Compared to last week’s beta that detailed Assistant Ambient Mode, the latest Google app is a quieter release. Google app 10.24 reveals more about “Brief your Assistant” and oddly removes Chromebooks from the Availability section of various Assistant 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.
New Assistant Explore icon
Update 7/19: At the tail end of this beta period, Google Assistant is testing a new Explore icon. The Actions for Google app store drops the compass for an open book that’s in mid-page flip. It’s a more complex icon that draws your attention.
When in Explore, it’s blue, but otherwise a simple gray. So far, the new Explore icon has only appeared on one device we checked with Google app 10.24. This A/B test is only reflected in the Assistant panel and not anywhere else in settings.
Brief your Assistant
The beta last week included the first reference to “Brief your Assistant.” This feature lets users specify their interests, with Google noting how the smart assistant is “more helpful the better [it knows] you.”
<string name=”bya_button_get_started”>Get Started</string>
<string name=”bya_button_no_thanks”>No thanks</string>
Google app 10.24 today lists the “areas” you can request help. This includes entertainment, navigation, and communication, but it’s not clear how Assistant will actually manifest this aid. Google could send Assistant notifications throughout the day or possibly personalize the Updates tab.
<string name=”bya_being_entertained”>Being entertained</string>
<string name=”bya_finding_things_to_do”>Finding things to do</string>
<string name=”bya_getting_around”>Getting around</string>
<string name=”bya_getting_quick_answers”>Getting quick answers</string>
<string name=”bya_keep_in_touch”>Keep in touch</string>
<string name=”bya_staying_organized”>Staying organized</string>
Besides phones and Smart Displays/speakers, Assistant is available on Wear OS, Android Auto, and Android TV. The Pixelbook and Pixel Slate also feature Assistant, with more Chrome OS devices slated to receive it in the future.
Chromebooks have long been listed in the Availability section of Assistant services with a generic laptop icon. Google app 10.24 removes the device class from every Assistant feature menu, including Assistant voice and Home Control.
However, Google Assistant functionality on Chrome OS is not actually impacted by this deletion. Controlling smart devices, for example, continues to work with the 76 beta on a Pixelbook. It’s somewhat odd for Google to remove a reminder of where its smart assistant is available.
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.
Thanks to JEB Decompiler, which some APK Insight teardowns benefit from.
Dylan Roussel contributed to this article