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Don’t wait for iOS 13 to use dark mode on your iPhone




Dark Mode is coming to iOS 13, but you can use it now in several apps. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

When iOS 13 launches on Sept. 19 (here’s how to get it), system-wide dark mode will come to the new iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Max Pro and iPad (7th generation). Dark mode not only looks good, but it’s also easier on your eyes and it can save battery life, according to Google. 

Thankfully, you don’t have to wait until Apple announces the iPhone 11 — which is when we should learn the release date of iOS 13 and iPadOS — to use dark mode in third-party apps. Below are some apps with custom dark modes and the necessary steps to switch to the dark side.

Read: Android apps with dark mode you have to try

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Best dark mode iOS apps to try now


Fantastical 2

This calendar app integrates iCloud calendar and reminders into one, easy to read interface. It also comes with a dark mode. When viewing the main screen, tap on the gear icon then slide the toggle next to Light Theme to the Off position.

It’s not a completely dark theme, but every bit helps.


Turn off the light theme to use Fantastical 2’s dark mode. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET


Twitter’s dark mode looks pretty darn good. Turn it on by going into the Settings section of the app, then selecting Display and sound and turning on Dark Mode. There’s also an option to for dark mode to automatically turn on at night, and then off again in the morning.


Twitter can auto-enable dark mode, too. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET


To enable Reddit’s dark mode, slide out the menu from the left side of the screen, tap Settings then turn Night mode on. You can change just how dark the theme is by selecting Night theme and selecting your personal preference.


Do you use the official Reddit app? You’ll want to use its dark mode, then. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET


Feedly’s dark mode takes two taps to enable. Slide out the menu by tapping on the menu button in the bottom left corner, then select Night Mode. Easy, right?


Feedly’s dark mode is easy enough to find. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Facebook Messenger

Facebook officially rolled out dark mode for Messenger a while back. You can now find the toggle with a tap on your profile avatar when viewing a list of your conversations. Night mode should be the first option in settings.

Turning on Dark Mode takes a couple of taps and looks so much better. 


iA Writer

iA Writer is a handy app for writing and jotting notes. You can find its dark mode by selecting the gear icon when viewing your library, then enabling Dark appearance. You can even turn the app’s icon dark if you want.


iA Writer even lets you change the app icon to match the dark theme. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Apple Books

Reading a book on a light background at night is hard on your eyes, so Apple’s Books app has a few different color options — including a dark mode. When reading a book, tap on the “Aa” icon, then selecting the color to the far right. You can also adjust the brightness, or enable auto-night theme if you’d rather let your iPhone or iPad handle it for you.


Dark mode in the Apple Books app is only a couple of taps away. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET


Naturally, the Kindle app has a similar feature. When reading a book, tap on the screen to display the various buttons. Select the “Aa” button, then Black at the bottom of the screen.


Do yourself a favor while you read and enable the Kindle app’s dark mode. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET


Slack rolled out its dark mode a while back, and I’ve yet to turn it off. Enable dark mode with a tap on the three-dot icon in the top-right corner, then select Settings. Scroll down until you find Dark Mode and slide the toggle to the On position. The change affects all of your Slack workspaces, not just the one you are currently in.


Slack’s Dark Mode looks good. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Google Maps

Google Maps will automatically use dark mode when you’re using navigation at night, but you can force Google Maps to use night mode when you’re navigating during the day. 

Open Google Maps, slide out the menu on the left side of the screen, and select Settings > Navigation. Scroll down to Map Display and select Night.


Force Google Maps to always use night (dark) mode when you’re getting directions. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Originally published earlier this year.


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‘Perfectly Real’ Manipulated Videos Are Just 6 Months Away, Says Deepfake Pioneer




Deepfake pioneer Hao Li said that digitally manipulated videos could become ‘perfectly real’ in as early as half-a-year to a year’s time. He cited the emergence of apps such as the Chinese-developed ‘Zao’ and growing research focus on the field.  ( MIT Technology Review | Twitter )

A deepfake expert has warned that even regular people will soon be able to create digitally altered videos that look “perfectly real.”

Hao Li, a computer science professor at the University of Southern California, recently discussed the future of deepfake technology.

In an interview with CNBC, Li said that most manipulated videos can still be easily spotted even with the naked eye. However, there are some that have actually become very convincing. He said that these videos often require “sufficient effort” to produce.

According to Li’s estimate, “perfectly real” will be easily accessible to the public in about six to 12 months.

What Is Deepfake Technology?

Deepfake is a portmanteau of the words “deep learning” and “fake” and refers to computer programs that combine human image synthesis with artificial intelligence. The technology is often used to create digital representations or manipulated videos that are made to seem real.

With deepfake technology becoming increasingly more sophisticated over the years, some people are starting to become concerned about its possible negative effects. Digitally altered videos could be used to promote disinformation and confusion among the general public, particularly in the context of global politics as noted by CNBC.

For instance, several social media campaigns and smartphone apps have already been used to spread misinformation, all for the purpose of interrupting elections in different parts of the world.

Emergence Of Digitally Manipulated Videos

Li, who had presented a deepfake of Russian president Vladimir Putin at an MIT tech conference last week, said he initially thought perfect digitally manipulated videos would become reality in two to three years.

However, he later sent out an email explaining that it might actually happen in just half a year to a year.

The deepfake pioneer said he was forced to “recalibrate” his timeline because of recent developments in the technology. He cited the growing popularity of a Chinese-developed app known as Zao, as well as the growing interest of researchers on the field.

“In some ways we already know how to do it,” Li mentioned in the email. He added that the emergence of perfect deepfake is “only a matter of training with more data and implementing it.”

Zao allows users to swap their faces with other people. It uses photographs taken by app owners and then digitally inserts them into scenes from popular movies and TV shows. Despite growing concerns regarding Zao’s privacy policy, it is reportedly among the most popular programs in China.

Li warned that there will come a point that people won’t be able to tell which ones are deepfakes and which ones are real anymore. He said this is why there’s a need to look at other types of solutions as well.

ⓒ 2018 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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