Google is currently rolling out an update to Google’s beta application which hints at several new features to come in the future. One of these is the ability to input text when talking directly to the Assistant on the Google Pixel. Other changes include further work to get Assistant working on Android Wear plus something new called “Search gestures”…
The biggest find is, of course, the ability to talk to the Google Assistant through written text. This would look and feel very similar to how you can communicate with the Assistant through Allo.
Added to the application was a keyboard icon. Once this feature is launched, users might be able to tap it and the Assistant’s UI will change to include a text field for written input. While most people are fine having vocal conversations with their phones for now, this update would pave the way for the day that bots get fully integrated into the Google Assistant. Instead of having to direct orders only through voice, you’ll be able to communicate with all of those future services by simply typing a couple of instructions.
In previous teardowns of the Android Wear application, code snippets were found that hinted to the fact that Google was working to bring the Assistant to Wear 2.0. New code in the Google app appears to now be corroborating this fact. For now, not much can be found other than some code that points to new settings for the Android Wear Assistant.
Lastly, something called “Search gestures” has been found in the latest beta build. While nothing is confirmed at this point, the name does make it sound like you’ll be able to activate the Google search interface by swiping down on the home screen instead of reaching up and tapping on the search bar at the top of the screen. This could be useful on tablets or phones with larger displays.
The app teardown, courtesy of the Android Police, suggests that these new features could be made available soon via a server-side or an entire app update. Just keep in mind that Google could always just scrap them before they ever see the light of day.
You can download the Google beta 6.10 .apk file here if you would like to install it and test it on your own device.