Google is working on adding support to Chrome for dark mode in macOS Mojave. Although the new feature is available now as an early beta, Google has a number of problems to solve to make the new feature work …

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In a succinct bug report, a developer summarises the situation.

macOS 10.14 introduced “dark mode”, which swaps the system color palette to a dark scheme. Chrome doesn’t currently support this. We need to:

1) Figure out how dark mode should look in the Refresh look 2) Implement it

One particular challenge for Chrome is that it currently uses its own app-specific dark mode to signal incognito mode.

I think the main concern here is how the dark mode for Mojave will be distinguishable from Incognito mode. Moreover, Chrome pages (such as New Tab Page, Settings, History, etc.) and maybe the submenus of Bookmark Bar and 3-dot menu should also support dark mode to fully support.

Additionally, Google can’t use some of the workarounds it has with incognito mode.

Before the new dark mode, there was a problem with how browser actions looked in darker UI (mainly in Incognito mode, and when dark themes are used). And now, with the adding of the new dark mode, this problem will become more annoying for a lot more users.

For Incognito mode (which is currently dark), developers used to call `chrome.browserAction.setIcon()` for every tab and use a lighter browser action icon when the tab is in an incognito window. But this workaround can’t be used to deal with dark themes, nor with the new dark mode, because there is no clue if the current theme is light or dark, and whether Mojave’s dark mode is turned on or off.

An early version of it can currently be enabled in the latest version of Chrome Canary, though many of the colors are simply placeholders for now. Download Canary, then run the following Terminal command:

/Applications/Google\ Chrome\ Canary.app/Contents/MacOS/Google\ Chrome\ Canary --force-dark-mode

If you haven’t yet tried Dark Mode in Mojave, check out our how-to-guide.


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