google said.

With a chart, Banes showed the linear connection between higher display brightness and more power consumed. Banes said the difference between OLED and LCD screens have a bearing on battery life too.

"On the Pixel itself, because it's an OLED display, the actual power usage drops down by 63 percent, which is huge," Banes said. "That's 63 percent of the biggest power user on your device, just by using a dark theme."

In the US alone, 95 percent of Americans have a cell phone of some kind, 77 percent are smartphones. The number jumped from 35 percent in 2011.

All of that adds up to a big potential impact for dark mode if it lives up to the advantages that Google and others are touting.

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Takeaways

  1. The latest version of Google Contacts includes a dark mode display.
  2. At the Android Dev Summit this year, Google confirmed a dark mode display increases device battery life.

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Shelby is an Associate Writer for CNET's Download.com. She served as Editor in Chief for the Louisville Cardinal newspaper at the University of Louisville. She interned as Creative Non-Fiction Editor for Miracle Monocle literary magazine. Her work appears in Glass Mountain Magazine, Bookends Review, Soundings East, and on Louisville.com. Her cat, Puck, is the best cat ever.