Google’s refreshing Docs, Sheets, and Slides with a modern new look on Android

Google’s refreshing Docs, Sheets, and Slides with a modern new look on Android

The app we have today looks nothing like the web UI

Google Workspace apps are particularly handy if you’re tied to the Android ecosystem, and want to take your work everywhere you go. Most of the tools like Slides, Docs, and Sheets are designed with cross-platform sync and support that works with minimal intervention. However, the transition to the dated UI of the Android app optimized for smaller displays is noticeably jarring, hampering productivity. Taking cognizance of the issue, Google is finally updating Sheets, Slides, and Docs with the latest handiwork of its designers.

Google recently updated the web apps for Docs, Sheets, and Slides with a new interface comprising redesigned toolbars, rounded corners all around, and Material You theming, which meant new colors for several UI elements. In stark contrast, the Android app for Docs retains the simple toolbar at the bottom of your screen, which sits just above your keyboard when typing. It doesn’t seem like a big deal because editing a document, presentation, or spreadsheet is quite inconvenient on a smartphone screen, even in landscape orientation. While you can get work done, the jarring transition is noticeable on large-screen tablets and even the best Chromebooks, which also rely on Workspace apps from the Play Store, but use the old toolbar design pinned at the top. The design is inconsistent across platforms, and doesn’t help the user experience.


Google Docs app on Chrome OS

Last week, Google said it will modernize the Android apps for these Workspace tools with a new UI. The changes will include a new look for the editing toolbar, iconography, and background colors. From the large-screen Docs screenshot Google shared, it is clear the toolbar for Docs now appears pinned at the top instead of at the bottom. It also has rounded corners like the web app. Comments also appear beside the text. Most other elements of the UI are also quite like the web interface. Google didn’t share screenshots, but Slides and Sheets should look similar in their redesigned avatars.

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Google Docs’ redesigned app UI on Android

Hopefully, the redesign is comprehensive, taking into account every screen size, orientation, and use case, so we don’t resort to workarounds. Google says the update is rolling out in the coming weeks, but we aren’t seeing it on any of our devices yet. Make sure to turn on automatic updates for it. In the meantime, we suggest opening up a web browser and using the desktop website for Workspace tools if familiarity is all that matters.

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