Apple launched several new products and features for iPhones and Macs at its annual developers’ summit on Monday, but one of the biggest improvements for many iPhone users was buried in the fine print.
Apple has developed a new and improved dark skin for the iPhone, which it’s calling “redesigned invert colors.”
This new setting will be available to most people in the fall, when Apple pushes the latest version of iOS to most people.
But developers can install iOS 11 now, and they’re discovering that “smart invert” is actually a pretty good dark mode — great for iPhone users who want to use their phone in bed or who simply prefer a darker design. It’s not a full dark mode. Previously, Apple’s invert colors feature was designed for people with accessibility issues, and one of the things it did was invert images — taking the colors you’d expect to see and totally warping them.
This new and improved invert colors doesn’t invert as many images as it did before, and Apple hasn’t removed the old invert mode, in case someone relies on it. But “smart invert” seems to work very well with Apple’s own apps.
The iPhone already has “night shift,” the feature that “warms” the colors on the display, eliminating the so-called blue light that can interfere with your sleep. Inverting the screen’s colors to dark mode might not help you sleep better at night, but it’s a nice way to make your phone glow less brightly in a dark room, so that using your phone at night is less disruptive to others.
But before you install iOS 11, remember it’s still beta software, possibly buggy, and smart invert is not being explicitly billed as a full-fledged dark mode at the moment.
But it’s still something to check out if you try out the iOS 11 beta. It’s in Settings>General>Accessibility>Display Accommodations>Invert Colors.