The latest Google app beta is rolling out today and while it did not provide more insight into the Pixel Stand. However, like last week, there are several new features. Version 8.15 reveals work on a “Memory Aid Locker” for Assistant, while also revealing a new Material icon for Google Duo.
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 Memory Aid Locker
Since version 8.0, the Google app has been working on a “Your people” feature to assign relationships to your contacts. For example, you can tell Assistant that such-and-such a person is your mother, and in the future just ask Google to “Call mom.”
Those strings are still present in version 8.15, but there is now a new feature titled “Memory Aid Locker.” This feature would have its own preference menu within Assistant settings. It could be related to “Your People” or be the next iteration.
<string name=”assistant_settings_memory_locker_title”>Memory Aid Locker</string>
New Duo and phone icons
In recent weeks, Google Duo has received a number of updates including Google Account linking for multi-device support and tablet mode. A new icon might be next for the video calling service, with version 8.15 revealing a tweaked variant that is more inline with the latest Material Design.
Adopting a deeper blue background, the icon loses most of its shadow from the artificial light source, while the video icon drops the paper crease down the middle.
The generic phone icon gets a similar tweak, but compared to the current Google Phone icon the only difference is a light shade of blue to match Duo.
We’ve enabled Search in Google app settings.
For the past several releases, the Google app has been working on a “Top Apps” feature. In the past, we managed to get a new icon for it to appear in the bottom bar, but with version 8.15 we’ve enabled the entire feature.
It is a directory of “Top Apps” with various categories like Games, Banking, Health, and Reference listed in a carousel at the top of the screen. Tapping on an icon will either open the app (if it’s installed on your device), a corresponding website, or the Play Store listing. By holding down on an icon, users can add it to a “Favorites” section at the top of the list.
While the functionality is quite straightforward, it’s still unclear why Google feels that users need such a feature. It does provide quick access, but it’s not more convenient than the homescreen or bookmarks in Chrome.
<string name=”topapps_added_to_favorites”>Added to favorites</string>
<string name=”topapps_books_category_header”>Books & Literature</string>
<string name=”topapps_food_category_header”>Cooking & Food</string>
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.
Dylan contributed to this article