Last week’s Google app beta, which should soon be available in the stable channel, notably revamped settings and updated the bottom bar with the Google Material Theme. Google app 9.31 is a more quiet release that tweaks Assistant settings, makes it easier to browse Actions, and returns Android Auto integration for Podcasts.

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 Assistant settings tweaks

Not explicitly tied to Google app 9.31 today is a more compact header in Assistant settings. With a growing list of services and capabilities, the Google app will now shrink your profile avatar, name, and email address into an app bar as you scroll down the screen.

Actions categories

Last week we spotted Assistant adding colorful icons to the carousel of suggested actions, and a redesign for the built-in list of features. The Explore tab of third-party Actions recently added a carousel of the various app categories. Located at the bottom of the page, it features cover images and replaces the previous “All categories” list view.

Google Podcasts returns

Google Podcasts added Android Auto support in early January with Google app 8.91. Last week’s 9.27 beta removed the app from Auto’s list of optimized media apps, but it is now back with Google app 9.31.

Google Search Material Theme

In addition to the bottom bar and settings revamp, the Search experience of the Google app is more widely seeing a Material Theme redesign with version 9.31. At the top of the “Home” tab, the search field is flat with faint gray outlines. On the results page, the search bar is similarly pill-shaped.

Collection Recommendations

Google is making further tweaks to Collections, namely the upcoming Recommendations feature that will suggest “related images, pages, and more” as you save more items.

Google app 9.27

<string name=”collections_recommendations_empty_state_body”>Add to this collection to see more</string>

<string name=”collections_recommendation_promo_message”>Add to collection to improve recommendations</string>

<string name=”collections_recommendation_items_tab”>More to consider</string>

Google app 9.31

<string name=”collections_recommendations_empty_state_body”>”As you add to your collection, you’ll start seeing related images, pages, and more”</string>

<string name=”collections_recommendation_promo_message”>”You’ll see more here as you add to your collection”</string>

<string name=”collections_recommendation_items_tab”>Find more</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

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: