Google News is everything that Apple’s News offering could’ve been. Uncluttered user interface elements and of course, highly relevant news stories, make catching up with the latest happenings an absolute delight. At the end of the day, Google’s incessant attempts at data collecting does have its uses.
Thanks to a handful of customization features, things can be even better.
If you love reading for extended periods, then consider yourself lucky. Google News for iOS brings a built-in dark theme to the table that seamlessly works throughout the app. Well, mostly, but you can take matters into your own hands for the odd news article that doesn't function alongside the theme.
So, let’s see how you can go about enabling dark mode for Google News and then go through several other tips for a much-improved experience.
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Enable Dark Mode
You can easily toggle the Google News’ built-in dark theme from the app’s Settings panel. The following steps show you how to do that.
Step 1: Tap your profile picture to the upper-right corner of your iPhone or iPad.
Note: If you don't see your profile picture, switch to the For You tab, and then swipe downwards.
Step 2: Tap Settings.
Step 3: Tap Dark Theme.
Step 4: Either tap At Night to let the dark theme switch itself on automatically at night, or Always to have it applied at all times.
Step 5: Head back, and enjoy reading your news in full dark mode. It works pretty much everywhere.
However, you’ll notice that certain articles will not display the dark theme. That happens with news sources that aren’t fully compatible with the app. Read on to learn what you can do about that.
Triple-Click Smart Invert
News articles that don’t support the Google News dark theme look horrible on the eyes. For such instances, consider using the built-in Smart Invert feature in iOS. It’s a fine alternative for just about any app or in this case where the dark mode isn’t available.
And no. You don’t have to wade through multiple menus just to turn the thing on. You can instead have it bound to the Home button (or the Power button on the latest iOS devices) to flick it on and off at will easily.
Step 2: Scroll all the way down, and then tap Accessibility Shortcut.
Step 3: Tap Smart Invert Colors.
Now, it’s just a matter of pressing the Home button (or the Power button) thrice to switch to Smart Invert mode whenever you come across an article that doesn’t work alongside the dark theme.
It will not look as polished as the native dark theme in Google News — you may see the odd inverted image now and then. But, it’s about as good a substitute as it gets.
Do remember to turn off Smart Invert once you finish reading the article to prevent it from conflicting with the Google News' dark theme.
Tip: You can also enable and disable Smart Invert via the Control Center on your iPhone or iPad.
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Now that you know how to enable dark mode on Google News let’s check out a few other customization options before we wrap things up.
Disable Auto-play Videos
The auto-playing videos in Google News may have already caught your attention. And with dark mode enabled, they look downright terrific! But while it’s completely up to personal preference whether you like them or not, you can't deny the fact that they are mostly distracting. Not to mention the hefty chunks of cellular data that you lose out as well. Thankfully, you can either turn off auto-play videos entirely or make them play only on Wi-Fi.
Step 1: Head over to the Settings panel, and then tap Autoplay Videos.
Step 2: Either tap Wi-Fi Only to make videos play automatically only on Wi-Fi, or tap Disabled to block them completely.
Change Text Size
By default, the Google News app uses the system text size on your iPhone or iPad to render text in news articles. You can, however, remove this limitation and increase or decrease text size to your liking.
Step 1: On the Settings panel, tap Article Text Size.
Step 2: Turn off the switch next to Use System Text Size, and then select between the available text sizes — Small, Normal, and Large.
Step 3: Start reading an article, and you should see the change in text size reflected immediately.
Google News pushes out a ton of notifications. That gets tiresome pretty fast. But rather than managing them at the system level, consider configuring them from the app. There are multiple options that you can modify to filter out unwanted notifications.
Step 1: Within the Settings panel, tap Notifications.
Step 2: Turn off the switches next to the types of notifications that you don’t want to receive.
You can also limit the number of notifications that you receive for each category in general by using the slider under Number of Notifications.
Use the More Menu
Don’t let Google News dictate what you want to see. Tap the tiny three-dot More icon under any item, and then use the options within to determine if you wish to stop seeing the feed from a news source, or if you would like to increase or decrease the amount of content that you receive from the said source.
Of course, the More menu also lets you share, save for later, or even visit the complete news feed from a source. Make good use out of it.
Add Your Favorites
See that Favorites tab? It's not just an area where you go to check out your saved articles. Visit it, and spend a few minutes adding your favorite topics and sources that you want to follow, as well as locations that you are interested in.
Not only will you gain faster access to your favorite types of news articles this way, but you are also letting Google News know your personal preferences. Hence, expect to see even more relevant feed show up within the For You tab over time.
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Google News is a phenomenal app on both the iPhone and iPad, and with the dark theme enabled, makes reading the news a real treat. Don't forget to put all the tips that you just read to good use. So, is there anything about the app that you’d like to share? The comments section is right below.
Next up: Google collects information on just about everything that you do across all of its services. If you are concerned about your privacy, here's how to delete your recorded activities.