Android Wear is now, for the first time, seeing the much-needed dark/black theme for the OS. There's a real aesthetic appeal to dark modes which attracts a lot of users (myself included), but there's also a battery conservation bonus. Most of the Android Wear devices are using modern screen technologies, such as OLED.
One of the primary benefits of using OLED technology instead of the traditional LCD tech that we're used to is how it handles powering the pixels. OLED has the ability to power individual pixels, which means if 90% of the screen is black when you're viewing settings, for example, it only has to supply power to 10% of the pixels — thus substantially decreasing use of the battery, and extending its life to the user. Overall OLED screens carry that efficiency to
A small sample study was run by greenbot to see just how much real-world battery saving users receive when using an OLED screen coupled with a dark/black interface. Using a Moto X, they found that it used 41% less battery life, which is very significant in day-to-day use cases.
A Reddit user known as Yozakgg posted screenshots showing an OS-wide black theme:
According to the official Changelog, it's actually intended for "readability". Longer battery life may just be a positive side-effect.
This new update has improved notification glanceability with a new layout which shows more of your message at a glance. We have also made the background darker for better readability.
What do you think? A positive change for Android Wear? Let us know if you like the new 'dark mode' in the comments below!