To use your iPhone at night or low light, you may tone down the brightness of your phone’s screen to prevent your eyes from straining. Modern browsers and devices even support the dark mode which makes you more comfortable when viewing the screen at night. For example, recent Mac OS support the Dark Mode, it can also be found in Chrome browser on latest Android devices. Unfortunately Safari on iPhone iPad lacks a dedicated dark mode at this moment. Apple said that the Dark Mode will be coming to the iPhone and iPad with iOS 13. (Update: here comes this new feature with iOS 13, check out this tutorial to turn on Dark Mode on iPhone.) It will be a system-wide setting, similar to what’s already available on Mac OS. Before that however you can get the dark mode on iPhone or iPad following below solutions.
Method 1. Enable & customize Reader View in Safari
Open a web page in Safari, when you see the aA icon to the left of the address bar, tap on it to bring up the menu and choose Show Reader View option to turn on Reader View mode in Safari. You will also be presented with settings to customize the appearance of web pages in the Reader view mode. See more details from this tutorial to activate reader view mode on iPhone.
This method however has many drawbacks. The settings can’t be kept. When you navigate to another page, you have to re-enable the Reader view again. It is a page-level setting. what’s worse, some sites or pages don’t support reader view.
Method 2. Enable Dark Mode in Alook web browser
Alook web browser is a great alternative to Safari for mobile. To turn on Dark Mode, simply touch the Menu (three lines) at the bottom to bring up the menu, then touch Night to enable night mode. It turns any websites you visit into dark mode.
What’s more, it even turn the iOS system status bar into night mode. You also have the option to turn on the pure black night mode for OLED screen from its Settings > Custom Settings.
Update Dec 2020: this article was originally published in Jul 2019 and has since been updated. in this update, the Safari reader view mode enabling part has been updated to reflect the most recent changes with iOS 14.