IFTTT integration on phones and Home is likely one of the biggest advantages of using Assistant over Google Now. The latest beta version of the Google app hints that the ability to make commands may soon be coming directly into Assistant. Other new features in 6.16 include payment authentication and a slightly updated visual search interface.

Version 6.16 features strings that point to the ability to “Teach your assistant” with IFTTT actions. As is, IFTTT makes up for missing third-party integrations with online services and other devices.

The strings point to some visual interface, but also the ability to input commands through voice. It’s unclear whether users will need to make an IFTTT account ahead of time.

While simple to create, “applets” still require you to go to the IFTTT site or mobile apps. But by adding an interface directly into Assistant, Google will surface this powerful feature to more users.

This beta version of the Google app also includes code for authenticating purchases made with Google Home. At the moment, Home devices can be authorized to buy things, but this new code shows a new level of phone authentication. However, a password or fingerprint will only be requested “if suspicious behavior is detected.”

Other features include the visual search that we noted in 6.14 featuring a flash to get better images. Meanwhile, version 6.15 added emoji at the bottom of the screen as a tutorial to teach users what they can search for.

These features are not yet live, but users can sign up to beta test the Google app here.

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com