iOS 11 has not enabled a system-wide Dark Mode as some have hoped it would, but it makes up for it by bringing out a new accessibility feature for inverting colors of the iOS user interface without reversing the colors of your content, like images, media and more.

To enable this feature, go to Settings → General → Accessibility → Display Accommodations → Invert Colors, then slide the new Smart Invert switch to the ON position.

TUTORIAL: How to replicate Dark Mode on iPhone and iPad with Smart Invert

Profile pictures in Messages, your media in Photos, icons in the Settings app and more shall remain unchanged with this smart color reversal feature turned on, so that they don’t conflict with a darker appearance.

“Smart Invert Colors reverses the colors of the display, except for images, media and some apps that use dark color styles,” reads the feature’s description.

This is an accessibility feature for visually impaired users, not a true Dark Mode, so don’t expect any miracles. In Safari, for example, the reading experience leaves a lot to be desired because Smart Invert simply inverts the whole webpage, including images and text. The same goes for some third-party apps, like TweetBot.

The old Invert Colors option that simply reverses the colors of everything on the display—your images and other media included—is still present in accessibility settings, but it’s now rechristened as Classic Invert. Entering either mode will disable Night Shift.

iOS 11 is compatible with all 64-bit iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. The software update will release as a free download to all customers this fall.

I suggest trying Smart Invert on your device. Enable it in Settings, then launch your favorite apps to preview what a system-wide Dark Mode on iOS 11 could look like.

Let us know what you think about this feature down in the comment section.

  • bigkool2

    Doesn’t work well when Instagram or Netflix if open.. Looks like a X-Ray image or video. And i there is no control panel short cut to quickly turn it on or off. That would be nice. I’d keep on then.

    • Mike M. Powell

      Yeh I was happy to get the closest thing but once I enter third party apps or some apps with pictures it goes buck wild

    • David Pomerleau

      Wonder if apps can fix that w an update? Not sure they’d want to but?

      A lot of my apps have great dark modes- Twitter, Instapaper, Kindle, Reddit.

      UC browser has a decent night mode but the browser itself isn’t quite as good as Safari.

    • MMA Rules

      Yes there is a way to turn it off quickly, just go to accessibility>guided access and choose it there, then you can triple click the home button to invoke guide access

      • bigkool2

        Thank you so much. Didn’t even think about that. It works like a charm. Thanks again.

  • Noohar

    Post some screenshot of this “dark mode” interacting with common 3rd party Apps instead of just the stock Apps. I’m thinking Apps like WhatsApp; Insta; Facebook; Twitter; Spotify etc.

    • MMA Rules

      Oh no it just doesn’t work! It’s a mess in other apps, pictures are inverted, it’s just a beta so maybe when it’s finally released it will get better

    • Blip dude

      You’re asking for this on a Beta 1 release of a new major. Do you honestly think 3rd party apps are gonna look that good??

  • DarekSlaby

    I think that this is just the first beta having bugs. I’m hoping that by release time they will have it working just as a dark mode should

    • Mike M. Powell

      I think this is the closest we’re going to get with “dark mode”. Like u said, it’s only the first beta. So some third party apps can jump on it if they can or a high demand is requested. So far with native apps it works out pretty well.

  • burge
    • Jose Rivera

      Yup! I just tried taking a screenshot and my whole image is a negative regardless of if I invert it or not…

  • Alexis Marrero

    Technically this can save battery power on the new OLED iPhone when released. Because OLED only lights up pixels in use and black won’t use any power at all. Hmmmm

    • Igor Engelen

      We can only hope they will add a real dark mode later on, at introduction of the iPhone with oled? It wouldn’t make sense to keep the white interface on an oled screen.

  •  david

    Apple nunca te pedi nada, faz o dark mode!!!

  • MMA Rules

    Many of the issues so far in this mode is that it kills Night Shift which I’m so used to, and when I do the smart invert it just hurts my eyes

    • Why would you need to? Night shift reduces the blue light. In dark mode, everything is black so there is no blue light

      • Blip dude

        Even if the blue light isn’t there, I personally still have my reasons for using Eclipse and Night Shift mode, especially at night, as it’s definitely even easier on the eyes. I personally speak for myself when I say my eyes feel more relaxed having a Dark mode + Night Shift on versus just Dark Mode or Night Shift alone.

      • MMA Rules

        Exactly, people don’t understand that once you get used to using Night Shift you will never go back using the iPhone without it at night time, it’s too damn bright and it hurts my eyes

    • CRWN

      Why would you need Night Shift with this?

      • MMA Rules

        Because once you go to home screen you get the bright screen right on your face at night time, try it if you are used to Night Shift, once you go Night Shift you never go back

      • hush

        I have mine enabled all the time.

  • Mr_Coldharbour

    I’m happy to see this feature added. Any form of useable dark mode on iOS is always welcome.