Google Docs New Update Changes

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Active member
ToTW Winner
HoFo Member
Jul 26, 2017
California between Fresno and Yosemite.
LG phones, Motorola, ZTE, occasional Alcatel
I just updated Google Docs on two of my phones and they've changed font resizing. Now can no longer resize below 8pt.

I frequently use resizing down to minimum, 2pt (it said 1pt but looked the same).

If you don't have to update, you might hold off on it if you use point sizes below 8.

Just wanted to warn people about it. Wish I had read recent reviews before updating.

It's always a good idea to read reviews in case the newest updates are glitchy. Unfortunately I didn't that time.

Sent from my moto e using HoFo mobile app
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I do genealogical trees where the font gets progressively smaller with each preceding generation. Also it's for adding tiny notes to the main body of text in various locations.

Sub or superscript is tiny but can't use it as well.

Sent from my moto g(7) optimo maxx(XT1955DL) using HoFo mobile app
Just a note on editing options, I have MS Word on my phones too. It also sets the lower end 8pt size limit, as well as it doesn't have a few things Google Docs has that I need. However it does read the text aloud if desired. GDocs doesn't have that.

There's another processor called SoftMaker Office and it looks like a desktop word editor in all features, but lower end is 6pt sizing, and has fussy modes of access to editing tools. Have to keep switching between tool bars to access the needed items. I haven't used it enough to get cozy with it on a phone.

I no longer have a computer so I edit docs on a phone. Otherwise am assuming new computers still have built in word editing apps that may be more flexible.

Sent from my moto g(7) optimo maxx(XT1955DL) using HoFo mobile app
You can likely find your desired older version of Gdocs on a site like Check the current version, then visit the site and pick an older one to download, then uninstall the current and install the recently downloaded one.


That's the most recent page, so there are lots more older ones. Depends on where the font size selection change occurred. And once you find and install one you like you'll need to cease allowing auto-updates.
@ Whacker, thank you for the info and the link. I'll check into it tomorrow. I wasn't aware that GDocs could be available elsewhere other than Play Store.

Sent from my moto g pure using HoFo mobile app
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I downloaded a January version of GDocs to my Moto G7 Power.

I was unable to use it, it was in Download folder asking what I wanted to open it with. I didn't have anything to handle it AFAIK.

There was an APK installer app on Google Play but wasn't sure if my non technical wits can figure it out instead of louse something up.

I haven't used apps that weren't offered on Google Play so was unsure what to do with it. So, I deleted it.

I'll need to learn how to install apps from the site before proceeding.

It may require a phone I don't use much for Guinea Pig in case something goes wrong and I mess something up.

For now I have a moratorium on upgrading GDocs or Drive on any devices, [I don't auto update, I pick when if possible].

Currently two of my phones got shafted with the Docs update, I did it before realizing what was going on.

Now I'm looking at other Editing apps for fallback. I usually don't resort to those since I store my docs on Drive, which is far less likely to malfunction than storing only on my own hardware.

Some editing apps I'm looking at for possibly offline use, Textmaker HD Basic, [no info on data collecting or sharing] it looks like a desktop editor and is simpler to use than Office NX: Textmaker by Softmaker Software GmbH [No data shared with 3rd parties, no data collected]. Looks and works like a full desktop editor.

Links to Google Play Store:

Sent from my LM-X320 using HoFo mobile app
Sorry to take so long to reply.

Things can be a little tricky with this. For a given version of an app, there can be quite a number of selections, but the most basic aspect is choosing between one that is a straight .apk file versus one called a "bundle." If a bundle is selected it requires you to use an installation app you can obtain from Google Play, but you needn't go that far. A straight .apk file can be installed right from the Downloads folder of your phone. Being prompted about "what to open it with" is a tip that it's a bundle file you downloaded.

There should be a list of similar version files with some being .apk. Beyond that there are selections for DPI (dots per inch) and processor type. This depends on your phone specs. Ideally you would either know from previous experience (of which you have none), or could install an analysis app like CPU-ID or Droid Hardware, and these would tell you what type of hardware you have. It boils down to ARM vs. Intel (Android phones would be ARM), and 64-bit vs. 32-bit. This is denoted in the download filename by v8 or v7.

Luckily (me not knowing what phone you're doing this for), you don't have to be too precise in this selection. Pick one of the ARM files (might list as armebi something) that says it's for NoDPI and either v7 or v8. Download it and try installing. While it's in your Download folder just click on it. An .apk file will maybe have a simple prompt, you give the go ahead, then it will install IF the 32 vs 64 bit thing isn't a problem. It won't install if it's not compatible. Once installed (if successful) it'll prompt to Open it, but better to first close up all the open folders and all that. There will be an installed icon somewhere on your phone just like something installed from the Play Store.

If that version happens to NOT BE compatible and didn't install, remember its filename (it should still be in your Downloads folder) and go back to apkmirror and choose the other one (v8 vs. v7; whichever one you didn't previously choose) and download it and try again. Stick with the noDPI versions (although I haven't looked and can't vouch for what is offered for the Gdocs app or any other). Some apps or versions are only offered through the "bundle" method, but you should be able to find a straight .apk version to download.

Good luck. I'll check back once more this evening to monitor any developments.

Additional: I just took a quick look at the link I sent you. In most of the versions there appear to be just two "variants," with a "bundle" version and an APK version, and the APK version has an architecture listed as "Universal" and Screen DPI as "noDPI." This is ideal, as it narrows down your selections greatly. That's the one you want, if this holds for the version you want.
Wow, that was good of you to explain the process. It will no doubt be very helpful to others here who haven't tried the APK download route before.

I chose a bundle so that explains it. I wasn't sure what the difference was but guessed it would work or it wouldn't.

I saw the noDPI version you explained.

Well, since two of my phones received the GDoc update, I will try it on one of those. The Moto G7 Power is the one I used before to attempt it.

Yes there are literally pages and pages of the app versions. I tried to choose one from before March with a version number close to a previous version I have that works well.

If you check back tomorrow I may have an update.

Long time ago as in years, I did upgrade a Fire7 Amazon tablet to allow use of Google Play docs, and it was sort of tricky but got it done. Couldn't explain how but the instructions were online. This will hopefully be much more straight forward.

Sent from my moto g(7) optimo maxx(XT1955DL) using HoFo mobile app
You've entered the world that's known as "side loading." In some cases you'll have to allow, by a selection in the phone, the installation of non-Play Store apps. In most current Androids it will be pretty apparent how to do that. In older ones it was a setting in the Security area.

There are several really good, completely safe, websites that act as repositories for Android app files. Apkmirror is my favorite, for the few things I've actually used from it. If you hold onto an older phone and an update occurs that takes an app beyond what your phone's resources can actually handle (or deprecates a desired feature), generally all you've got to do is roll it back a version or so, and you're back in business. These sites help facilitate that.
Thank you for the advice and for trying to help. I unfortunately failed to get the GDocs app to install. Maybe you can spot the problem. My estimation is that the phone OS is blocking it from opening even though I allowed it in permissions.

Do I have to uninstall or disable the current GDocs version that's on the phone?

The two attempts downloaded but when I tapped them to open, I was told that I had to allow it in permissions so I did. The next attempt to open it wouldn't allow me to just open it. A dialogue box popped up asking if I wanted to update it. The only option was to cancel the request to open. If I tapped update, it popped a message saying the file appeared to be invalid.

I chose two different APK noDPI universal versions from February and same result.

First attempt:
Google LLC Google Docs (universal) (nodpi) (Android 8.0+) APK

Second attempt:

The phone I attempted it on:

AT&T Motorola 2023 Play XT2271-3 3/32gb And 12

PUMediaTek Helio G37 MT6765H, 2021, 64 bit, octa-core, 12 nm, IMG PowerVR GE8320 GPU
Operative Memory:

The goofed up version currently installed:
version Google Docs

Sent from my moto g play - 2023 using Tapatalk
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You've definitely got to uninstall the existing version. Only a newer version would be able to be installed over an existing version. To revert back you have to manually uninstall what's there, then install the desired one.

I read the FAQs at APKMirror and it gave the hint that if an installation is attempted while a newer version is installed, the system detects it and it's no-go.

I uninstalled the janky version and tried again. Instead of getting the "update" dialogue box, it asked if I wanted to install.

Voila, it installed. It no longer has the font size restrictions.


Now we shall see if I get update issues with Google. There's usually a sunset for apps where they refuse to let us use them if we don't want to update. I used to get messages on Google Voice that would block me from using it unless I updated.

Anyway THANK YOU for helping to educate me on how to use sideloaded apps. GDocs is a daily driver for me and much needed in a usable version. I am sure your instructions will continue to help others who will read this thread.

Sent from my moto g play - 2023 using Tapatalk
You're going to have to keep it from automatically updating. I have my Androids set to not update automatically (even over Wi-Fi), as when I get notifications of pending ones I look through and do them manually (I don't run a lot of additional apps), just allowing the ones I actually use. I know there's a way to choose no updating, then go in through the Play Store and "white list" individual apps. But I don't think there's a way to allow updating ("globally") and then "black list" apps you don't want to update that way. Follow me? Maybe there's more that I don't know too!
@ whacker
Yes, first thing I do when setting up a new phone before activation in order to stop it from sucking down mobile data, is to switch off auto updates in settings. I only update apps I use, and uninstall or disable those I don't want. I only update if there's something needed in the new version because occasionally the old version is better.

I don't always trust updates but with Google Docs I thought it might cure problems with certain phones, so I take the chance. Not risking that again for now!

My Moto Power G7 had an interaction issue with recent versions of GDocs where it was tedious to expand the screen by spreading the fingers. Not on the phone itself when reading pdf files downloaded from Drive, but in editing mode within the program.

One other phone developed the problem, a factory unlocked Moto E (but not a TF unlocked E).

Well, I installed GDocs from APKMirror and it cured the problem as well as rolled back the font size issue. Great! I'll try the fix on the E.

Details on the APK version used on the Power:

Moto G7 Power XT2041DL
And 11
64bit arm arm64-v8a

Janky March update version Google Docs
Uninstalled 3/26/24

Installed APK February version
Google Docs (nodpi) (Android 8.0+)

Had to allow in permissions. The Power asked what I wanted to install it with, a notepad (!) OR an installer. I chose installer and it installed.

The February version still had the font issue so I uninstalled and tried a January version. version

It rolled back to before the issue, and CURED the pinch & expand problem. It works so far as per initial test on one file.

Sent from my moto g power (XT2041DL) using HoFo mobile app
Just beware DLing APKs from unvetted websites

they can contain malware, spyware, botnet code etc
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Just beware DLing APKs from unvetted websites

they can contain malware, spyware, botnet code etc
Yes, I will try to stick to APK Mirror site.

I may have to try progressively older versions of GDocs because for some reason the spread fingers to expand issue is still plaguing my Moto G7 Power and Moto E.

Has anyone had any problems with dialling back versions and then have the app not work right with the current system (given that GDocs requires a certain amount of web connection for operation particularly to save docs)?

Sent from my moto g pure using HoFo mobile app
Yesterday I was working with Google Docs and Drive on one of my Moto e phones, and when I closed/saved the file, I found out that Docs had disappeared off the phone. I couldn't find it under apps.

I had installed an older version from the APK Mirror website that had features the new updates don't.

I'm wondering if Google detected that it wasn't installed from Google Play and uninstalled it.

I installed another January version and will see how it goes.

Sent from my moto g(7) optimo maxx(XT1955DL) using Tapatalk
Make sure to set gPlay to not update it.

I keep all my old-version APKs on all my phones, so it is very easy to uninstall / reinstall, just takes a minute.

Of course being lots more carefull with apps that are not "cloud first" with my content data, or where there are complex settings / customisations.

Those being so rare I'm less regular doing off-device backups
Once I do an install I'm leery of updating for fear of getting a worse version for my purposes.

With apps that operate offline, those aren't as likely to have issues like I had with GDocs.

I'm thinking it's because Docs operates over WiFi that something went haywire and it uninstalled itself. Very weird.

I have all apps set to not auto update. That way unless they try to force an update by saying the app will no longer function otherwise, I will stick with a version that works for me.

Sent from my moto e using Tapatalk