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Google app 8.19 resumes work on customizable Search bar, links to podcast RSS feed [APK Insight]

The Google app this week began rolling out bilingual support for Assistant and Routines to more countries, while the last beta revealed a redesign of Assistant settings. Version 8.19 today features new work on the customizable Search bar spotted last year, as well as two shortcuts in Google Podcasts.

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: “Visit website” and “View RSS feed”

Links not appearing in podcast show notes are a problematic issue, but version 8.19 remedies this slightly by linking to the website associated with the show. The overflow menu on a podcast’s main screen adds two buttons to “Visit website” and “View RSS feed,” with both links opening in Chrome Custom Tabs.

Customizable Google Bar

Last September, version 7.12 began testing a customizable “Google Bar.” Allowing for a significant level of granularity, we previously demonstrated (as seen in the video below) how everything from the shape, color, shading, and even Google logo could be customized by users.

Despite the several revisions to the functionality that we tracked late last year, the feature never widely launched, though a small number of users have it enabled. Today, almost a year later, version 8.19 resumes work on the feature by adding text descriptions that detail the various user customizable options. Given this polishing, Google might be preparing to finally launch it.

<string name=”color_theme_color_button_description”>Colorful logo with white bar</string>

<string name=”color_theme_custom_button_description”>Customized bar color with adaptive logo color</string>

<string name=”color_theme_mono_dark_button_description”>White logo with black bar</string>

<string name=”color_theme_mono_light_button_description”>Black logo with white bar</string>

<string name=”google_logo_description”>Google as logo</string>

<string name=”super_g_logo_description”>G as logo</string>

<string name=”transparency_seek_bar_description”>Bar shading</string>

<string name=”saturation_seek_bar_description”>Saturation</string>

<string name=”rectangular_corners_button_description”>Rectangular corners</string>

<string name=”hue_seek_bar_description”>Hue</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.

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: