How to Enable the Hidden Dark Mode in iOS 11

How to Enable the Hidden Dark Mode in iOS 11 Credit: 9to5Mac

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While iOS 11 includes a bunch of amazing new features, there’s still one feature that many users have been anticipating: A true dark mode that switches the color of interfaces from a light theme to a dark theme, thereby reducing the strain on your eyes when using your iPhone in dark environments.

iOS 11 brings this feature, to a limited extent, with a new option known as Smart Invert. It’s the closest thing to dark mode, but it’s not quite there yet. Smart Invert is an improved version of the old Invert Colors feature present in iOS 10. It is an Accessibility feature that reverses the color of interfaces for users with vision impairments.

The main difference between Smart Invert and the old Invert Colors feature, is that the former is smart enough to avoid reversing the color of images and media, as well as the color of interfaces that are already dark, such as the Clock app.

When you enable Smart Invert, it mimics the functionality of dark mode by changing the color of interfaces to a darker shade. If you’ve been striving for a dark mode feature in iOS 11, then Smart Invert is the closest thing to fulfill your needs. Here’s how you can enable Smart Invert in iOS 11.

How to Enable Smart Invert in iOS 11

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Go to General > Accessibility.

  3. Scroll down and tap on Accessibility Shortcut.

  4. Find Smart Invert Colors and tap it. You should now see a blue check mark.

  5. Press the Home button in rapid succession three times. Tap “Enable” if prompted. Your screen has now entered Smart Invert mode, a.k.a. dark mode.

  6. Press the Home button rapidly three more times to turn Smart Invert off.

Now when you open certain apps, you’ll notice that a dark theme has been applied to their interface, which mimics the functionality of dark mode. Some stock apps such as Settings and the Phone app look pretty good with Smart Invert enabled, though it doesn’t go well with other apps such as Safari where the color of images are also inverted.

Read iOS 11 Guide
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