After a few weeks break due to the winter holidays, the Google app is returning to its usual cadence of weekly beta releases. Google app 8.91 reveals work on applying the Material Theme to even more parts of Google Assistant settings. We’ve also managed to enable auto downloading in Google Podcasts, among other in-development features.
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.
Redesigned Google Assistant settings
Back in October, Google Assistant received a Material Theme redesign for settings that only touched the top-level menus. In Google app 8.91, we’ve enabled several redesigned settings pages for Weather, Getting around, and more. Shared aspects of this new design include stark white backgrounds, centered text, and the Google Sans font. Assistant voice also receives a notable redesign that better emphasizes device availability.
Top Apps redesign
For the past several versions, the Google app has been working on a “Top Apps” feature that essentially links to websites. In Google app 8.91, it’s been renamed to simply “Apps” with an entirely new design that is quite delighful and animated.
Google Podcasts version info
With Google Podcasts finally adding support for links in show notes and improved text formating, its next feature is version info when visiting settings in Google app 8.91.
Google Podcasts auto downloading
Meanwhile, we’ve managed to enable the long-awaited auto downloading functionality for Google Podcasts. From settings, users will be able to manage which shows this feature is enabled for.
Trusted Voice deprecation
Last year, we detailed how Google is planning to remove Trusted Voice as a method to unlock your device. Version 8.91 continues work on this deprecation by tweaking the strings that will alert users to the change. It explicitly notes how “Voice Match will no longer unlock your phone,” with that functionality replaced by personal results from Google Assistant, like on the Pixel 3.
Google app 8.70
<string name=”opa_trusted_voice_deprecation_promo_message”>”The Voice Match to unlock feature you’ve been using has been replaced with a more secure way to get personal results while your device is locked. You can change this in your Assistant settings”
<string name=”opa_trusted_voice_deprecation_promo_title”>Updated Voice Match</string>
Google app 8.91
<string name=”opa_trusted_voice_deprecation_promo_message”>Voice Match will no longer unlock your phone, but you can now use it to access personal results from your email, calendar, contacts, and reminders when your phone is locked.</string>
<string name=”opa_trusted_voice_deprecation_promo_settings_text”>CHANGE SETTINGS</string>
<string name=”opa_trusted_voice_deprecation_promo_title”>A new way to use Voice Match</string>
Work on letting parts of apps surface in the Search field continues. Again, Google app 8.91 tweaks the strings to more explicitly note how this feature works.
Google app 8.70
<string name=”suggest_slice_removal_body”>This content comes from an installed app and is related to what you’re typing. Hiding this suggestion will remove it from this list.</string>
<string name=”suggest_slice_removal_title”>Hide this slice from your search suggestions?</string>
Google app 8.91
<string name=”suggest_slice_removal_body”>This content comes from %s and is related to what you are typing. Hiding this content will remove it from AutoComplete for 30 days.
<string name=”suggest_slice_removal_title”>Hide for 30 days?</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 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