Google App 9.72 tests a new Google Lens UI and sleep timer in Google Podcasts
The Google App is home to Google Search on mobile, Google Assistant, Google Lens, Google Podcasts, and more. The latest Google App beta release, version 9.72.1, started rolling out late last week. Within the latest beta are hints that Google is working on a new UI for Google Lens and a sleep timer feature for Google Podcasts.
Google Lens combines Google’s search engine and computer vision algorithms into a service that can scan the world through your smartphone camera. With Lens, you can copy phone numbers, dates, and addresses by pointing your camera at text, search for products online by looking at objects like clothing, furniture, books, and other media, and identify plants or animals. In its current iteration, Lens can be reached from either Google Assistant or Google Photos on most smartphones or within the camera app on select devices. When accessed, Lens immediately begins scanning the viewfinder for anything it can recognize.
In contrast, the new UI in testing, activated with assistance from XDA Recognized Developer Quinny899, provides 5 different scanning modes: Translate, Text, Search, Shopping, and Dining. The new UI separates scanning modes similar to Huawei’s HiVision. While less convenient, perhaps separating the scanning modes will make Lens faster overall, especially on less powerful devices.
The new Lens UI is accessible in the latest version of the Google App, but it is currently not functional since it crashes after a few seconds upon loading. We may hear more about this new UI at Google I/O, though.
The Google Podcasts service is slowly gaining new features like a basic desktop interface and better in-app search using podcast transcriptions, but its media player UI is also getting new features. In the latest Google App release, we activated a new sleep timer button that lets you play a podcast for a set amount of time before it automatically pauses. A sleep timer can be set for as short as 5 minutes to as long as the entire length of the podcast, though once a timer has started it can be adjusted in ± 5 minute increments.
Also shown in the screenshots below are topic search recommendations (the floating bubbles above the media player with the Google search icons) and podcast transcription. Both have been fully functional for months, though they have yet to go live in the public release.