It’s a bit strange that Google-owned Waze still doesn’t have a full dark mode at this time but the good news is that we might get that soon. The navigation app seems to be testing out a global dark mode even if it’s still in the “alpha” version for now. Since most apps now, especially those first-party ones from Google, already have such an option for its users, we’ll probably see this feature roll out to the stable version sooner rather than later.
According to Israeli website Geektime, Waze has started rolling out a full dark mode to very selected users even though it’s still in the “alpha” version or early stage of development. What’s rolling out to these select users is a special build of version 4.78 of the app with the dark mode not yet available for the general public. So even if you download an APK version of the app, you will not be able to find the dark theme even if you dig into it since it’s only selected users that have access to it.
There is actually a partial dark mode feature on Waze which turns the map itself dark. However, it is not full dark mode as a lot of the elements are still white-themed. It is actually strange that it did not get the full dark mode treatment since its “sister” navigation app Google Maps already haas one. But at least this alpha version seems to turn the whole app dark which is what users are looking for if they want something that’s not so glaringly white.
Having a dark mode for a navigation app is important for navigation apps as looking at a bright screen when you’re driving especially late at night can be dangerous. Google Maps rolled out the dark mode earlier this year so it’s no surprise that Waze will follow suit. Almost all of the apps in the Google ecosystem are now sporting dark modes as this is something that users are clamoring for to save eyesight and save a bit of battery life as well.
Since this is still in the early stages of development, as expected, it seems to have a lot of bugs as per those who are testing it out. Hopefully that will be fixed by the time the beta test and the stable version rolls out.