Thanks to the last version of the Google app, we learned a great deal about what ‘Bisto’ is, what it does, and even how it works. The latest version of the app began rolling out yesterday and it reveals a number of significant things, including insight into the next version of Android.
About APK Teardowns: In this ‘APK teardown,’ we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that was uploaded to the Play Store. When an app (or an APK, to be specific, in the case of Android apps) is decompiled, we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. With that in mind, read on.
Android 8.1, API Level 27
Version 7.11 of the Google app bumps the SDK version code to 27, while naming it as 8.1.0. This very much follows last year’s pattern, which saw Android 7.1 launching with the Google Pixel several months after 7.0 Nougat. Given the API Level bump from 8.0 Oreo (26), it’s likely that 8.1 will come with significant new APIs and features for developers to add to their apps.
New Google Lens & upcoming release
The upcoming visual feature announced at I/O 2017 gets a new icon that changes from a rectangle to a square. The same general design and color scheme remains, though I’m a bit more fond of the previous one as it looked more like a camera.
Meanwhile, there are a number of new icons included in version 7.11 of the Google app that relates to the upcoming launch of Lens. A series of icons featuring various clothing, a dog, and other objects will likely be included as part of the Lens experience.
According to our source, Google Lens will be preloaded on the upcoming Pixel 2 devices, much like how Assistant was first to launch on last year’s Made by Google devices. With another fall launch expected for the next generation Pixel hardware, this very much coincides with the later this year time frame for the release of Lens.
Screenshot editing feature closer to release
Version 7.9 revealed more about the upcoming screenshot editing feature within the Google app that will allow for cropping and annotating before sharing. The latest beta is preparing for the public launch as there is now a toggle to disable the feature. This setting will be located in the Accounts & privacy screen though there is now way to enable it yet.
Bisto battery notification and toast
References to Bisto are still present in the app, with some new strings clarifying the process for sending a message. During the transcription process, users will be able to re-record and delete by tapping either the top, middle, and button buttons. Additionally, a battery toast will alert users when charge is low, as well as a notification upon pairing.
<string name=”bisto_magic_pairing_notification_body”>Battery level: n/a</string>
Version 7.11 makes reference to a “vehicle integration” feature that essentially asks your permission to automatically enable Bluetooth audio routing when in a car.
<string name=”vehicle_integration_confirmation_dialog_message”>Your car can work better with the Google app by enabling the bluetooth audio routing setting. Do that automatically?</string> <string name=”vehicle_integration_confirmation_dialog_title”>Update Google Settings?</string>
Calls on speakers
Given the wave of Assistant speakers coming out of last week’s IFA 2017, Google has made the Home’s calling functionality more generic in settings. Previous just “Calls,” it is now “Calls on speakers.”