Let’s Review : Dark Reader

If you are a fan of dark mode in all apps and devices you use, chances are you have also applied a dark theme in your favorite browser. Unlike Microsoft’s Edge browser, Google Chrome does not come with a native dark mode and such themes can help solve the matter. But they still do not darken the actual browsing view, leaving it out to the website’s developer to have a dark mode built in, for example, YouTube. This is where Dark Reader comes to the rescue by intelligently inverting colors to the darker side as you browse the web. But how does it fair with the most popular sites out there and what features does it offer? Read on to find out.

A quick disclaimer before we begin:
This article is not sponsored by Dark Reader and is solely based on our usage experience of Dark Reader extension for Google Chrome. Please note, it’s 21st century and data is very valuable. We encourage our readers to grant access to your personal data, to only those apps and services, whom you trust.

We have divided the review into various categories listed below followed by the final verdict. Let’s get started.

INDEX

Our Impressions

Color Inversion / Darkening

  • As you can see in the screenshots above, the color inversion mostly works out fine, with some hiccups.
  • Sometimes the extension will end up assigning the wrong colors to some elements in the page which hits the eye almost instantly. It’s really nitpicking though, considering the developer is actually trying to build such a useful tool when browser makers keep ignoring such basic features.

Handling Images

  • We were impressed how this extension identifies images and keeps them in their original color.
  • You can browse Facebook in dark mode without worrying about images inverting along with the colors on the page.

Setbacks

  • Dark Reader doesn’t work everywhere though. One of the websites immune to Dark Reader is Gmail, which in spite of having a dark mode, cannot do much with emails with white backgrounds and ends up stunning you in those late night work hours.
  • Apart from that, Dark Reader sometimes fails to invert colors correctly making the website look rather horrid. For example, check this screenshot of the WordPress(dot)com control panel:

Features

Even with its setbacks, we do appreciate the thought that has been put into the extension, as it comes with some really useful features:

  • You can teach Dark Reader which sites you don’t want it to invert, which is rather useful for those websites where it messes up or when you do not prefer dark mode.
  • You can edit the levels of brightness, contrast, sepia and grayscale on the pages you visit and make it remember custom settings for every site. Neat!
  • You will also find options to change fonts to your favorite.
  • We really wish this extension comes with a toggle to automatically switch to dark mode at a time of the day set by the user.

Availability

Dark Reader is available on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari.

The Final Verdict

We use our web browsers a lot and sometimes we have to work nights to keep up with our workloads. For others, they just prefer to work at night. Having the ability to switch to darker colours is very useful and it enables us to work more efficiently at night. Though Dark Reader is far from perfection, we really appreciate the work the developers have put up to make it happen. If you want to try Dark Reader, head over to their official website and download the extension for your browser of choice.