The latest beta release of the Google app is rolling out this evening, and details work on a number of minor features. Google app 9.51 reveals some possible new Bisto features, the ability for other users to add items to shared Collections, 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.
Google Assistant headphones
With version 9.23 in February, we spotted new strings for “bisto” (what Google Assistant headphones are called in the Google app). The option to “Output responses via HFP” refers to the Bluetooth Hands-Free Profile (HFP) used by phones to communicate with cars. Given this association to vehicles and the new Link Drive and Roav Bolt class of devices, we assumed that there was some relation between the two types of Assistant audio products.
Google app 9.51 today renames the “Output responses via HFP” option to “Speak responses as a phone call,” with a description noting that you should “Try this if you’re having trouble hearing your Assistant.”
The option could be for Assistant headphones after all as the setting briefly flashes as users open the Pixel Buds page in Assistant settings. “Play start sound” and “Play end sound” also appear, but are not accessible and disappear when the full settings page loads.
The Collections feature that allows users to save links, images, products, and places in Google recently added the Pinterest-esque ability to publicly share groupings. A future capability might let users “contribute” to a Collection, with the owner able to mark a list as “Editable” or “View only.”
<string name=”collections_dialog_share_link_editable_description”>Anyone with link can contribute</string>
<string name=”collections_dialog_share_link_view_only”>View only</string>
Google Lens Region Search
Google Lens could soon refine results by letting users set a “Region Search Mode.” Google Search already has this option:
<string name=”lens_enter_region_search_description”>Enter Region Search Mode</string>
<string name=”lens_leave_region_search_description”>Leave Region Search Mode</string>
Google Assistant button
At MWC 2019, Google announced that more OEMs would add Assistant buttons to phones. Version 9.51 suggests that a new introductory prompt is in development.
<string name=”opa_zero_state_content_description”>Get more done with Google Assistant button</string>
Search already features a tip calculator tool, but the Google app appears to be working on another one. Google app 9.51 renames some features:
Google app 9.46
<string name=”tc_split_bill_name”>Split bill</string>
<string name=”tc_tip_on_tax_name”>Tip on tax/other charges</string>
Google app 9.51
<string name=”tc_tip_on_tax_name”>Include taxes</string>
With Continued Conversation on Smart Displays and speakers no longer limited to U.S. English, Google has updated strings in 9.51 to reflect that U.K. availability. It might soon roll out to more English regions, while internal Dogfood testing in German continues.
Google app 9.46
<string name=”assistant_settings_summer_time_mode_availability_clarification_override”>”Continued Conversation is currently available for English (US). If you use devices not shown here, the person with the primary account on those devices may turn Continued Conversation on or off in their Assistant settings. We are also currently dogfooding the following locales: all English locales, German (DE).”</string>
Google app 9.51
<string name=”assistant_settings_summer_time_mode_availability_clarification_override”>”Continued Conversation is currently available for English. If you use devices not shown here, the person with the primary account on those devices may turn Continued Conversation on or off in their Assistant settings. We are also currently dogfooding the following locales: German (DE).”
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.