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Chrome for Android may bring dark mode to Google Search results

Even before the launch of Android 10, Google has been putting special focus on bringing dark mode to its apps and services, especially on Android. Now Chrome for Android is working to bring dark mode to the Google Search results page in something of an unusual way.

Google Chrome for Android has had a dark mode of its own, for over a year now, darkening nearly every part of the app’s UI including the Discover Feed on the New Tab Page. With that in mind, it can be somewhat frustrating to perform a Google Search in your sleek and dark Chrome and be presented with a blindingly white search results page.

It seems Google is preparing to shake up the status quo, according to a new code change added late this evening to the Chromium source code repository. The code will add a new flag to chrome://flags, which offers a fairly straightforward description.

Show the dark SRP for Chrome Android

If enabled, users will see a darkened search results page if Chrome is in night mode as well.


If we take the description at face value, in the near future Google’s search results page will have a dark theme, most likely akin to the dark theme offered by the Google Search app on Android. It seems strange, though, that changes would need to be made to Chrome to make this happen, rather than to the Google Search website itself.

There are, of course, easier and arguably more effective ways that Google could accomplish this goal of darkening the search results page than modifying Chrome. For example, most modern web browsers are able to toggle websites between their light and dark schemes based on their device’s dark mode setting, through the “prefers-color-scheme” feature of CSS. Using this would allow other browsers like Firefox and Safari to take advantage of the dark theme automatically.

For now, we can’t be sure what specifically Google is changing in Chrome to make this happen, as no related code changes have been posted as of yet. One plausible theory I have is that Chrome may opt to use its built-in ability to “force” websites to be dark, as demonstrated on Google Search below. Needless to say, we’ll be keeping an eye out for more details over the coming weeks.

What Google websites would you like to see get a dark theme? Let us know down in the comments.

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Avatar for Kyle Bradshaw Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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