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Google app 10.12 preps Assistant shortcuts FAB, Driving Mode [APK Insight]

Over the past week, the most recent Google app beta introduced an easy way to share searches and a carousel to view previous ones. Google app 10.12 is readying an update to Assistant’s visual snapshot that makes it more useful, while work on Driving Mode continues.

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 Assistant: FAB

Google Assistant’s visual snapshot could add a FAB that contains quick and useful shortcuts. In Google app 10.12, we enabled a button that uses Google’s Material Theme ‘plus’ sign that’s also found in Gmail and Calendar.

<string name=”add_event”>Add an event</string>

<string name=”add_note”>Add a note</string>

<string name=”add_reminder”>Add a reminder</string>

Tapping reveals three vertically arranged buttons to add a note, reminder, or calendar event, with each launching the command in Google Assistant. The “Your calendar” card already has shortcuts for the last two items, but note creation — in Google Keep — is new. In general, the FAB is more prominent and likely to be noticed when using visual snapshot.

Google Assistant: Keyboard

Keyboard input in Assistant is testing a history pane that shows recent queries.

Google Assistant: Hey Google walkthrough

We enabled an updated walkthrough to train the Assistant hotword to your voice. It’s less text-heavy, and leverages a circular prompt to note completion status. The four Google dots are present at the center to recognize when you’re speaking.

Google Assistant: Driving Mode

Codenamed “Morris” over the course of its development, Google app 10.12 updates several strings to explicitly name “Google Assistant Driving Mode.”


<string name=”morris_notification_title_fw”>Morris is running</string>

<string name=”morris_notification_message_fw”>Tap to show Morris full view</string>


<string name=”morris_notification_title_fw”>Google Assistant Driving Mode</string>

<string name=”morris_notification_message_fw”>Return to Driving Mode</string>

Google Lens icon

One small tweak on the Explore page for Actions on Google updates the pill-shaped dock for launching Assistant. Before version 10.12, the old Google Lens icon was still in use. It’s finally been refreshed with this release to match other places in the app.

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.

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

Dylan Roussel contributed to this article

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

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