In July last year, we spotted the development of a “Chat Head Assistant” which never launched. Google is currently working on a more useful “search bubble” chat head that provides quick access to text and voice search.
About APK Insight: In this “APK Insight” article, we have decompiled the latest version of an app that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we are able to see different lines of code in that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not provide these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be flawed. We’ll try to activate the ones that are about to be completed, though, to show you what they’ll look like in case they ship. With that in mind, read on.
Google app 12.44, currently in beta, operates on a “bubble to access Google search anytime”. It docks to the left or right edge of your screen, while it takes the shape of a pill when moved around. There is a four color magnifying glass icon and a microphone. The former is for text input, while the latter takes you to the non-Assistant voice search experience that supports music queries. As a chat face, it can exist on any app, not just your home screen.
The design is visually less disruptive than a traditional round cat’s 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 “Remove”. The swipe also presents two options at the bottom of the screen: “Temporarily hide the bubble” or “Turn this feature off”, which is similar to the live scores floating pill for sports.
Given the introductory text, this Google Search feature is closer to rolling out than last year’s Assistant chat head. All in all, it’s a more useful and enjoyable tool when you’re busy researching across multiple apps.
Thanks to JEB Decompiler, which some APK Insight teardowns benefit from.
Dylan Roussel contributed to this article
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