Apps

How to experience ‘Dark Mode’ in Google Chrome

Here’s a simple guide

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Dark mode is not new, but it’s becoming really popular. With more people appreciating how easy it is to the eyes with a dark background, we get flooded with questions asking how to activate this mode. Facebook recently rolled out its dark mode feature for its popular Messenger app, which triggered the curiosity of clueless users.

Another well-known desktop application will soon have its official dark mode: Google Chrome. There’s no exact release date yet for the browser’s upcoming feature, but there are ways to experience it now. If you use Chrome, you might find these tips very useful.


Apply “Just Black” theme

There are a lot of black or dark themes on the Chrome Web Store. Even before dark mode was a thing, black themes were already available for Chrome, at least for its desktop version. Although, not all dark themes are created equal. There are some that aren’t dark enough and some are too complicated.

Just Black theme | Image credit: Google

Thankfully, there’s no need to dig inside the Themes section of the Web Store because Google has its own dark theme called Just Black. The theme is available to download for free and it’s one of the 14 official themes made by Google’s Chrome team.

Like other themes available in the Web Store, the Just Black theme skins the surface of the browser including the title bar, start page, and tabs. What’s not darkened are the drop-down menus and the settings panel. If you want a deeper dark mode, check out the next option.

Try out Google Canary

In order to try out the official dark mode that’ll come to Chrome in the coming months, you’ll have to be adventurous and “get on the bleeding edge of the web.” I’m not talking about Chrome Beta or Chrome Dev; the official dark mode is in such an early stage that you’ll have to download Chrome Canary. This version of Chrome is experimental, but it’s usable.

Chrome Canary 74 in dark mode | GadgetMatch

Canary’s dark mode is dynamic and it adjusts accordingly to your operating system’s setting. Both Windows and macOS have their respective dark options, so you’ll have to turn them on in order to activate Canary’s dark mode.

As mentioned, the official dark mode of Canary goes deeper, which means even the settings panel and menus are darkened. It’s slightly different from the Just Black theme and is more similar to the dark mode of Android Pie and YouTube. The official dark mode has gray tones with blue highlights.

Chrome Canary can be very unstable, but it gives you an early look at the upcoming dark mode for Google’s well-loved browser.

Go incognito

One of the earliest and easiest tricks to enjoying a dark-themed Chrome is to hit Ctrl+Shift+N or select “New incognito window” from the browser’s menu. Incognito mode has been around for years and it saves us a trip to the delete button in the browser’s History section. 😉

If you’re using the default theme of Chrome, the instant dark theme of incognito also helps in distinguishing which of your Chrome windows is not recording your visits.

Bonus: Dark mode for all websites

Even if your theme is now dark, it doesn’t mean that the websites you’ll visit will darken as well. Most websites today have a plain white background (like ours) which means it’ll contrast with your dark theme. If you prefer to make the websites dark as well, there’s an extension for that.

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The extension is aptly called Dark Mode and it’s free on the Chrome Web Store. It adds a toggle beside the browser’s omnibar. It works on most websites, but it’s not perfect in some cases. Still, it helps reduce eye strain when you’re browsing a website in the dark.

SEE ALSO: Here’s how you can enjoy Dark Mode on Facebook Messenger

Apps

Google rolls out Dark mode to G Suite apps on Android

A feature meant for Android Q

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Image credit: Google

With Android Q‘s release already on the horizon, Google has started making changes to its core apps to support it. One of its anticipated features is the system-wide Dark Theme. Thankfully, even Google’s first-party apps will have their own Dark mode.

In a blog post, Google announced the rollout of Dark mode for two of its Android apps: Calendar and Keep. Basically, the brightly made Calendar and Keep apps will now be friendlier to use in dim environments with less strain to the eyes.


To activate the Dark mode for Google Calendar, just head over to Settings > General > Theme, and select Dark mode. On Google Keep, simply go to the app’s Settings menu and select Enable Dark Mode.

Dark mode for Calendar is only supported on devices running Android 7 Nougat and higher, while Keep’s Dark mode will work on older phones running Android 5 Lollipop and newer.

Those who have Android Q Beta with Dark Theme activated will have Dark mode for both Calendar and Keep apps turned on by default.

The update will be rolled out to compatible Android devices over the course of 15 days, according to Google.

SEE ALSO: Latest Android Q Beta is now available on Pixel phones and 15 other devices

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Minecraft Earth is like Pokémon Go but with building blocks

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In a move that makes loads of sense, Minecraft is coming to mobile though an augmented reality app similar to Pokémon Go.

It’s called Minecraft Earth and it’s arriving later this year with a beta phase happening during summer. The developers offered this trailer, but it does little to explain how the system would work.


Check it out:

The official website’s FAQ section, however, delves into more of the info we actually care about.

For one, it’ll be free to play and will include several of Minecraft‘s traditional features including world building and discovering/fighting mobs.

Concerning regional availability, the developers aren’t confirming these details just yet. If it’s anything like the issues Niantic experienced with Pokémon Go before, chances are this rollout will be gradual, too.

Finally, for the “Will Minecraft Earth have loot boxes?” question, the website has a definite “No” to answer that.

Minecraft Earth will be available on both Android and iOS. Fingers crossed that there’ll be no delays. 🤞

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Apps

The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World through augmented reality

A new way to experience Lady Liberty on your iPhone

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The quintessential American landmark, the Statue of Liberty is a shining beacon that enlightens the world. Despite today’s polarizing times, she has become a true symbol of liberty throughout the years, not just for Americans but for citizens of the world.

Today on the same island where she is perched, the new Statue of Liberty Museum opens its doors to the millions of tourists that come to see her each year. But in recognition that not everyone can visit, the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation is also unveiling an AR app for your iPhone. Anyone, anywhere, can experience the statue’s grandeur.


A grand view of Libertas’ torch

On her right, the Statue of Liberty holds up a torch which symbolizes enlightenment and the path to liberty. Though visitors could originally climb up and experience the statue from the torch, it has been closed off to the public since 1916. The Statue of Liberty app will allow us to once again enjoy the breathtaking cityscape from this vantage point from sunrise to sunset.

The makings of the statue

Designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi with the framework by Gustave Eiffel, the Statue of Liberty is an engineering marvel. 125 tons of steel and 31 tons of copper comprise the statue which used to glisten like a penny. The current patina green coating comes from copper oxidizing.

See everything with your own eyes via the Statue of Liberty AR app: how the color changed, how the insides were built, and even a life-sized model for scale.

A look throughout the years

Strategically built at the “gateway to America”, the Statue of Liberty has born witness to a significant chunk of New York’s history. On the app you can look through her eyes in an almost 180-degree field of view and watch the changing of the times from 1886 to the present day. Watch the Manhattan skyline rise and fall including that poignant moment from 2001. It’s all there, 200 years of change and progression from the viewpoint of Lady Liberty.

The hows and the whys

The creation of the Statue of Liberty was no easy feat. A private venture that maximized crowdfunding efforts not just from the elite, the statue is truly an icon that each American can call their own. Exclusive content on the app tells us the story in detail and narrates the journey from inception, to France, and finally to America.

If you can, you should also check out the 3-part short film at the new museum’s Immersive Theater. One will surely walk away with a better appreciation for Lady Liberty and all she stands for.

Raising the Torch, a limited-series podcast narrated by Diane von Furstenberg, is also now available for your listening pleasure. The saga tells the Statue of Liberty’s history, continuing story, and evolving significance.

You can download the app on the App Store here.

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