In our teardown of the latest Google app beta yesterday, we spotted a number of features being prepped for Assistant. This included the ability to set a different voice, as well as the ability to launch it on the Pixel 2 by squeezing the Active Edge. Since then, we have been able to activate several of those features and a handful of other new ones.
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.
We were able to access the settings screen for Assistant voice, but have been unable to listen to what they sound like. Located in Assistant settings under Preferences, the pane lets users “Choose the voice your Assistant will use to respond to you.”
From there, users can sample the voices and select one, with the app noting it will be applied to both Google Home and Android devices. At the moment, there are two options: US Voice I (Holly) and US Voice II (Jay). The latter is possibly the male option.
Squeeze for your Assistant
On the Pixel 2, there will likely be a shortcut under the Assistant’s device-specific settings to see whether “Squeeze for your Assistant” is enabled. From the screenshots included with the Pixel 2’s FCC filing, “Active Edge” options are likely located in system Settings, just like Moves.
For several versions now, we’ve spotted a Calendar option under the list of Services for Assistant. However, we have only been able to access the menu with version 7.12 of the Google app.
The feature does not seem to be fully active yet, but it lists the calendars associated with your account, as well as an option to set the “Default calendar to create events.” In the future, users will likely be able to select another calendar —beyond the default “Events” one — when saving an appointment with Assistant.
Bottom bar with text
Google is testing a bottom bar for the main Google app that includes text descriptions for the icons.
Asides: Circular shortcuts and Routines
Lastly, Google is testing a design that places shortcuts within circles. The Routines feature that we spotted yesterday for initiating multiple actions with a single phrase is also visible in Assistant’s main Services menu.
<string name=”assistant_settings_routines_description”>Get daily help with personal Routines. Just say one command and your Assistant will do multiple things.</string>