Alongside the Home Hub, Google yesterday detailed an update to the Home companion app that makes the client a dashboard for your smart home. Google Home 2.6 is now rolling out with a revamped Google Material Theme that leverages a bottom bar, while revealing work on Digital Wellbeing and support for the Home Hub.
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.
Google Material Theme
Instead of a navigation drawer, a new bottom app bar that includes a FAB to open Google Assistant is present. The Assistant FAB begins a voice search even if your default input method is set to the keyboard.
A new Home tab shows all your smart devices, including Home speakers, Assistant Smart Displays, Chromecast-connected TVs, and Nest appliances. Grouped by room, this layout makes more sense to manage your gadgets.
Each device can be tapped to open media controls on speakers and TVs, while a thermostat would provide controls to adjust the temperature. Back on the main list, there are also specific actions underneath each device listed.
Up top is a “Play” shortcut that automatically begins playing music after users select an output. With Broadcast users can send a message like an intercom, while other quick actions include turning on/off smart lights.
Under “Add,” you can set up a device, invite home members, create speaker groups, or create an entirely new home. There shortcuts to manage music, video, and photo services in this list. There is also a link to Settings where users can edit members, and add more devices to a room or access settings for each listed device.
The Discover tab is next and remains unchanged, while Browse also looks similar to the last iteration. The fourth Account section houses all other controls that were previously housed in the navigation drawer, including an account switcher and various settings like mirroring a device.
Google Home Hub codenamed “Estelle”
Following in the tradition of music-related codenames, the Google Home 2.6 refers to the Home Hub as “Estelle.” For context, Chromecast Audio is Hendrix, while last year’s Home Mini is Joplin and Home Max is appropriately Biggie.
One string refers to the Ambient EQ that Google announced yesterday to adjust the screen to the brightness of a room. It doubles down on the privacy aspect by nothing how “it’s not a camera.” Another makes reference to the mute switch and volume rocker on Home Hub.
<string name=”gae_wizard_setup_estelle_lightsensor_intro_body”>”This automatically adjusts the screen brightness to blend into the room. And nope, it’s not a camera.”</string>
<string name=”gae_wizard_setup_estelle_lightsensor_intro_title”>Ambient EQ light sensor</string>
<string name=”gae_wizard_setup_estelle_mute_intro_body”>Flip the switch on the back to mute and unmute your Smart Display</string>
<string name=”gae_wizard_setup_estelle_mute_intro_title”>Mic mute switch</string>
<string name=”gae_wizard_setup_estelle_volume_intro_body”>Adjust the volume with your voice or the volume buttons on the back</string>
<string name=”gae_wizard_setup_estelle_volume_intro_title”>Volume controls</string>
Digital Wellbeing: Filters and Downtime
A handful of strings in Google Home 2.6 note the Digital Wellbeing features that Google announced for the Home Hub. With “Filters,” parents can make sure that kids only have access to family friendly media, while “Downtime” will limit device access to only key features like alarms at night.
<string name=”digital_wellbeing_settings_description”>Filters, Downtime</string>
<string name=”digital_wellbeing_settings_title”>Digital wellbeing</string>
<string name=”digital_wellbeing_zero_state_description”>Focus on what matters most with two digital wellbeing features. Filter your content and schedule downtime to unplug from your Assistant.</string>
Version 2.6 of Google Home is rolling out now via the Play Store. We do not post APKs to download directly given the legal challenges associated with copyright and possibility of removal. Meanwhile, that model is perilous given 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