How To: Make All Your iPhone Apps Work with iOS 13's Dark Mode

Make All Your iPhone Apps Work with iOS 13's Dark Mode

The biggest feature in the iOS 13 update is a new system-wide Dark Mode. It's a simple switch that you enable to turn system menus and Apple apps dark, but it can also darken third-party apps if their developers elect to support it. Trouble is, most haven't yet, so half of your apps likely still have a blinding white background.

The worst part of this situation is how rampant the issue is. Even big-name apps like Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, Google Maps, Snapchat, and Uber haven't added support for Dark Mode yet. But you don't have to condone this unfinished aesthetic — there's a way to turn all of your non-compliant apps dark right now.

First, open the Settings app and go to "Accessibility." From there, select "Display & Text Size," then scroll down on the following page and enable the toggle next to "Smart Invert." Now you're all set!

You might have used Smart Invert in the past and found it a little inconsistent, but there's some good news: it now works hand-in-hand with the system-wide Dark Mode. If an app or menu was already darkened by the system-wide switch, it won't invert the colors unless there are portions of the app that haven't been darkened with the rest. So it only changes things if the apps (or sections of the apps) were still white, making it a perfect stopgap while third-party apps catch up with Apple.

For those who haven't used Smart Invert before, its name tells most of the story. When enabled, colors are inverted in non-dark apps, so white backgrounds become black. The "Smart" part of its name refers to the fact that it doesn't invert the colors of certain elements like images, which would look pretty weird. You will find some places here and there where it inverted a color you'd rather it not, but overall, it's a great solution to iOS 13's "black and white" problem.

Smart Invert turning Instagram (left) and Facebook (right) dark despite their lack of support for Apple's official Dark Mode.

Just updated your iPhone? You'll find new features for Podcasts, News, Books, and TV, as well as important security improvements and fresh wallpapers. Find out what's new and changed on your iPhone with the iOS 17.5 update.

Cover image and screenshots by Dallas Thomas/Gadget Hacks

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