Google App preps Continued Conversations in 4 new Assistant languages, Podcast Recommendations, and Dictionary/Translation integration for Android 10
In the midst of all the craziness that was IFA 2019 and the recent Google Pixel 4 leaks, two new beta versions of the Google App started to roll out: version 10.53.3 and 10.57.4. The former brought changes that hint at interesting future integrations with Android 10, while the latter hints at new languages for Continued Conversations in Google Assistant and better podcast discovery in Google Podcasts. Here’s what we found.
Possible New Languages for Google Assistant’s Continued Conversations
At Google I/O 2018, Google announced a new Continued Conversations feature for Google Assistant. This feature lets you follow-up to responses from Google Assistant without having to say “OK Google” or “Hey Google” again. Although the feature has since expanded beyond smartphones into smart speakers and smart displays, it still only works when your Assistant language is set to English. Past Google App versions hinted at upcoming support for German, with a string saying that Google is currently dogfooding (internally testing) the German (DE) locale. Now, that same string has been updated to reflect that Google is dogfooding Continued Conversations support for 4 new languages: Spanish, French, Italian, and Japanese.
<string name="assistant_settings_summer_time_mode_availability_clarification_override">"Continued Conversation is currently available for English. If you use devices not shown here, the person with the primary account on those devices may turn Continued Conversation on or off in their Assistant settings.\nWe are also currently dogfooding the following locales: German (DE)."</string>
<string name="assistant_settings_summer_time_mode_availability_clarification_override">"Continued Conversation is currently available for English. If you use devices not shown here, the person with the primary account on those devices may turn Continued Conversation on or off in their Assistant settings.\nWe are also currently dogfooding the following locales:German, Spanish, French, Italian and Japanese."</string>
Google Podcasts Recommendations
The choice in podcasts has exploded in recent years. There are also so many good TV shows, movies, video games, and other forms of entertainment fighting for your time. If you want to find new podcasts that you’ll definitely fancy, then Google Podcasts’ new personalized recommendations feature may help out. Depending on how long you’ve had a Google account and how many services you’ve signed up for, Google probably has a ton of information on your preferences. Google Podcasts already analyzes what podcast listeners of one show are also listening to in order to provide recommendations for similar shows, but this will take things one step further by tailoring the recommendations to your tastes.
<string name="recommendations_promo_card_auto_awesome">Auto awesome</string>\n<string name="recommendations_promo_card_browse_podcasts">Browse podcasts</string>\n<string name="recommendations_promo_card_episode_subtitle">View personalized recommendations based on what you like to listen to</string>\n<string name="recommendations_promo_card_episode_title">Looking for a great episode?</string>\n<string name="recommendations_promo_card_no_thanks">No thanks</string>\n<string name="recommendations_promo_card_show_subtitle">View personalized recommendations and discover great shows to subscribe to</string>\n<string name="recommendations_promo_card_show_title">Looking for new podcasts?</string>
Dictionary and Translation Context-menu Integration for Android 10
In Google App 10.53.3, I spotted new Manifest declarations for two Activities: .SearchActivityFromDefine and .SearchActivityFromTranslate, both with minSdkVersion set to 29, the SDK version of Android 10. The intent filter references two new Activity Actions: android.intent.action.TRANSLATE and android.intent.action.DEFINE. The purpose of these intents is to allow an app to accept text to translate or define from another app. While this is already possible in Android using the intent action android.intent.action.SEND with the intent extra EXTRA_TEXT, Google has explicitly added intent actions for these two particular use cases in Android 10 so more apps can act as a default “Translator” or “Dictionary.”
Examining the decompiled code, we spotted how the Google App plans to handle these two new intents. Once the intent is received, the Google App parses the text from the intent extra android.view.textclassifier.extra.FROM_TEXT_CLASSIFIER, which usually comes from the intent sent from the long-press context menu, to decide whether it needs to translate or define the selected text. Thus, you’ll be able to long-press on text in any app in Android 10 and select Google Assistant to handle defining a word or translating a block of text. You won’t need to even install Google Translate (though it’s still definitely worth it) or third-party dictionary apps.
We managed to get the Google App set up the default handler for android.intent.action.TRANSLATE, but the feature currently doesn’t seem to work as selecting the option just opens the regular Google Assistant action.
Once any of these features go live, we’ll let you all know. You can download the latest version of the Google App beta from APKMirror or by signing up for the beta program on Google Play.
Thanks to PNF Software for providing us a license to use JEB Decompiler, a professional-grade reverse engineering tool for Android applications.