Earlier today, we reported on WebKit’s mailing list suggesting that iOS 12 will support iPhone 5s. Following that, I decided to look into WebKit’s source code to see what else could be found about future Apple releases. For those who don’t know, WebKit is the engine behind Safari on both macOS and iOS, it’s developed in the open so it’s natural that it will eventually hint at future iOS and macOS features.

New code implemented in March seems to suggest that macOS will get some sort of system-wide dark mode on 10.14. The code in question is designed to adapt WebKit’s rendering of a website based on the effective appearance of the application. Appearances are the way through which macOS can change the look of UI components like buttons and lists based on assets provided by the system.

There is a “dark mode” appearance already present on macOS since El Capitan, but it’s only used when the app developer opts into using it explicitly, this was demonstrated by a previous experiment of mine showing several of Apple’s apps running with this dark mode applied.

Having the concept of a system appearance means Apple is working on a way to change the appearance of apps globally, although there are no direct references to a dark mode (for obvious reasons), but the most likely reason for the existence of an API like this is a dark mode.

While this is not a definitive confirmation, it’s definitely a significant hint at a system-wide dark mode coming with macOS 10.14. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any similar references for iOS 12.

Do you want dark mode on macOS and iOS? Let us know in the comments.

WebKit source code

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About the Author

Guilherme Rambo

I solve Apple’s mysteries for @9to5mac.