Google App tests new Collections UI, Smart Screenshots, linking Radio services, and more

Google App tests new Collections UI, Smart Screenshots, linking Radio services, and more

Google has a good track record of updating its apps with new features and improvements. At times, we’re able to spot some of these features before their release by means of a teardown. For instance, we learned that the Pixel 4’s new Assistant was making its way to Canada, the UK, and Singapore in a teardown of the Google app version 10.74.6. Similarly, a teardown of version of the Google app has now unearthed some major changes that might be released in a future update. We were able to activate these features ahead of the official rollout and here’s everything that we’ve learned so far:

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.

Updated Collections UI

Google is testing some major changes for the Collections feature within the app. Not only is the feature being moved over to the main tab carousel from its old place within the Settings, but there are some significant UI changes as well. The ‘New’ button has been moved above the collections list and it now has a colorful logo.

Suggested collections are now visible up top and tapping on them starts the process of creating a collection based on your interest/search history. The ‘Share’ button within each collection now also has a new look and it’s placed right next to the profile photo. The ‘View in Maps’ button is also more distinct in the new UI and is placed right above the card.

Smart Screenshots

The built-in screenshot editor in the Google app is also getting smarter. Earlier this week, 9to5Google reported that the editor was set to receive a new UI. When it finally goes live in a future release, the updated screenshot editor will allow you to easily share or open your screenshots in Google Lens. It also has a third-button in the toolbar which shows your most recent share activity for quick access.

The editor also lets you doodle on the screenshot with high-level undo/redo controls at your disposal. The ‘Draw’ feature includes 9 colors and a size selector with six levels to choose from. These changes have already rolled out in the latest beta build of the app for one AndroidPolice user.

Linking Radio Services in Google Assistant

Furthermore, the update also revealed that the Google app will soon allow you to link specific radio services to the Assistant. You’ll be able to choose which radio services the Google Assistant will play from. As of now, SiriusXM appeared as the only option, but we expect Google to add more services before the feature hits the stable version of the app.

Google Podcast Bookmarking

If you use Google Podcast, then there’s something in the update for you as well. As spotted by Jane Manchun Wong, Google Podcasts (which is a part of the Google app) is testing a new feature that will let you bookmark podcasts at a specific time. You’ll also be able to share these bookmarks with the timestamp with your friends.

As of now, all these aforementioned features are in the testing phase. Google hasn’t revealed any information about these features and there’s no word on the official rollout to the stable channel. Since the features aren’t live in the latest beta update, it’s possible that Google might make some further changes before release.

Thanks to PNF Software for providing us a license to use JEB Decompiler, a professional-grade reverse engineering tool for Android applications.

About author

Pranob Mehrotra
Pranob Mehrotra

A Literature and Linguistics graduate with a keen interest in everything Android. When not writing about tech, Pranob spends most of his time either playing League of Legends or lurking on Reddit.