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Google app 8.9 preps Cast support in Podcasts, sending Assistant Actions, more [APK Insight]

Following yesterday’s launch of Continued Conversation for Google Home, the latest beta of the Google app is rolling out this afternoon. Version 8.9 reveals that Cast support is coming to Google Podcasts, while users might soon have the ability to demo Actions on other devices.

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 Podcasts icon tweaks

Following the official launch of Google Podcasts earlier this week, the latest version of the Google app features a number of small design tweaks. The new Google-colored waveform icon is finally reflected in the status bar, while the media notification now uses that icon and the latest Material Theme play button.

Casting in Google Podcasts

Google previously detailed that Podcasts would add more features over time, including artificial intelligence-powered ones. Version 8.9 reveals that Google Cast support is in the works. We’ve already enabled it with the app gaining a standard Cast icon in the top-right corner and volume controls that note what device audio is being routed to.

Sending Assistant Actions to Devices

In Explore, Google Assistant Actions are testing a “Send to device” feature. Next to the “Try it” button in an app listing, users will be able to open a picker to select what device to send an Action to. Presumably, that sent Action would begin immediately playing on the selected speaker, but we’ve yet to get it operational.

Search in settings

The Google app contains a multitude of settings and version 8.9 hints that a search functionality might be in development. Users could “Search or Type in” the preference they’re looking for and get directed to the appropriate menu.

It’s not clear whether it would search Assistant’s options or just be limited to the primary settings of the Google app.

<string name=”settings_search_bar_hint”>Search or Type in Setting</string>

<string name=”settings_search_clear_description”>Clear Query</string>

<string name=”settings_search_icon_title”>Search settings</string>

Recommended for you

The Google Search dropdown is testing a new “Recommend for you” and “Try searching for” section that currently advertises the 2018 World Cup.

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.

We do not post APKs to download directly given the legal challenges associated with copyright and possibility of removal. Meanwhile, that model moving forward is perilous given upcoming system-level changes from Android App Bundles and Google Play’s Dynamic Delivery.

Thanks to JEB Decompiler, which some APK Insight teardowns benefit from.

Dylan contributed to this article

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

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