Forget iOS 14.5 — Android 12 just got a supercharged dark mode

Android 12 extra dim
(Image credit: Droid Life)

Google has taken the dark mode in Android 12 and supercharged it with an "Extra dim" setting to help prevent bright displays for metaphorically searing your retinas.

Droid Life reported that people participating in the Android 12 Developer Preview now have access to this enhanced dark mode, which should make using an Android phone in low-light situations a lot more comfortable.

Extra dim is intended for situations where you want to make your screen dimmer for "more comfortable" reading, or general content consumption. As per the settings screen below (via Droid Life) this is handy when your smartphone's "default minimum brightness is still too bright."

Going by a screenshot of the new mode, Google appears to be quietly calling out those with terrible bedtime habits, adding that Extra dim is also useful when "using your phone in dark situations, like at night or in a dark room before bed."  

Android 12 extra dim

(Image credit: Droid Life)

How to turn on Extra dim mode in Android 12 

Extra dim isn't turned on as default, but you can easily enable it in the quick settings pulldown menu, providing you're using the Android 12 Developer Preview 3

If you have got access to the preview, then simply swipe down to access the Android quick menu and head over to to the left. You'll spot the extra dim toggle here, so hit it to start enjoying late night scrolling with the new brightness level.

Alternatively, you can go to Settings>Accessibility>Extra Dim. You can also find the option to keep it active when your phone is powered on next. If you find the feature handy, it's worth turning on the extra dim shortcut in the settings.   

Given the health advice to stop looking at screens before bed — that many wilfully ignore — having an extra dim setting that offers options outside of your device's factory default could be an attractive feature to those who struggle to put their phone down while in bed. 

However, we can't say for sure that Extra dim will roll out to the full Android 12 build when it arrives, likely some time around September. But if this mode is already in the Android beta, then it looks pretty likely to make it into the next major suite of Android phones, notably the Google Pixel 6

Shabana Arif

Shabana is T3's News Editor covering tech and gaming, and has been writing about video games for almost a decade (and playing them since forever). As well as contributing to Tom's Guide, she's had bylines at major gaming sites during her freelance career before settling down at T3, and has podcasts, streaming, and video content under her belt to boot. Outside of work, she also plays video games and should really think about expanding her hobbies.