Google App hints at locking incognito sessions with biometric, disabling Nest device ringing, and teaching you how to pronounce words

Google App hints at locking incognito sessions with biometric, disabling Nest device ringing, and teaching you how to pronounce words

The Google App is marketed as “the smarter way to search on the go”, but the app has evolved to become so much more. While Search does remain a good focus, there are other features such as personalized feeds, notifications, and more. Google appears to be in the mood to make the app serve even more purposes, as the latest Google App beta contains hints of features such as locking incognito sessions with biometric, disabling Nest devices from ringing when you are not at home, and even teaching you pronunciation.

An APK teardown can often predict features that may arrive in a future update of an application, but it is possible that any of the features we mention here may not make it in a future release. This is because these features are currently unimplemented in the live build and may be pulled at any time by the developers in a future build.


Google App 11.39.7 beta contains a fair few new strings, as we mention below.

Smart Ring for Nest devices

New code suggests that Nest smart home devices could have their ringer feature disabled as an option.

<string name="assistant_settings_call_smart_ring">Smart Ring</string>\n<string name="assistant_settings_call_smart_ring_description">Nest devices will only ring when you are at %1$s</string>

We presume this feature will give users the option to disable ringing of Nest devices when you aren’t at a certain location, presumably at your home.

Locking Incognito with Biometric in Google App

The Google App already has an incognito mode, labeled as “Use without an account” in the Account Switcher menu. Google had also been working on an in-app incognito browser, though the feature is not yet live as far as I know. Google appears to be adding an option to enable biometric locking and unlocking for this incognito mode, according to new strings.

<string name="googleapp_incognito_biometric_prompt_subtitle">Confirm biometrics to continue</string\n<string name="googleapp_incognito_biometric_prompt_title">Resume Incognito session?</string>\n<string name="googleapp_incognito_enable_biometrics_dialog_msg">{count, plural, =1{When enabled, you’ll need to use biometrics to continue your previous Incognito sessions after one minute of inactivity.} other{When enabled, you’ll need to use biometrics to continue your previous Incognito sessions after # minutes of inactivity.}}</string>\n<string name="googleapp_incognito_enable_biometrics_dialog_title">Use biometrics to resume Incognito sessions?</string>\n<string name="googleapp_incognito_enable_biometrics_enable_btn_text">Enable</string>\n<string name="googleapp_incognito_enable_biometrics_exit_btn_text">Exit Incognito mode</string>\n<string name="googleapp_incognito_enable_biometrics_not_now_btn_text">Not now</string>\n<string name="googleapp_incognito_offramp_internal_button">Turn off</string>\n<string name="googleapp_incognito_offramp_internal_message">"You'll need to turn off Incognito mode for this. Your Incognito session will be cleared and you'll return to the app home screen."</string>\n<string name="googleapp_incognito_offramp_internal_title">Turn off Incognito mode?</string>

Essentially, with this upcoming option, you would be able to browse in Incognito and then have the session locked after some time of inactivity. To unlock the session, you would need to verify your biometric, likely to be your fingerprint or face unlock, depending on what you have set up on your device.

Pronunciation Learning

Google also appears to be working on teaching users how to pronounce words.

<string name="pronunciationlearning_app_logo_description">Logo of Pronunciation Learning App</string\n<string name="pronunciationlearning_app_title">Speaking practice mode</string>\n<string name="pronunciationlearning_content_box_title">English</string>\n<string name="pronunciationlearning_correct_phoneme_title">"Correct pronunciation"</string>\n<string name="pronunciationlearning_exit_button_description">Exit</string>\n<string name="pronunciationlearning_expected_text_title">Try saying</string>\n<string name="pronunciationlearning_feedback_text_title">Feedback</string>\n<string name="pronunciationlearning_good_job_text">Good job!</string>\n<string name="pronunciationlearning_input_text_hint">Try typing “How are you?”</string>\n<string name="pronunciationlearning_start_practice_text">Practice</string>\n<string name="pronunciationlearning_startover_text_button">Start over</string>\n<string name="pronunciationlearning_tts_description">Hear text pronunciation</string>\n<string name="pronunciationlearning_user_phoneme_title">"Sounds like you said"</string>

The upcoming “Speaking Practice Mode” appears to be restricted to English as per the currently visible strings, but one can hope to see the feature extended to more languages in the future. From what we can glean, the feature will show off a word and request the user to repeat it back, along with prompts to playback the correct pronunciation. There is also a hint for text input, though we are not sure how typing fits into the overarching theme of teaching pronunciation.

It’s unclear when/if these features will go live for users of the Google App. It could take days, weeks, or even months. We’ll try and activate these features to show them off, but in the meanwhile, we’ll keep an eye out for their official rollout.

Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free

About author

Aamir Siddiqui
Aamir Siddiqui

A journalist at XDA-Developers and the current Editor in Chief, I have been writing for XDA since 2015, despite being a qualified business-litigation lawyer. A low-end smartphone purchase in 2011 brought me to the forums, and it's been a journey filled with custom ROMs ever since. When not fully dipped in smartphone news and tutorials, I love traveling to places just to capture pictures of the sun setting. You can reach out to me at [email protected] or on Twitter (@aamirsidd94).

We are reader supported. External links may earn us a commission.