Another Google app beta has rolled out and with it another APK teardown. This time around we’ve got some hints about how the phone will interact with the rumoured Pixel Stand.
Additionally, we got a peek at some upcoming changes with Trusted Devices, ‘Personal Search’ and ‘Recent’.
As always, these teardowns decompile the APK file — the app distribution and installation format for Android. Teardowns like this crack open those APKs and examine the code inside for clues about upcoming features.
However, it’s important to remember that these features may never see completion or release.
With that in mind, let ‘s dive in.
One of the changes spotted in the Google app beta 8.21 is an animation depicting a user speaking to a locked device. Combined with clues from other app teardowns, its likely this has to do with the rumoured Pixel Stand.
The Stand will allow users to interact with the Google Assistant on their phone even if it’s locked.
It’s not clear if the Pixel Stand will be a wireless charging stand. However, the Pixel 3 is rumoured to support wireless charging. If Google releases a phone with wireless charging, it makes sense to have a wireless charging pad too.
Trusted Devices and a new settings menu
Somewhat related, the Google app beta features some tweaks for the Trusted Devices feature.
Trusted Devices lets you keep your device unlocked if it’s connected to a nearby Bluetooth device. The code in the Google app suggests you can add a trusted dock as well. This could mean that the Pixel Stand and other charging docks can keep your phone unlocked.
Finally, it looks like Google is working on a ‘General’ settings menu with preferences for Recent and Personal Search.
Recent would get an option to enable or disable the Recent tab in the Google app. That tab contains a horizontal list of recent search results and articles that users have read.
Personal Search is more interesting, allowing users to search through Gmail, Calendar and other support apps.
Overall, some exciting new changes coming along here. However, I’m far more interested in the Pixel Stand. I think that’s a clever use of a wireless charging dock and could be a big selling point for the Pixel 3.
Animation: 9to5 Google
Source: 9to5 Google