Triple-Black Friday…for Firefox
Well, just to give a nice “fuck you” to the nonsense that is Black Friday, I want to share with you something that is completely free. Not a dime to spend, and it works with Firefox and Firefox-based browsers.
And the relevance for the Dark Android Project is that the developer of this Firefox add-on has also released an experimental version of it for the Android version of the Firefox browser (and again, Firefox-based browsers like Orfox, IceCat, or the AdBlock Browser).
The add-on is simply and aptly called: “Black background and white text“. And that’s exactly what it does, it inverts the color scheme of every website that isn’t already largely black (most websites have an eye-searing white background), and makes it black, while converting the relevant text to white. It doesn’t invert the color of the pictures on the site, either, and it even has multiple options for you to choose from on which way you’d like to change the color scheme of a site, be it using Simple CSS, JS mutation observer, or even doing a full invert, if you’d like. I’ve generally found the default setting of using Simple CSS as the best way for websites to be converted to black (you don’t have to mess with this at all if you don’t want to, of course).
Honestly, I think this add-on works best on mobile browsers, and especially if you’re using Orfox to surf the “Dark Web” (oooooh…scary!), shouldn’t the Dark Web be…well…dark? (Half) kidding aside, though, desktop versions of sites are just loaded with so much crap (and many mobile websites are, too, I know) that they end up looking very strange with so many parts converted to black, but other colored sections looking “confused”, for lack of a better word. but on mobile sites it generally looks great, and considering how much people look at their phones, this is an absolute “eye saver”. Frankly, I’m still baffled by why most of World Wide Web is in near-nuclear white. It doesn’t help me see shit better (in fact, it makes things worse), I’m pretty sure it’s not good for the eyes overall, and it just plain doesn’t look as cool as the classic “black-on-green” or “black-on-amber” from the personal computer’s past. But maybe that’s the key here. The white background differentiated the GUI (Graphical User Interface) from the text-based UI of yore, and it just ended up sticking to today. Ridiculous, if true.
The major feature that is missing from this add-on that I would like is the ability to tailor which pages you want it to be used on, and which ones you don’t. This is an all-or-nothing add-on: once activated, it changes your entire web experience. But I’m sure this feature can get added on in the future. It would be helpful because some sites you may wish to see in their original color scheme without having to go to the (very easily accessible, admittedly) drop-down menu on the browser to turn the add-on off, or their may be sites that it just doesn’t work well with.
Really the only popular website that has given me any trouble was Facebook’s mobile site (and if you’re using F-Droid’s “Facebook Slim” or my recently recommended “Facebook Lite” official Facebook app, this won’t be an issue). Like I said, this add-on is still listed as “experimental” on mobile, but other than Facebook (isn’t it the trouble with everything?), I haven’t noticed a flaw. The flaw with the Facebook site–again, only mobile, the desktop site is fine–is that the black text doesn’t get converted to white text by the “Black background and white text” add-on. Of course, maybe this is a bonus, as it won’t let you actually read anything on Facebook, and I’m pretty sure reading stuff on Facebook is bad for your health out of the gate.
But seriously (actually, I wasn’t kidding about Facebook being bad for your health), this is a fantastic add-on, and most other browsers on Android–including Chrome–don’t even offer add-ons, which is a major boon for Firefox and Firefox-based browsers on the OS. Some of my other favorites on mobile are “uBlock Origin” (must have), “HTTPS Everywhere”, “Simple youtube and Video Converter”, “Wikipedia Panel”, and “QuitNow”. All solid additions that make using a web browser on Android all the more attractive and efficient.
Grab “Black background and white text”, though. Totally free (fuck hyperconsumerism)–feel free to donate to the creator if you wish, however–and turn the whole web triple-black. It’s how it should be in the first place.