(Pocket-lint) - WhatsApp, the popular messaging app, finally gets dark mode. Hurrah! It will begin rolling out from 3 March 2020 for both Apple and Android phones.

With Apple having introduced dark mode in iOS 13 for iPhone, then for iPad with iPadOS, and Google having introduced dark mode from Android 10, we've been waiting for a number of apps to follow suit and offer the dark background.

WhatsApp will benefit from visually fitting into your OS's dark mode, not flashing bright white light while opening messages in dim conditions, and potentially draining less battery life as a result.

But how do you activate it? First, be sure to check the app has updated in the App Store / on Google Play.

WhatsApp dark mode for Apple iPhone / iPad

If you're an iPhone user and have iOS 13 with dark mode enabled then WhatsApp will follow suit. The app uses the same dark grey colour palette, as per the rest of the system.

If you've not got dark mode activated, take the following steps (users not on iOS 13 will be unable to do this without first updating their OS):

  • Open Control Centre (swipe upwards from bottom of the home screen)
  • Tap-and-hold the brightness indicator until it enlarges
  • Tap 'Appearance Dark' to switch to dark mode

If you prefer WhatsApp to remain in white/light mode then you'll have to adapt your operating system accordingly, as iOS will only follow that.

WhatsApp dark mode for Android

If you're an Android user and have Android 10 with dark mode enabled then WhatsApp will follow suit. The app will use the off-grey colour palette, as per the system.

If you've not got dark mode activated, take the following steps:

  • Option 1: Open the Settings app > select Display > tap 'Dark Theme'
  • Option 2: Swipe down from top of display > tap the night mode box

If you're using Android 9 or lower then you'll have to manually activate the mode within the app. Take the following steps:

  • Open WhatsApp
  • Click Settings (...) (top right)
  • Select Chats > Theme
  • Select 'Dark' to activate

And that's that: dark mode plays nice on your retinas. Enjoy!

Writing by Mike Lowe.