The latest beta of the Google app is rolling out this morning with a very tantalizing hint at the Pixel Stand. Other tweaks in version 8.22 include a new Sound Search widget, auto-downloading for Podcasts, and detailing the Assistant Household 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.
Pixel Stand graphic
Version 8.14 in July first revealed the existence of the Pixel Stand, with subsequent updates revealing the optimized Assistant UI, and an accompanying graphic. Today, we have another animation that might suggest the physical shape and design. Unsurprisingly, the phone is standing upright, so users have full access and view of the screen.
Google Assistant Household
As part of the Assistant settings redesign enabled last month, we spotted a Household feature for Google Home. Version 8.22 provides more details, including some of the roles and functionality. In general, the feature is aimed at helping your “family collaborate and communicate across devices with shared reminder, lists, message broadcasts, and more.”
As a “Family Manager,” users will be able to “Broadcast group messages, assign reminders, and share lists with up to 6 family members.
<string name=”assistant_settings_household_family_manager”>(Family Manager)</string>
<string name=”assistant_settings_household_managing_subtitle”>”Broadcast group messages, assign reminders, and share lists with up to 6 family members”</string>
<string name=”assistant_settings_household_managing_splash_screen_button_label”>Add family member</string>
<string name=”assistant_settings_household_setup_splash_screen_button_label”>”YES, I’M IN”</string>
<string name=”assistant_settings_household_setup_splash_screen_subtitle”>”Google Assistant helps your family collaborate and communicate across devices with shared reminder, lists, message broadcasts, and more”</string>
<string name=”assistant_settings_household_setup_splash_screen_title”>”Share, organize & connect with your family”</string>
More on auto-downloading Podcasts
Previously spotted, there are more details about having Google Podcasts automatically download episodes instead of having to manually manage your offline queue.
<string name=”enabled_auto_downloading”>Enabled for %1$s podcasts</string>
<string name=”auto_download_new_episodes”>Auto download new episodes</string>
<string name=”auto_download_only_on_wifi”>Only on WiFi</string>
<string name=”auto_downloading”>Auto Downloading</string>
<string name=”settings_for_your_podcasts”>Your podcasts</string>
Second Sound Search widget
Last week, Google shared that the Pixel 2’s Now Playing technology powers Sound Search in the Google app and Assistant. In version 8.22, Google adds a second widget for the music recognition functionality, but oddly kept the original. The new variant benefits from an actually title and proper-sized app icon.
In version 8.20, we spotted Google working on an Explore feature in Chrome Custom Tabs that allows users to see similar articles. We have enabled the button to surface the list of recomendations via a sliding sheet, similar to another Chrome functionality.
Various Google apps, especially Maps, allow users to add, suggest, and even edit content. The Google app might be working to surface these user contributions.
<string name=”contributions”>Your Contributions</string>
Update 9/27: This post has been updated with information regarding Settings search, which launched after the initial rollout on Friday, 9/18.
The Google app is beginning to roll out search in Settings with version 8.22. As we enabled last month, this allows users to find features and quickly jump into the appropriate menu. After selecting a result, the corresponding section will be briefly highlighted to help users find it.
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
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