The latest beta version of the Google app notably reverses the Assistant dark mode introduced last week. Meanwhile, Google app 9.10 reveals “Avocado” as Face Match for Assistant, targets Android Q, and more.
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.
Last April, Google app 8.1 revealed work on an Assistant feature codenamed “Avocado” that manifested itself as a new menu item in Assistant settings. Nine months later it has reemerged in Google app 9.10 as “face_match.”
<string name=”face_match_settings_page_subtitle”>Description of this page goes here…</string>
Styled similarly to the existing Voice Match authentication, Face Match allows users to “set up,” “retrain,” and “remove” a scan of your face to presumably unlock or grant access to personal results across your Assistant devices.
One big question now is what Face Match works on. You can interestingly “Invite” others to create a Face Match to unlock shared devices, suggesting that it’s not a single-purpose feature. The phrasing of the current strings also point to it working on “multiple_devices” with phones and Smart Displays currently being the most likely candidates given the presence of front-facing cameras.
<string name=”face_match_add_device_button_text”>Add a device</string>
<string name=”face_match_enabled_devices_section_title”>set up on:</string>
<string name=”face_match_invite_summary”>Description for invite</string>
<string name=”face_match_invite_title”>Invite others</string>
<string name=”face_match_remove_summary”>Description for remove</string>
<string name=”face_match_retrain_summary”>Description for retrain</string>
<string name=”face_match_retrain_title”>Retrain your Assistant</string>
<string name=”face_match_set_up_button_text”>Set up Avocado</string>
Meanwhile, this update introduces a generic “face” icon that is currently found on the Android lockscreen when using Smart Lock’s Trusted Face feature.
Android Q support
Google app 9.10 begins targeting Android “Q” as the “compileSdkVersionCodename” and “platformBuildVersionName.” The “BuildVersionCode” is still set to API 28 since API 29 will not be finalized for several more months. Closer to launch “Q” will likely be updated to “10.”
In the context of Android Q featuring support for more secure facial recognition hardware, Face Match modeling could be leveraging this new system-level API and functionality.
<manifest xmlns:android=”http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android” android:compileSdkVersion=”28″ android:compileSdkVersionCodename=”9″ package=”com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox” platformBuildVersionCode=”28″ platformBuildVersionName=”9″>
<manifest xmlns:android=”http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android” android:compileSdkVersion=”28″ android:compileSdkVersionCodename=”Q” package=”com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox” platformBuildVersionCode=”28″ platformBuildVersionName=”Q”>
Lock screen personal results
Speaking of Voice Match, Google confirmed at CES 2019 that it will soon deprecate device “Unlock with Voice Match” in favor of the more restricted and secure Assistant access from the lockscreen. This is already the case on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Work on that feature is still underway in Google app 9.10 with the ability to “Allow” or “Don’t allow.”
<string name=”personal_response_on_lockscreen_allow_radio”>Allow lock screen personal results</string>
<string name=”personal_response_on_lockscreen_disallow_radio”>”Don’t allow lock screen personal results”</string>
<string name=”personal_response_on_lockscreen_message_updated”>”Use Voice Match to send messages and access your email, calendar, contacts, and more when your phone is locked. You’ll still need to unlock your phone for some actions, like purchases.”</string>
<string name=”personal_response_on_lockscreen_message_with_toggle_updated”>Use Voice Match to send messages and access your email, calendar, contacts, and more when your phone is locked.</string>
<string name=”personal_response_on_lockscreen_title_updated”>Allow personal results on your lock screen</string>
<string name=”personal_response_on_lockscreen_turn_off_with_toggle_updated”>”You can always turn this off in Assistant settings. You’ll still need to unlock your phone for some actions, like purchases. %1$s”</string>
Docked Assistant settings
New options and menus are frequently being added to Assistant settings. Google app 9.10 is working on a slight redesign that docks the rather large header with your profile icon, name, and email as you scroll. The animations are still buggy and unfinished.
Google Assistant dark mode removed
Last week’s release added a dark mode for Google Assistant that oddly introduced cards with black backgrounds for voice search results and in Assistant Updates. Enabled by the system Night mode or battery saver, it has since been removed in Google app 9.10.
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