Due to the holiday season, version 7.17 of the Google app first hit the beta channel in late November and rolled out to all users throughout December. Now, version 7.18 has arrived with more hints of the rumored Home with a display, Lens functionality, and more.

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.

“Donating” Google Lens images

In late November, Google Lens began rolling out to the Pixel and Pixel 2 as part of a preview before the wider release to all Android devices. This public feedback helps Google fine tune the accuracy and capabilities of Lens.

The Assistant might soon let users “donate” images taken with Lens “to improve Google products.” It’s unclear what other products besides Lens will benefit from human review, but given the privacy concerns this option will likely be opt-in.

<string name=”eyes_donate_data_notification_learn_more”>Learn more</string>

<string name=”eyes_donate_data_notification_text”>You are donating images to improve Google products.</string>

<string name=”nexus_device_donate_lens_data_summary”>Allow images taken with Lens in Assistant to be reviewed by humans to improve Google products.</string>

<string name=”nexus_device_donate_lens_data_title”>Donate Lens images</string>

People also view article suggestions

Back in August, we spotted the Google app testing a “People also view” feature to suggest articles related to the one you’re currently viewing from Search results. In September, this feature was rolled out to the iOS client.

It might finally be set for a wider release on Android according to two new lines in version 7.18 that also hint to the the ability to “Send feedback” on the suggestions.

<string name=”explore_header_title”>People also view</string>

<string name=”explore_send_feedback”>Send feedback</string>

Shared Links, Images in Personal tab

Version 7.18 includes a handful of strings related to viewing shared links and images. It’s unclear which shared photos are being referenced, though “Shared Links” will surface “Links sent and received via emails or messages.” It’s also not clear where this functionality will be located, but one likely candidate is the “Personal” tab.

<string name=”shared_links_desc”>Links sent and received via emails or messages</string>

<string name=”shared_links_title”>Shared Links</string>

<string name=”shared_photo_group_header”>Shared Images</string>

Update 1/4: Since the teardown yesterday, we’ve been able to activate Shared Links. As we speculated, it is a part of the Personal search feature that will let users surface links sent or received from emails and messages while searching. There will be an option to enable/disable the feature under Personal settings.


Quartz screen resolution

As is typical with recent versions of the Google app, there are more references to the rumored “Quartz” Google Home speaker with a display. As spotted by Android Police, there are several references to screen resolution:

<string name=”quartz_device_qualifier_w”></string>

<string name=”quartz_device_qualifier_w”>w960dp</string>

<string name=”quartz_device_qualifier_w”>w1024dp</string>

<string name=”quartz_device_qualifier_w”>w1280dp</string>

Current rumors suggest that Quartz will sport a 7-inch display, though the range of resolutions in version 7.18 could suggest a family of screened devices in the future.

Dylan contributed to this article

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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