A recent teardown of the latest Google app revealed work on bringing ‘Assistant Updates’ to the ambient display, a new ‘charging mode’ and more.
As with all teardowns, it’s important to remember that new features may never see the light of day. Teardowns involve taking APKs from the Play Store and decompiling them to see what code has been added. While this can often point to or reveal upcoming features, somethings may never be released or may become other functions entirely.
That said, let’s dig in. According to 9to5Google, Google has been working on a way to bring Assistant Updates — also known as visual updates — to the ambient display. Google app version 10.16 continues this work with a round of code strings for various greetings, such as ‘Good morning,’ or ‘Good evening.’
Other code strings point to an ‘Agenda’ which could display your schedule and reminders, including what’s ‘coming next’ and tomorrow’s events.
There are also strings of code that suggest commute details, alarms, currently playing media and whether or not your device is in Do Not Disturb could also populate the ambient display.
Code in Google app 10.16 references to a ‘charging mode’ as well. According to the functionality described in the strings, there could be two modes: one that acts similar to Assistant, and one that displays a slideshow of your photos and also provides commute info, media controls and more.
Further, this mode appears to activate when you connect your device to power and when it’s locked. Plus, it will automatically pause after a few hours of inactivity. The code doesn’t indicate if this is a Pixel-exclusive feature or if it will come to all Android devices.
Finally, there was a bit of code pointing to the launch of the new Driving Mode Google showed off at I/O 2019.
You can grab the latest Google app update off the Play Store, although it won’t have these new features yet — Google is still working on them. I’d expect some of the new stuff to launch later this year alongside the Pixel 4.