Android 9 Pie brings a new Material Theme, which has been colloquially referred to as Material Design 2 (MD2). The key points of the new Material Theme are greater emphasis on white space, the removal of coloured backgrounds in favour of white, and prominent use of the Google Sans font.
Undoubtedly, the new Material Theme is more minimalist than its predecessor. However, the greater use of white potentially increases the power draw on OLED displays. The power efficiency of OLED displays varies depending on the Average Picture Level (APL). The power draw in OLED displays increases as the APL (the percentage of white content on the display) increases. In light of this, dark themes are gaining a new significance.
Google recently stated that the company would like to see more apps adopting dark themes that could potentially improve power efficiency and battery life. Third-party adoption of dark themes is still in a nascent stage, but Google knows that adoption has to start from first-party apps. To that end, Google Contacts 3.2.4 now adds a working dark theme.
The dark theme can be enabled in Google Contacts by either a) Turn on the dark theme by switching on the toggle in the app’s sidebar, or b) Switch on Night Mode in Developer Options in the user’s device to automatically enable the dark theme in Google Contacts.
It should be noted that the dark theme in Google Contacts is a dark grey theme, not a true black theme. Users can also manually enable a dark theme in the Google Phone app or download a modded version. It’s also fair to expect other Google apps to receive the option for enabling dark themes soon.