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Dave Drager for XDA Developers

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Google News tests dark theme for articles and upvote/downvote buttons in the feed

Based on your interests and some machine learning, Google News provides you a curated feed of news articles crawled from different publications and blogs across the Internet. You can also subscribe to specific publishers or read more about a specific topic with a simple tap of a button. To put it simply, it’s a hub for all the news the average user may care about. The app is slowly being improved with new features; most recently, for example, the app gained the ability to let you view news articles in two languages. Soon, the app may add two new features to improve the reading experience: dark theme for articles and voting buttons to manually curate your feed.

An APK teardown can often predict features that may arrive in a future update of an application, but it is possible that any of the features we mention here may not make it in a future release. This is because these features are currently unimplemented in the live build and may be pulled at any time by the developers in a future build.

Dark Theme in WebView

Last year, Google News got a dark mode just like most other Google apps on the Play Store. However, this dark mode was confined mostly to the app’s own UI. Menus were displayed in dark colors, and so did some news articles as long as they were rendered natively by the app and not the Android system WebView. For articles that open in a WebView, the background color is still light. If you use the app to browse the news at night, then this can be annoying. In the near future, though, the app will open WebViews with a dark background. XDA’s Mishaal Rahman activated this feature manually in the latest version of the News app.

The AMP version of our website forced dark by the Google News app.

It’s likely this feature requires WebView versions based on Chromium builds that have the latest force dark mode code. Force dark mode in Chrome is still hit-and-miss, though, so it may take some time for this feature to roll out for users.

Voting in the Feed

Google is also planning to add an upvote/downvote function to the Google News app that takes the form of a thumbs up and a thumbs down. These will essentially help you curate your feed as you can easily tell the app which news sources/topics you like and which ones you don’t like.

Upvote/downvote buttons in the Google News app. Tapping the thumbs up will make the app show you similar stories, while the thumbs down button will indicate it that you don’t want to see content like this.

These features aren’t available yet for users and there’s no guarantee that they will become available anytime soon. However, given that they’re mostly complete, we expect them to become available to the wider public in a future version of the app.

Google News: Top World & Local News Headlines (Free, Google Play) →

Thanks to PNF Software for providing us a license to use JEB Decompiler, a professional-grade reverse engineering tool for Android applications.

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