Google rolled out an update to its phone app late last week. While there are no obvious changes to the overall experience, a teardown of the Google Phone 9.0 APK hints that a handful of new features are coming in the future. Hidden among the codes are signs of support for Android O features like Notification channels and a few new others. To keep you updated, here’s everything you need to know about the Google Phone update.
Google’s new mobile OS will bring a new feature called Notification Channels which would change the way alerts are handled. As many users know, Notification Channels will allow applications to be sorted into categories to instead of just grouping them all by app. This way, they can block some less-useful notifications and ensure that only the important ones pull them out of their daily routine. That will cover the phone app as well.
According to a teardown by Android Police, there will be six separate channels for the Google Phone app. These are:
- Incoming Calls
- Ongoing Calls
- External Calls
- Missed Calls
However, only the Miscellaneous channel is reportedly visible on the notification screen. The site predicts that the “implementation probably wasn’t complete when this update was built, so we can probably expect to see it in the next release, or possibly when the second developer preview image becomes available.”
Other Google Phone 9.0 Hidden Features
Apart from the Notification Channels, there are other secret functionalities hidden in the APK. These are post-call messaging, in-call picture messaging, dialer codes for Motorola, and strange images of cat and dog paws.
Post-call messaging – This feature allows the caller to leave a quick text message if the call wasn’t received. According to the strings found in the teardown, there are three lines of prewritten texts each with degrees of urgency but it is yet to be determined if these canned messages are customizable.
- This is urgent. Call me back.
- Call me back when you have some time.
- Not urgent, we can chat later.
In-call picture messaging – This feature lets users take a photo and send it to the person at the other end of the line while they are still talking. The publication says the feature should work both ways for the sender and receiver.
Motorola Dialer Codes – For those unfamiliar with dialer codes, the idea is that users can dial a series of characters to display information or perform certain actions like accessing menus. Use of these dialer codes, however, may damage one’s phone and/or void its warranty so do it at your own risk.
Animal Paws – The photos of the dog and cat paw (pictured below) seemingly don’t have a particular purpose in the app. But speculations claim they might be used for some kind of an Easter egg animation in the future.
Note, though, that the aforementioned are not official. They are purely speculative so we may or may not see them in the future updates. Regardless, more details on the upcoming additions to Google Phone should be available shortly, possibly even by the time Google I/O 2017 starts later this month.
Google Phone 9.0 Download Here
Haven’t received the update yet? You may download and install the APK manually. The same publication claims the “APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way.”
Version: 9.0.153787429 (1200965)
Google’s Phone app is officially available only for the Pixel, Nexus, and other Android One devices.
Any ideas what the paws are for? What changes do you want to see on the Phone app in the future? Leave your comments below.