At CES earlier this month, Google laid out what’s coming to Assistant over the course of 2020. The latest Google app beta (10.93) this afternoon details a handful of upcoming capabilities, like hotword sensitivity for “Hey Google.”
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.
Hey Google hotword sensitivity
Back in September, Google detailed that Assistant devices would soon give “you more control to reduce unintentional activations.” Besides privacy, Hey Google hotword sensitivity can be leveraged to make Assistant more responsive in “especially noisy environments.” Google app 10.93 today lays out how hotword sensitivity will work.
<string name=”assistant_settings_hotword_sensitivity_title”>\u201cHey Google\u201d sensitivity</string>
<string name=”assistant_settings_hotword_sensitivity_subtitle”>”Raise or lower this device’s sensitivity to make it more or less responsive to \u201cHey Google\u201d”</string>
<string name=”assistant_settings_hotword_sensitivity_update_success_prompt”>Sensitivity saved. Give it a try and adjust again if needed.</string>
To start, “only the person with the primary account on this device is able to update this setting.” That said, the sensitivity level will be applied to everyone using the device, implying shared ones like Smart Displays and speakers. It appears that the preference can be set on a per-device basis.
<string name=”assistant_settings_hotword_sensitivity_device_list_prompt”>Choose the device you want to be more or less responsive to \u201cHey Google\u201d</string>
<string name=”assistant_settings_hotword_sensitivity_adjust_more_button_text”>Adjust more devices</string>
There will be three increments ranging from “Least sensitive” to “Most sensitive,” with “Default” being the current level.
<string name=”assistant_settings_hotword_sensitivity_decrease_label”>Least sensitive</string>
<string name=”assistant_settings_hotword_sensitivity_increase_label”>Most sensitive</string>
The app warns that Hey Google hotword sensitivity will not work with all devices or languages initially. It’s unclear whether this preference will apply to phones:
<string name=”assistant_settings_hotword_sensitivity_locale_unsupported_message”>This feature is not supported for the current language on the device</string>
<string name=”assistant_settings_hotword_sensitivity_unsupported_message”>This feature is not yet supported on this device</string>
For those that have an overactive Assistant device, sensitivity controls will be remarkably useful. Tied with the ability to set per-device, this might aid setups where the unintended speaker always gets activated by Hey Google.
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, from which some APK Insight teardowns benefit.
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