The Google app prepares a search cat head on Android


In July of last year, we spotted the development of a “chief conversation assistant” that was never launched. Google is now working on a more useful “search bubble” discussion head that provides quick access to text and voice search.

About APK Insight: In this “APK Insight” article, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an app that Google downloaded from the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we can see different lines of code in this clue about possible future functionality. Keep in mind that Google may or may not offer these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be flawed. However, we will try to allow those that are about to be completed to show you what they will look like in case they are dispatched. With that in mind, read on.

The Google 12.44 app, currently in beta, runs on a “bubble to access Google search anytime”. It anchors to the left or right edge of your screen, while it takes the shape of a pill when moved. There is a four-color magnifying glass icon and a microphone. The former is for entering text, while the latter takes you to the assistant-less voice search experience that supports music queries. As a chat lead, it can exist on any app, not just your home screen.

The design is less visually disruptive than a traditional round discussion head. It’s similar to how you can hide most of a picture-in-picture window on Android 12 today.

At launch, Google will detail its availability with a prompt: “Yes, keep it” or “Delete”. Swiping also presents two options at the bottom of the screen: “Temporarily hide bubble” or “Disable this feature,” which is similar to the floating live scores pill for sports.

Considering the introductory text, this Google search feature is closer to rolling out than last year’s Assistant Chat Head. Overall, it’s more useful and it’s a good tool when you’re researching multiple apps.

Thanks to JEB Decompiler, which benefits some APK Insight teardowns.

Dylan Roussel contributed to this article

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