The latest version of the Google app is rolling out this morning with a number of in-development features related to Assistant. A new voice might be in the works, while “Family Sharing” and “Car” settings have emerged, alongside setting up Google Duo on Smart Displays. Meanwhile, the “At a glance” widget is out of beta while there might be a new notification history feature.
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.
Cameo Assistant voice
Google recently switched Assistant voices to a color-based naming scheme with a delightful new selector interface. To compliment the existing eight, there is a string for a new “Cameo Voice.” As a color, cameo is a very light beige that borders yellow. The name itself could be a possible reference to famous cameo that musician John Legend is set to make in Assistant as a voice. Additionally, it could just be a new regional voice.
<string name=”assistant_settings_voice_selection_cameo_voice”>Cameo Voice</string>
At a glance out of beta
Back in April, the Google app introduced the Pixel Launcher’s At a glance widget to all Android devices. This useful widget is now out of beta, according to an updated string that drops the label. This change comes as last version detailed the upcoming deprecation of the “Feed” widget. However, note that as of version 8.12 last week, the widget in Android’s widget picker already dropped the beta label.
<string name=”smartspacewidget_name”>At a glance</string>
Google Assistant Car setting
Google Assistant is already available on cars, but might soon appear in the Devices list of Assistant settings to access various preferences.
<string name=”assistant_car_preference” />
<string name=”assistant_settings_car_title” />
Google Assistant Family Sharing
The Assistant for Households feature that we’ve been tracking for the past several versions has been renamed. Now simply called “Family Sharing,” this feature will let users add details about members living with you and likely more.
<string name=”assistant_settings_personal_info_household_title”>Family Sharing</string>
Meanwhile, a related “Your people” feature — that briefly went live and was subsequently removed — will let users “Forget details about” any added contact.
<string name=”assistant_settings_your_people_forget_option_content_description”>Forget details about %1$s</string> <string name=”assistant_settings_your_people_overflow_content_description”>More options</string>
The ability to search for specific settings is still under development, but text for it has now been renamed from “Search or Type in Setting” to just “Search in settings.”
<string name=”settings_search_bar_hint”>Search in settings</string>
Google Duo for Smart Displays
Ahead of the launch later this month, you can now add your Google Duo account to a Smart Display. “Voice and Video calls” is now separated into two menus, with the latter detailing the functionality for the new Assistant form factor and letting users pair an existing account.
To use Assistant headphones, like Pixel Buds, users need to grant the Google app Notification access on Android. Version 8.13 features a new string related to notification history that might hint at a new feature or a continuation of the existing one for headphones.
Regardless of its origin, it details a “notification_history_card” that will display the app icon for received alerts and let users quickly jump into that application. It will also note who a message was sent to.
<string name=”read_notification_history_card_app_btn_description”>Tapping on this app icon will launch the corresponding app.</string>
<string name=”read_notification_history_card_app_btn_text”>Open %1$s</string>
<string name=”read_notification_msg_history_card_sent_to_with_name”>Message sent to: %1$s</string>
New Assistant conversation bubble design
There’s a thinner conversation bubble design that is pill-shaped on the right and sharper to the top-left.
New Top Apps icon
As spotted last week, there is a new Top Apps feature that’s now using a new icon in version 8.13.
How to update?
You can sign-up for the Google app’s beta program here or by heading to the Play Store listing on Android and scrolling to the bottom. The latest beta version of the Google app is immediately rolled out when it’s available.
We do not post APKs to download directly given the legal challenges associated with copyright and possibility of removal. Meanwhile, that model moving forward is perilous given upcoming system-level changes from Android App Bundles and Google Play’s Dynamic Delivery.
Thanks to JEB Decompiler, which some APK Insight teardowns benefit from.
Dylan contributed to this article