WWDC 2017: Apple iOS 11's 'Smart Invert' feature is as good as a 'dark mode'

The new Smart Invert feature inverts the light system colours to black, with dark UI elements remaining unchanged.

At Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference held at San Diego, California, many new announcements were made on exciting new software features coming to supported iPad and iPhone devices. One of the announcements was about a new and improved dark theme for the iPhone, which is being called Smart Invert.

The feature will be available to users this fall when Apple pushes out the new iOS 11. However, developers can download the beta version of the iOS right now. Apple had earlier offered an inverted colours feature which was buried under Accessibility via the ‘Invert Colors’ option. But it was a simple invert feature that similar to the inverted colours accessibility feature found on Android smartphones.

The Smart Invert feature inverts the white system background to black, with dark or coloured UI elements remaining unchanged so as to ensure they don’t conflict with the new black background. From the tweet shown above by Charged Tech's Owen Williams, the feature so far seems to be working well with Apple’s own apps. He did mention that third-party app developers would have to support the feature using the iOS 11 SDK to ensure that not all elements in the app UI get affected by the colour inversion.

Another feature which the iPhone already possesses, is called the “night shift”, which warms the colours in the display and eliminates the blue light that can interfere with your sleep. Smart Invert will not have the same soothing effect as “night shift” but would definitely be less disruptive to others. If you ask us, the new Smart Invert feature would also play well Apple's upcoming iPhone 8 model that is expected to arrive with an OLED display.

Before installing the iOS 11 developer beta, it should be noted that the software is still in a very nascent beta stage and can have plenty of bugs. In short, we would recommend trying out the just released developer beta only on test devices and not your daily driver. To access the Smart invert go to Settings>General>Accessibility>Display Accommodations>Invert Colors.

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