Smart Displays allow Assistant to provide visual feedback, but the clear benefit of the screen is as a digital picture frame for Google Photos. An update to the Google Home companion app today preps a “Minimum brightness” setting for the Home Hub, while there are a handful of minor Material Theme tweaks.
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.
Under the Home Hub’s Display Settings, there is a new control to “Set the minimum brightness of the screen,” with options for Dark, Dim, Bright, and Brighter. However, it’s not clear what state — “low light” or general usage — this is controlling. All the other settings in the “General” section are for the “low light” mode.
For the moment, setting any of the four options does not change anything on the Home Hub, with an accompanying firmware update likely required to activate the feature.
Remove Voice Match
Lower in the Device settings — under “Privacy” — there is a new “Remove Voice Match” shortcut that opens Assistant’s Voice Match menu.
Material Theme tweaks
Google Home 2.7 also features some minor Material Theme tweaks. Instead of just text and arrows, proper rounded rectangular buttons are now leveraged in walkthrough screens. There is also a slight font tweak for cards in the Explore tab.
In-development devices, like the Home Mini and Home Max are often listed in the Google Home app before release. The companion client has long featured “device_co.” In Google Home 2.7, the string has been updated to reflect that Chrome OS is the device type being referred to.
One possible reason Chrome OS is listed in the Google Home app could be Chromebooks and larger-screened devices getting some Home-like Assistant features, or becoming a selectable Cast target for users.
Google Home 2.6
<string name=”device_co_name” />
Google Home 2.7
<string name=”device_co_name”>Chrome OS</string>
Built-in Google Wifi settings
One overlooked part of Google’s Home strategy is its mesh networking solution. Google Wifi might now be integrated into the Google Home app according to a handful of new strings that specifically refer to the branded “Wifi” name, instead of generic “Wi-Fi.”
<string name=”wifi_accessibility_open_settings”>Open Wifi settings</string>
<string name=”wifi_description_advanced_settings”>DNS, WAN, LAN, more…</string>
<string name=”wifi_description_network_settings”>Wi-Fi network, password protected</string>
<string name=”wifi_description_points_settings”>Details, device settings, restart…</string>
<string name=”wifi_device_count_fmt”>%d devices are connected.</string>
Users would be able to access options like DNS and devices settings, with a future version of Google Home possibly also noting how many devices are connected to your network.
<string name=”wifi_network_map_devices_button”>Test Wifi</string>
<string name=”wifi_network_map_internet_button”>Network check</string>
<string name=”wifi_network_map_internet_label”>Download speed</string>
<string name=”wifi_network_map_mesh_button”>Test mesh</string>
<string name=”wifi_title_advanced_settings”>Advanced networking</string>
Cast Dogfood Enabler
Google employees frequently test out early versions of software, with the Google Home app now fleshing out a “Cast Dogfood Enabler.” Limited to employees with google.com accounts, tests can select a test device — including Chromecast on TVs — to get logs.
<string name=”cde_drawer_name”>Cast Dogfood Enabler</string>
<string name=”cde_error_choose_google_account”>Please choose your google.com account and try again</string>
<string name=”cde_error_no_google_account”>No account was found, this feature is restricted to run on devices that have a google.com account.</string>
<string name=”cde_failed_authenticate_server”>Failed authentication with server</string>
<string name=”cde_no_device_selected”>No device was selected!</string>
<string name=”cast_log_dialog_message_discovery”>Searching for the device on hotspot…</string>
<string name=”cast_log_dialog_message_discovery_failed”>”Couldn’t find the device, please turn off Bluetooth and try again.”</string>
<string name=”cast_log_dialog_message_downloading”>Downloading the log…</string>
<string name=”cast_log_dialog_message_failed”>See the log files for detailed error.</string>
<string name=”cast_log_dialog_message_io_failed”>”Couldn’t allocate any space to write the log.”</string>
<string name=”cast_log_dialog_title_failed”>Process failed</string>
<string name=”cast_log_dialog_title_in_progress”>Processing, do not close this window</string>
<string name=”cast_log_menu”>Submit feedback with Cast log</string>
<string name=”debug_overlay_description”>Show the debug overlay on TV</string>
<string name=”debug_overlay_label”>Debug overlay</string>
<string name=”summary_title”>All done!</string>
<string name=”trusted_tester_confidentiality_text”>This version of the Google Home app is confidential and contains features not yet released. Do not share or discuss publicly.</string>
How to update?
Version 2.7 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