Google Docs is getting a fresh new look – here's what you need to know

Google Docs
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Google Docs, Slides and Sheets are finally getting their own dark mode, long after other key apps like Gmail, Chrome, and even the Google Play Store.

Writers at 9to5Google delved into the Android app's installation file (also known as its Android Package, or APK) last week and discovered assets for the dark theme, but now it seems like the design is nearly ready for launch, with new prompts that will be displayed to announce its arrival.

At the moment, when you open one of Google's office apps, you're presented with a bright white page and surrounding interface, regardless of whether you're using your phone's system-wide dark mode. That can be a bit hard on the eyes, particularly if you need to catch up on a little work at night.

Darker documents

With the new themes enabled, all of the apps' controls (including the recently opened document screen) will be changed to a dark gray color.

The backgrounds for Docs and Sheets will also change from white to black (with a convenient preview button that will let you see how they'll look in light mode), but it seems that blank presentation slides in Slides will remain white regardless of your settings.

As 9to5Google notes, that's probably because design is a much more important part of a slideshow, and you'll often want full control over how each slide looks. You wouldn't want to create a stylish presentation that looks completely different when you share it with a colleague/

The assets for the new theme are present in the latest Google Docs, Sheets and Slides APKs, but won't be available to try until Google activates them server-side. Judging by past experience, rollout is likely to take a few weeks to complete, but we'll let you know as soon as it begins so you can check it out for yourself.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)