[UPDATE]: Turns out the whole thing was a bug that was a result of enabling dark mode on the Google Messages app. Would have been nice to have, nonetheless. We do hope that it makes its way to a future release.
MIUI has been long criticised for implementing new features without bumping up the base Android version. Although it might not matter to most people, the prospect of a device receiving no more than one major software upgrade and a handful of security updates here and there is a terrifying one. Today, FoneArena spotted something interesting in the upcoming MIUI Beta. It appears that Xiaomi is working on a system-wide Dark Mode like the one we saw on Samsung's OneUI-based Android Pie fork.
It is only available in the beta version of MIUI at the moment and will roll out very soon to users who have enrolled for the beta testing program. FoneArena reports that the customization will be available in MIUI 10 Global Beta version 9.2.14 and upwards. The dark theme is available for many system apps in MIUI 10, including Calculator, Contacts, Gallery, Messaging, Notes, Phone, Screen Recorder, and Updater. It also covers the volume controls, notification shade, and the Recents window.
Since this is a beta version, the theme doesn't appear to work in the Settings app, but that is very likely to change with the final release. If the dark theme does not make it to the stable builds of MIUI 10 it will definitely make its way to its successor. MIUI 11 is already in development and rumour has it that it'll make its debut alongside the Mi 9 which is releasing next week. It's refreshing to see an industry-wide adaptation of Dark Themed Android forks. It's even better to see Xiaomi baking it into their fork, despite the fact that most of their phones use LED panels. Users have made it abundantly clear that they're sick of an overly bright user interface and it's high time OEMs started taking note.