Since I/O 2017, Google has been working on adding Google Lens to Assistant. With version 7.12 of the Google app, we’ve been able to activate Lens and demonstrate what it looks like. Additionally, we were able to initiate the new male Assistant voice that we spotted last week.
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.
Like the demo shown on stage at I/O 2017, Lens can be launched by activating the Assistant and tapping the new camera icon in the bottom right corner. It can also be launched from the new customizable Search bar widget or within the Google app’s Search bar.
As we saw several weeks ago, the Lens icon has been redesigned to be square shaped. Tapping it launches the interface we saw at I/O, but notably changed is how the dialogue boxes and chips are all rounded.
When users focus on a part of the image by tapping their screen, the Google Lens icon reappears in the bottom right corner to return to the live camera view and start a new search.
Afterwards, a box appears over the selected area, with Assistant noting “Here’s what I found” and presenting a carousel of chips. At the moment, this is as much as we’ve been able to activate as tapping a chip presents an error.
Meanwhile, for those who use the keyboard as their “Preferred input,” Google Lens can also be quickly accessed. To the left of the current voice search, there is a Google Lens icon. Again, we can see the new rounded UI for Assistant’s conversation bubbles.
Google Assistant voices
Our previous teardown of the Google app also noted that Google is working on letting users set customizable voices for the Assistant and voice feedback. We have now been able to activate (as heard at the 7 second mark of the clip below) the male option named “Voice II.”
Dylan contributed to this article