In the first live keynote for I/O 2019, Google went on with a plethora of news regarding the Google app, which combines the Assistant with their bread and butter - Search. Some of the most notable announcements made by the CEO Sundar Pichai are the addition of AR/3D models to search results as well as tons of speed and usability enhancements coming to the Assistant.


The Google app gets plenty of updates in the beta release channel, sometimes even daily, and with the past dozen updates there were numerous features and changes leaked. But there are none of those here. Instead, here are tiny improvements and yet somewhat helpful ones. Below is the changelog posted on the Play Store, and after that, we will go one-by-one and explain each bullet point.

Changelog

  • Use voice commands while navigating – even when your device has no connection. Try saying "cancel my navigation" "what's my ETA?" or "what's my next turn?"
  • Weak connection? If your search fails, the Google app will deliver you results once you regain connection.
  • Troubleshoot connectivity issues with more helpful error cards when your search fails because your device is offline.
  • New customization options available for cards in Discover.

Voice commands while navigating

If you are a Google Maps user, then this is for you. Voice commands for navigation will work, despite the times when there is a connection loss while driving, or walking. You can ask questions like "When is my next turn?", "What is my ETA?". Sending text messages, setting timers and alarms, and calling people are possible too.

Search results

Imagine that you are offline and you want to search for something. You can do it now. After a working Internet connection gets established, you will instantly be served with a notification, selecting which will show you the results for your previous search.

More helpful error cards

If Wi-Fi and mobile data are disabled while you are performing a search through the app, the improved error cards will remind you to connect to a network, or if there is a different issue, they will give you leaps better tips for troubleshooting. By the way, the colored icons in those cards look pretty.

Customization options in Discover

Recently, Feed was re-branded as Discover, and as a follow-up, we got some very good personalization options for it. By touching the 'Customize Discover' button from the three-dot menu in Discover, you get to follow topics of interest, which will be displayed on your news feed, and manually configure settings for notifications about some of them, e.g. stock updates.

That is it for this time. Be sure to stay tuned for more insights alike.


The Google App has seen a lot of updates this month, which were followed by many teardowns that shed light on some of the changes we are all yet to see.

Let's begin with the changes/additions in each and every version of the app released this month.

Version 8.24

  • Redesigned settings page

There is a new revamp coming to the settings, with less clutter and no flashy colors - just plain white and grey, which now matches the recent Material Design UI changes that have come to many Google apps, including Phone, Android Messages, News, Play Games, maybe even more. There is also a lot nicer Assistant settings page that uses a bolder font for names and large profile images. Settings in there are also divided into four tabs in the following order: Personal Info, Assistant, Services and Home.

  • Assistant Households

The Assistant Households feature promises to help family members share reminders and lists, broadcast messages and more, which in theory should make collaborations and communication a lot more convenient.

  • Notes and Lists

There are hints that soon you are going to be able to select third-party applications as your default notes and lists provider.

  • Customize Discover

Google Discover has been announced as a Feed replacement, and to reflect that, there is a menu entry labeled 'Customize Discover', which lets you select topics to follow and see content about.

  • Hub settings

The latest attempt to unify the Hub settings continues with the inclusion of settings for automatic video playback and Discover.

  • Lens gallery import

The Lens feature is going to allow importing photos to analyze from your gallery.

  • Slices

Slices are being fully worked on, right before the official launch that is set to come this fall. There is now a warning for Internet connection issues confirming it.

Version 8.28

  • Assistant Routines after dismissing an alarm

Complying with Google's Custom Routines, dismissing an alarm in Google Clock can be used as a trigger to start an Assistant routine.

  • Hide Slice suggestions

  • Pixel Stand support

Pixel Stand is Google's wireless charger launched at the same time as the Pixel 3 series. It has a couple of unique features that you should take an eye on.

  • Manage pending searches

As a follow up to the previous settings redesign, the new General settings page gets a section with options for managing pending searches.

  • Google Lens flash icon in the top-left

Version 8.33

  • Personalized News

Google is improving the news briefing by the Assistant with user-tailored sources to play from, based on their AI.

  • Assistant Notes and Lists web app

  • Extra settings for Pixel Launcher

Mentioned in this version is a toggle for disabling the Suggested apps section.

Version 8.39

  • Redesigned 'More' tab

This time the 'More' tab gets a taste of the new Material Design UI improvements, with it now showing a large Google logo and user info at the top, plus grey icons for options.

  • 'Add a Car' option in Assistant Services

You can now connect your Android Auto-equipped car with the Assistant from the Services tab in the Assistant settings.

  • Voice Match is going to get removed

It is being deprecated due to it not being secure enough and exposing a too much personal info.

  • Google Discover

Strings referring to Feed are replaced with Discover.

  • Google Assistant quick app shortcut

You can launch the Assistant from the app shortcuts by long-pressing on the Google App icon.

  • More Homescreen settings

  • New Google Shopping icon

  • More outline style icons throughout the interface

Version unknown

  • Scroll between subtopics

Google's vision about search has changed this year. They are now focusing on showing tailored results to users with related subtopics. Subtopics are being displayed as an overlay, with arrow buttons to switch between and are currently in testing on Android.

What are the features you cannot wait to use? Drop them down below.

Credits: 9TO5Google, XDA and Android Police


The Google app is one of the essentials for an Android user, giving access to services like Google Feed and Assistant. Because TestingCatalog is a place meant for beta testing and reporting bugs, we are going to give you some tips on how to make better bug reports and particularly for the Google app. With that said, here are some very useful tips we prepared:

Think of a bug report like a good tweet: You want it short, sweet, and to the point.

  • Title: The title should be like a summary of the issue.
  • Environment
  • Device: Which device are you using and its specific model/variant?
  • OS: Which version of the OS the issue occurred on?
  • App version: What is the exact version number of the application that you are testing?
  • Connection type (if applicable): Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or cellular data? What is the speed of the connection?
  • Reproducibility Rate: How many times have you been able to reproduce the error, using the exact steps you’ve taken to activate the bug? It’s also useful to report how many times the bug has been reproduced vs. the number of attempts it’s taken to reproduce the issue, in case it’s an intermittent occurrence.
  • Steps to reproduce: Please, list each and every step in an order.
  • Expected result: What should happen when you trigger the call-to-action?
  • Actual result: Here’s the result of the bug. Does the application crash? Does nothing happen at all? Is an error displayed?
  • Proof: Any pertinent screenshots, videos, or log files should be attached. If the issue requires steps to trigger the bug, then a video is required. If the bug is, let's say, a minor UI issue that is always present, then a screenshot will suffice. Logs are also required no matter the issue.

How to report bugs for Google beta

  1. Open the app.
  2. Navigate to the settings by tapping on the menu button on the far right at the bottom toolbar.
  3. Select 'Send feedback'.
  4. Describe the issue according to our tips and hit 'Send' at the top. It automatically sens screenshots, logs, and device info.

How to become a beta tester for Google app?

If you have other useful tips, please, share them with our followers in the comments section, or on our social media accounts.


Subscribe using the opt-in URL

  1. First, you need to visit the Google app beta page on TestingCatalog and tap on the green colored 'BECOME A TESTER' button at the bottom of it.
  2. When you get to the Android App Testing for the Google App, you will see a button with the same 'BECOME A TESTER' label. If you have already been signed in, you'll be able to select it.
  3. Also, don't miss to like the Google beta page on TestingCatalog to get the latest news regarding it.

Subscribe using the Play Store

  1. Search for "Google" on the Play Store or visit this link on your phone. It will redirect you to the info page for the app.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page to the 'Become a beta tester' section, and then tap the 'I'm In' button.

How to leave the beta program

To leave the beta program, you have to select the 'Leave the program' button on the web sign up page or the 'Leave' button within the Play Store.


The Google app is deeply integrated into Android. It provides many features like the Google Feed which is accessible from a lot of launcher apps, e.g. the Pixel Launcher. The app also enables the Assistant and Now on tap on Android devices running Android 6.0 and above. By installing the beta you get all of the latest features and improvements Google is planning on releasing. Also, be sure to check out the update reviews and reports from our daily reports blog at TestingCatalog.


The Google app is updated with many Assistant related features which are in development for now and aren't available. There is a new Assistant voice coming and the At a glance widget goes out of beta.

Cameo Assistant voice

As Google recently switched to a color-based naming scheme for Assistant voices, there's now a new one called "Cameo". Cameo stands for a very light beige color that borders yellow. It could be a possible reference to the famous musician John Legend's cameo that he is set to make in Assistant with his voice. It can also be another regional voice too.


<string name= ”assistant_settings_voice_selection_cameo_voice”>


At a glance out of beta

The Google app introduced back in April the At a glance widget from Pixel Launcher to all Android devices and now it's out of beta. The "beta" word actually was dropped in version 8.12 from last week, because the "Feed" widget is going to be deprecated soon.


<string name= ”smartspacewidget_name”>At a glance</string>


Google Assistant Car settings

Google Assistant is already available on cars, but might soon appear in the Devices list of Assistant settings to access various preferences.


<string name= ”assistant_car_preference”</string>

<string name= ”assistant_settings_car_title”</string>


Family Sharing

There's a new feature coming, which is set to be used for adding additional info about people living with you. It's called "Family Sharing".


<string name= ”assistant_settings_personal_info_household_title”>


Your people

Btw, a “Your people” named feature briefly went live and was shortly removed. When it's ready, it will let users “Forget details about” any added contact.


<string name= ”assistant_settings_your_people_forget_option_content_description”>

<string name= ”assistant_settings_your_people_overflow_content_description”>


Search in settings

It's still under development, but a text was there and in this update, it was renamed from “Search or Type in Setting” to just “Search in settings.”


<string name= ”settings_search_bar_hint”>Search in settings</string>


Google Duo for Smart Displays

Ahead of the launch this month, Google now lets you add your Google Duo account to a Smart Display. “Voice and Video calls” is now separated into two menus, with the latter detailing the functionality for the new Assistant form factor and letting users pair an existing account.

Notification history

The added strings point out that a notification history card will be coming, and it will show the app icon the notification comes from. Tapping an app icon will directly open the corresponding app and will also note the person name, to whom the message was sent to.


<string name= ”read_notification_history_card_app_btn_description”>

<string name= ”read_notification_history_card_app_btn_text”>

<string name= ”read_notification_msg_history_card_sent_to_with_name”>


New Assistant conversation bubble design

There’s a thinner conversation bubble design with sharp top edges.

New Top Apps icon

There's a new icon for the Top Apps tab. This tab was introduced in the last release.

To register for the beta, please click here.

Source: 9to5Google