The Google devs are at it again with another late-night rollout of the Google app. Like most others, this update doesn't appear to bring any specific live changes, but it does include clues for a lot of the upcoming changes. There's plenty here to talk about, so let's just jump into it.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android's application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information. It's possible that the guesses made here are wrong or inaccurate. Even when predictions are correct, there is always a chance that products could change or may be canceled. Much like rumors, nothing is certain until it's officially announced and released.
The features discussed below are probably not live yet, or may only be live for a small percentage of users. Unless stated otherwise, don't expect to see these features if you install the apk. All screenshots and images are real unless otherwise stated, and images are only altered to remove personal information.
Disable YouTube for guests (smart displays)
For many of us, our YouTube history is sacred. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but at least we don't want anybody launching random videos because they'll infect future video recommendations (more than they already have been). When smart displays launch a little later this year, you'll be able to prevent guests from opening YouTube videos with voice commands.
<string name="common_device_disable_youTube_for_guests_title">Disable YouTube for guests</string>
<string name="common_device_disable_youTube_for_guests_summary">Disable YouTube, YouTube Music, and YouTube TV for users whose voices are not recognized by Assistant using Voice Match. Note: Not applicable if you havent enabled Voice Match.</string>
excerpt from /xml/assistant_device_id_jasper_settings.xml
<SwitchPreferenceCompat android:persistent="false" android:title="@string/common_device_disable_youTube_for_guests_title" android:key="jasperDisableYoutubeForGuests" android:summary="@string/common_device_disable_youTube_for_guests_summary" android:defaultValue="false"/>
At the moment, the toggle to disable YouTube for guests is only written into the "jasper" settings, which is the codename for smart displays. According to the description, it will prevent people whose voices aren't recognized by Voice Match from opening YouTube, YouTube Music, and YouTube TV.
This feature isn't a lockdown on YouTube, it merely prevents voice commands from opening videos, but it shouldn't get in the way of launching the YouTube app by tapping the screen.
Aside from this label, there isn't much else to go on. This isn't live yet, but it certainly would be a cool feature. An image search might not be all that different from what we can already do with Google Lens, but it would be a little more convenient and intuitive for some of us to take the screenshot and tap a button.
Identifying relationships with other household members
The standard titles are here for husband and wife, brother and sister, boyfriend and girlfriend, and so on until it reaches grandparents and grandchildren. There is also a 'friend' title, though that seems vague for this situation. There are probably also a few titles missing for cousin, roommate, and so on.
Locking your doors with Routines
Just a little over a week ago, the v8.8 update added an action for Routines that would allow you to arm your security system. Continuing in the same thread, a new command will allow you to automatically lock your doors.
<string name="user_defined_action_task_lock_title">Lock doors</string>
<string name="user_defined_action_task_lock_control_which_doors">Which doors would you like to lock?</string>
There will be a new entry in Google's top-level menu. To be specific, we're talking about the menu that used to be a navigation drawer, but now it's just accessed through the hamburger icon at the bottom left of the tabs across the bottom.
The new item will be called "Top Apps" and will be located near the top of the list, right inbetween Recent and Saved.
Right now, there's nothing aside from the name to explain what this new item will be for, but we'll probably see more about it soon enough.
Google Duo promo text on smart displays
There isn't any new information here, but for those interested, this is the promotional text Google will be using to advertise Duo on smart displays.
<string name="assistant_settings_existing_duo_dialog_title">Video calling</string>
<string name="assistant_settings_existing_duo_dialog_summary">Use your existing Duo account for video calls on your Smart Display. Your friends and family can reach you at %1$s.\10You can unlink your Duo account from this device any time in Assistant settings.</string>
<string name="assistant_settings_duo_consent_title">Start high quality video calls on your Smart Display to anyone who has the Google Duo app. Verify your phone number to create a Duo account. This will also link it with your Google Account.</string>
<string name="assistant_settings_duo_consent_summary">Google will send a code via SMS to verify this number. Carrier rates may apply. People who know your phone number or Google Account will be able to reach you across Google services.</string>
<string name="assistant_settings_existing_duo_dialog_negative_button">Not Now</string>
<string name="assistant_settings_existing_duo_dialog_positive_button">Use Duo</string>
The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.