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Dark mode was admittedly one of my favorite experimental flags in Chrome for Android. Not only did it force web pages to match my device’s dark theme, but it also saved my retinas from catching fire while reading articles at night. So imagine my chagrin when we found out Chrome will be sunsetting dark mode later this year. Luckily, there are other Android browsers in the Play Store that offer their take on dark mode for web content.
Before we get started, it’s worth noting that (with the exception of our honorable mentions) all the browsers on this list are built using Chromium, the same open-source code that powers Google Chrome. That means any of these browsers that leverage Chrome’s forced dark mode flag will possibly also have this feature removed in future updates. That said, the beauty of using open-source code is that developers may find ways to continue to support dark mode, even after Google removes the flag.
Samsung Internet Browser
Whatever your feelings are about Samsung’s first-party apps and software, the Samsung Internet Browser is a real gem that, in many ways, offers a more intuitive mobile browsing experience than Chrome.
To enable dark mode in the Samsung Internet Browser, tap on the hamburger menu in the bottom right corner of your screen, click on the “Dark mode” crescent moon icon, and you’re done. All of the browser’s UI elements, as well as your webpages, will now be rendered with a beautiful black and gray aesthetic.
Opera brings a lot to the table, including a built-in VPN, data saver, crypto wallet, and a native ad blocker (within which you’ll want to whitelist Android Police so you can help us keep the lights on). As of December 2019, Opera even added its own “night mode” that gives the web a dark and sophisticated appearance.
Enable dark mode by tapping on the Opera logo in the bottom right corner of your screen, followed by “Settings,” then “Night mode.” In the next menu, you’ll need to check “Use dark theme” and “Dark web pages.” Since Opera originally built night mode to be used as a bedtime web surfing companion, you’ll also want to scale back the color temperature and dimming settings to give your browsing experience an authentic dark mode feel.
Unlike its robust desktop counterpart, Vivaldi for Android was lacking in features when the beta version first launched in September 2019. That grievance has since been remedied with broader start page options, a slick search widget, Chromebook support, and most recently, a bold new dark mode.
You can get dark mode set up by tapping on the Vivaldi icon in the top right corner of your screen, followed by “Settings.” Halfway down the settings menu, you’ll find “Themes” listed under the “Appearance” section. Inside, you’ll want to enable the “Dark” theme and check “Dark mode for Web Pages.”
Kiwi Browser remains to be one of the only Chromium-based mobile browsers that supports Chrome extensions, a feature that has dubiously remained missing from Google’s mobile offerings. Kiwi has also supported dark mode for several years. To activate it, simply select the triple-dot menu in the top right corner of your screen and tap “Turn on Night Mode.” That’s it!
However, a big asterisk here: Kiwi Browser hasn’t been updated since late 2019. That means it is currently running on an outdated version of Chromium, making Kiwi susceptible to potential security threats that have since been patched in the source code. Use this app at your own risk.
Honorable mentions: Firefox and Tor Browser
Firefox and Tor Browser for Android don’t natively come with dark mode, but unlike many mobile browsers, they support add-ons akin to browser extensions. To get dark mode running on Firefox and Tor Browser, navigate to Firefox’s add-on marketplace, install Dark Reader, and get it set up.
This solution is pretty far from perfect at the moment, particularly since Firefox’s main home screen, status bar, and menus only come in bright white. This will change once the Firefox for Android Beta redesigntrickles down into the stable version. Alternatively, you can use Firefox for Android Beta today if you feel so bold, but for now, the stable version is stuck with some glaring white elements.
Tor Browser, on the other hand, does support dark UI throughout its app, but the overall browsing experience can feel pretty sluggish, given its abundant privacy features. Regardless, both browsers can somewhat support dark mode in a pinch.