From a versioning perspective, today’s update to the Google app is major one as it jumps from 7.x to 8.x. A new “Your People” training feature for Assistant is already visible (but not live), while strings reveal work on Custom Routines, Lens, Smart Displays, and more.
About APK Insight: In this ‘APK Insight’ post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), 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. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.
Assistant ‘Your People’
The Google app has long featured the ability to add relationships or nicknames to your contacts. As such, you could colloquially say “Call mom” and Google would dial the intended, preset person. Google Assistant is now highlighting a similar capability with a new “Your People” section located under “Personal info” in Assistant settings.
This feature lets you “Tell your Assistant who’s who,” with Assistant being able to “Remember a family member” or “Remember a birthday.” The functionality does not appear to be live as tapping those suggestion chips activates the existing “remind me” feature versus a new one to save more types of information.
Scheduling Custom Assistant Routines
Assistant Routines might soon gain more granular options as part of the upcoming ability to create Custom Routines. Namely, users might be able to set Assistant routines to go off on a “schedule” without the need for phrase to manually activate.
<string name=”user_defined_action_schedule_back_confirmation_message”>Your routine will not start unless a time, day pattern, and speaker are all selected.</string>
<string name=”user_defined_action_schedule_back_confirmation_title”>This schedule is incomplete</string>
<string name=”user_defined_action_schedule_editor_clear_message”>This schedule will be removed from your routine.</string>
<string name=”user_defined_action_schedule_editor_clear_title”>Delete this schedule?</string>
This schedule includes standard options like setting the time and day, with various repeat options.
<string name=”user_defined_action_schedule_editor_days_of_week”>Choose which days it should repeat</string>
<string name=”user_defined_action_schedule_editor_select_time”>Select time of day</string>
<string name=”user_defined_action_schedule_editor_time”>Choose a time for this routine</string>
<string name=”user_defined_action_schedule_editor_title”>Set a time and day</string>
Meanwhile, other options include setting a specific speaker/device for the Routine and the ability to get an alert notification on your phone “when it starts.”
<string name=”user_defined_action_schedule_editor_notify”>Get notified on your phone when it starts</string>
<string name=”user_defined_action_schedule_editor_select_speaker”>Select speaker</string>
<string name=”user_defined_action_schedule_editor_speaker”>Choose which speaker will start it</string>
At the moment, Lens only works with the rear-facing camera, but given how high-resolution front-facing ones are now, the visual search tool might soon support a camera toggle.
<string name=”eyes_camera_switch_button_description”>Toggle camera direction</string>
Meanwhile, a new onboarding might remind users how Lens can find places and products, as well as scan text.
<string name=”eyes_onboarding_title_places”>Find places with Lens</string>
<string name=”eyes_onboarding_title_products”>Find products with Lens</string>
<string name=”eyes_onboarding_title_text”>Scan text with Lens</string>
Google Assistant smart displays
Similar to phones and speakers, Assistant on smart displays will support playback of the news. However, given the existence of a screen, one string today notes that “news_supports_video” and that “Video available on Smart Displays.” Presumably, we will get a list of video updates from news sources, in addition to the current audio counterparts.
<string name=”assistant_settings_news_supports_video”>Video available on Smart Displays</string>
Summer time mode no longer exclusive to Home
For the past several versions, we’ve been tracking something called “Summer time mode.” As we head into that actual season, today’s update revises a string that previously noted it was strictly for Google Home devices.
<string name=”assistant_settings_summer_time_mode_availability_description”>Summer time mode will be available in</string>
<string name=”assistant_settings_summer_time_mode_availability_clarification” />
Send to device
Strings in version 8.0 reference a new “send_to_device” interface. Existing as a snackbar, users would be able to deliver information to an appropriate device. Possible candidates for where sending could be initiated from — due to the visual interface — include phones and smart displays.
<string name=”send_to_device_snackbar_text”>Sent to %1$s</string>
<string name=”send_to_device_title”>Send To Device</string>
Lite Mode removed
The Google app’s built-in “Lite Mode” has been removed — likely due to the existence of the better optimized Google Go app. Several strings have been removed that detail how the feature “simplifies search results and web pages to use up to 80% less data,” as well as the capability for the mode to automatically enable itself when a “slow connected is detected.”
Floating sport scores
In version 7.24, we spotted the Google app working on “pinned” floating sport scores. The latest beta includes more strings detailing the functionality, and specifically an associated notification.
<string name=”notification_subtext”>Pinned match</string>
<string name=”notification_title”>%1$s vs %2$s</string>
Dylan contributed to this article