Darker colours tend to draw the least amount of power on most smartphones with OLED panels.
The Dark Mode has been one of the most hyped trends the tech industry has seen in the past few years. Microsoft was one of the first ones to adapt it for their smartphones, with others following them. Especially with devices that sport an OLED display, the dark theme has been known to reduce stress on the battery life. However, most app developers prefer to go for lighter backgrounds for enhancing the aesthetical appeal. It seems that Google has realised this and is going for a major change across its entire ecosystem.
Google stressed the fact that power consumption increases majorly when screen brightness is bumped up. However, the colours rendered on the display also have a lot to do with power efficiency and Google went on to show the power draws that every colour on the spectrum does on the battery at full brightness levels. The results came as expected.
Lighter shades, especially white, has the tendency to drain the most amount of power. On the other hands, darker shades, including black and grey, reduce the stress on the power reserve. The gains are significant, especially on devices that utilise an AMOLED panel for the display.
However, Google admitted that they have been pushing white as the theme colour for their Material Design language since the last few years. Whether it's for Android’ UI or all the essential Google apps, white has been the dominant colour for all of them, which indirectly utilises more power than before.
To combat this, Google is urging developers to use darker colours in their apps so as to reduce the power strain on smartphones. Google also said that they will be rolling a dark mode for all the Google apps in the future. The gains couldn’t be drastically higher for devices with LCD panels, but AMOLED-equipped devices can easily elongate their stamina over a longer course of time.
It would be also interesting to see if Google adopts a system-wide dark theme for Android as well, similar to how OnePlus and Huawei are doing on their smartphones.