Google’s flagship Pixel 3 and Pixel 4 phones both have extra features exclusively used when docked on the official Google Pixel Stand wireless charger. Google is preparing to launch another such feature for the Pixel Stand in version 1.4.0 of the companion app, bringing convenient smart home controls via the Google Home app.
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 Home integration
One of the interesting features of the Pixel Stand is its ability to let your phone double as something of a Google Assistant Smart Display, showing your favorite Google Photos and responding to Assistant queries. As such, it can already more or less be used for some smart home tasks via voice.
Building on that capability, Google appears to be looking to make the Pixel Stand UI even more smart-display-like by including a shortcut to the Google Home app.
<string name=”onboarding_home_title”>Quickly access the Home app</string>
<string name=”onboarding_home_description”>Add a shortcut to the Google Home app to control your connected devices, lights, and more</string>
Our Dylan Roussel was able to access this new bit of onboarding, but it doesn’t do anything just yet, unfortunately.
Based on these initial visuals, though, it’s clear that the Google Home app will be providing some quick access options for your smart home’s lights, thermostat, cameras, and more right from the Pixel Stand UI. This would go a long way toward the Pixel Stand’s feature set catching up with the more recent Google Assistant Ambient Mode.
From a bit of digging, we believe this new Pixel Stand integration still requires an update to the Google Home app before it will work.
How to update?
Pixel Stand 1.4.0 is rolling out now via the Play Store.
So far, we’ve only confirmed the update to arrive on an Android 11 Developer Preview device, but we’re not sure if that’s intentional on Google’s part. Thanks to readers Shedrick and Paul, we’ve confirmed Pixel Stand 1.4.0 is indeed arriving on Android 10 devices.
Thanks to JEB Decompiler, from which some APK Insight teardowns benefit.
Dylan Roussel contributed to this article.
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