Now Playing History

With the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, Now Playing added a very useful history to view all your recognized songs and quickly take action on them. The latest version of Pixel Ambient Services in Android Q suggests that location history and the ability to leave feedback are the next major 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.

Location & activity history

Now Playing is powered by Pixel Ambient Services and version 1.0.229715350 (via APK Mirror) included with Android Q Beta 1 reveals how “Now Playing history can include location and activities.” Google touts “driving” as an example of activity recognition.

<string name=”history_context_activation_dialog”>” Your Now Playing history can include location and activities, like driving. To include this information, allow “Pixel Ambient Services to access your location on the next screen.

This feature is not yet live, and involves granting the location permission to Pixel Ambient Services. In the future, users will be able to visit their song history (in Settings or via the homescreen shortcut) to see where it was recognized, with Google noting what you were “Near” at the time. If available, what activity you were performing will also be listed.

<string name=”activity_driving”>While driving</string>

<string name=”history_context_switch_subtitle”>Now Playing history will show location and activities, like driving</string>

<string name=”history_context_switch_title”>Include location and activities</string>

<string name=”place_format_string”>Near %1$s</string>

The history feature launched during the October 9th event last year, so it’s possible location and activity recognition will not arrive until the next Made by Google event. Alternately, it could go live over the next several Android Q Betas and debut with the stable release in Q3.

Sending feedback

Now Playing could soon gain a way to leave feedback and improve the on-device feature. One option involves sending “captured audio” that may have been incorrectly identified, while another will just send “detailed logs.”

<string name=”user_feedback_title”>Feedback for Now Playing</string>

<string name=”user_feedback_explanation”>This will send information to the Now Playing team to improve the feature in the future. It will send the name of the song that was recognized and detailed logs of what was captured. Access to this information is restricted and monitored by appropriate engineering and feedback teams..

<string name=”user_feedback_audio_checkbutton”>Send captured audio. If this is not checked, no audio will be sent to Google, only detailed logs.</string>

In addition to adding an optional comment, users can select from one of four default errors:

<string name=”user_feedback_select_type”>Choose one:</string>

<string name=”user_feedback_radio_no_song”>No song recognized</string>

<string name=”user_feedback_radio_other”>Other feedback</string>

<string name=”user_feedback_radio_song_without_music”>Song recognized without music playing</string>

<string name=”user_feedback_radio_wrong_song”>Wrong song recognized</string>

<string name=”user_feedback_add_comment”>Add comment</string>

‘Add to Liked Songs’ tweaks

While location history and sending feedback is not yet live, one change to Now Playing is already available. The “Add to Liked Songs” option for Play Music in the action menu has been renamed to “Add to Thumps Up.” Functionality remains the same, with the actual playlist in Play Music named “Thumbs Up.” Google likely copied the YouTube Music shortcut.

AOD, lockscreen notification

Like calendar events and travel ETAs, Now Playing notifications in Android Q now appear in the new pill-shaped space at the bottom of the AOD and lockscreen.

Android Q Beta 1 Now Playing

How to update?

Pixel Ambient Services 1.0.229715350 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.

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About the Author

Abner Li

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