[Poll Results] Should Android TV Have a Night Mode?

As devices and screens gain more features and uses, they become more prevalent in our lives. Often we’ll be in our bed late at night refreshing Facebook or reading an eBook. However, recent research has been examining how these screens affect our bodies, especially at night. The bright blue light from screens messes with our body’s natural sleep rhythm and can cause us to sleep worse.

To combat this, some devices have been trying to reduce the light you see at night. This is done at the hardware level, changing the way colors are displayed on the screen. By changing the display to show less blue, it reduces the visual burden and adjustment.

Third-party apps don’t have access to the underlying hardware, but there are ways that developers can improve the user experience late at night. By adding a “night mode” or “dark mode”, users don’t have to see as much bright, light colors. It’s something that apps have been adding recently, like Twitter.

https://twitter.com/twitter/status/757969656493649921/photo/1

On Android, this can be done with a special theme that lets users choose manually a light or dark theme. Alternatively, it can be set to be done automatically based on real sunrise/sunset times.

However, these features won’t be built into Android itself. In early versions of the developer preview there were options to block out blue lights based on the time and use a dark theme in supported apps. However, it was later removed.

Nick_20160630_230748

The poll was asking whether you want to see a night mode for Android TV. When you’re watching a movie late at night, it’s unpleasant to immediately switch to bright colors. Apps like Nick are difficult to look at because of their primary orange color. Apple recently added night mode to Apple TV, where the entire UI becomes dark.

Dark-Mode-Apple-TV-announced-by-Eddy-Cue

While the built-in interface is already dark, that doesn’t extend to apps as well. The poll results are below.

poll night mode

Most users do support this feature being added to Android TV. It would be inconvenient for some designers to make two distinct color palettes for their app, so it may be wiser to just have a single dark color palette. TVs are often used late at night and it’s an important use case to consider when designing a good user interface and experience. If I’m squinting to use it, then there’s clearly a problem. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Our next poll is asking what OEM you want to see an Android TV from next.

Nick Felker

Nick Felker

Nick Felker is a student Electrical & Computer Engineering student at Rowan University (C/O 2017) and the student IEEE webmaster. When he's not studying, he is a software developer for the web and Android (Felker Tech). He has several open source projects on GitHub (http://github.com/fleker)Devices: Moto G-2013 Moto G-2015, Moto 360, Google ADT-1, Nexus 7-2013 (x2), Lenovo Laptop, Custom Desktop.Although he was an intern at Google, the content of this blog is entirely independent and his own thoughts.

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  • Mathew Michel

    Was this shared with Google?