Google app 11.3 is rolling out to the beta channel this afternoon and reveals work on two upcoming capabilities. Google Lens looks to be getting offline visual translations, while Assistant is getting some sort of photo suggestions feature.

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.

Offline Google Lens translation

One of Google Lens’ many capabilities is visual translation. According to Google app 11.3, the Translate filter will soon work without an internet connection by letting you download language packs.

This capability is already available in Google Translate for Android — with the “Instant” camera mode, and also supports overlaying the output directly over the original text to preserve context even when you’re offline.

<string name=”lens_translate_download_language_pack_dialog”>Translate even when you are offline by downloading the %1$s translation file (%2$s)</string>

<string name=”lens_translate_download_language_pack_tooltip”>Tap to download offline translations</string>

<string name=”lens_translate_remove_language_pack_dialog”>If you remove this offline translation file, this language will be unavailable for offline translation.</string>

Assistant photo suggestions

A pair of strings reveal how you can “get suggestions based on your photos” if you provide Assistant access. The example given is getting recommended an activity based on a photo of a poster that you’ve taken. One use case could be taking a picture of a concert billboard and Assistant suggesting where to buy tickets.

There are many unknowns here, starting with where exactly and what platform this functionality will work on. It’s tied to Assistant today, but sounds like something that would be more in line with Google Lens, while it makes most sense on a phone. The setting would appear in Assistant’s current “Videos and Photos” settings.

Similarly, it’s unclear whether you’re giving assistant access to just one photo — like Lens — to examine, or your entire library on an ongoing basis. In Google Photos today, every time you open an image, it offers Lens suggestions to grab text that appears.

The feature described in Google app 11.3 sounds broader and possibly even working in the background to provide proactive notifications.

<string name=”assistant_settings_photos_provider_proactive_suggestions_title”>Get suggestions based on your photos</string>

<string name=”assistant_settings_photos_provider_proactive_suggestions_summary”>Allow Assistant to make suggestions based on your photos, like recommending an activity based on a photo of an event poster.</string>

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.

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About the Author

Abner Li

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