Android Black White

How to Make Android Screen Black & White (and why you should & shouldn’t)

Android offers a simulated display color for color-blind people so they can distinguish colors with ease. But what if we want Android to change into black and white color? Is there any option to enable it?

Fortunately, yes. There is a hidden configuration in Android where you can turn the screen into grayscale/monochrome/black-white mode without any additional app.

So, how to do it?

You have to enable Developer Mode first

First of all, you have to enable Developer Mode on Android to access the black & white screen feature. Developer Mode can be activated by the following steps:

  1. Go to SettingsAbout phone
  2. Tap Build number seven times until you get a message “You are now a developer!”
  3. Go back to the Settings and select Developer options
  4. Make sure you turn Developer options On

How to enable black and white screen on Android

Okay, let’s go to the main tutorial to enable black & white color mode on Android. This guide works with nearly all Android versions.

1. Go to Settings → Developer options.

Developer options

2. Under Hardware accelerated render, select Simulated color space.

Simulated color space

3. Select monochromacy.

Monochromacy

Soon after you select Monochromacy, your Android screen will turn into black and white. You have to keep the Developer options on so the Simulated color space can run.

This color mode would not affect the screenshot result. Your screenshot picture still in full-color mode.

Why you should enable black and white mode

There are a lot of advantages of turning Android screen into grayscale, for example:

  1. Great way to combat phone addiction — Former Design Ethicist at Google Tristan Harris suggests black-white screen would make apps like Instagram and Snapchat less appealing since they are in technicolor.
  2. Increasing productivity — Since Instagram feed no longer appealing to your eyes, chances are you will take less and less of time staring at your phone and then keep focusing on your work instead.
  3. Reducing blue light — The blue light is generally known as radiation from the screen that could affect your sleep cycle. Since there are barely blue-related colors in black-white mode, this kind of radiation also significantly reduced.

Why you should not enable black and white mode

But there’s a catch. While the grayscale screen is good for you, it wasn’t the case for your phone.

  1. It makes your phone slower — Since the color is simulated, it relies on the GPU capability to convert colors into grayscale. This extra activity certainly makes your phone a bit slower; you may notice the performance depletion when scrolling page.
  2. Phone’s battery may drain faster — As the GPU needs increases, it will suck more power from the battery and eventually leads you to meet charging station more often. But considering you may not be on the phone as you used to be, it’s fair to say the battery could still perform roughly as the same as usual.

Alternative options

If you want to enable black and white screen while still maintaining battery level at a reasonable time, you can try an app named Galactic Night (root required). This app specifically designed for Samsung (and perhaps other Android phones) to create black and white tint (true color) instead of simulated.

Another option is an app called Twilight. It doesn’t provide the black and white filter, but instead a blue-light filter which helps you reduce eye strain and helps to maintain sleep cycle. But still, the app can lower the phone addiction since it changes the screen into red-ish.

Alright, that’s a simple way to enable black and white screen on Android.

If there’s anything you’d like to ask, let me know in the comment below 🙂

Cheers! 🍺

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