Google app tests Podcasts bottom bar revamp, ‘SearchBox’ results opening in Chrome


Google app tests Podcasts bottom bar revamp, ‘SearchBox’ results opening in Chrome

The latest Google app beta introduced a crash when searching for recent messages, and coincided with a Podcasts dark theme. We’ve now enabled a bottom bar redesign for Podcasts with Google app 10.89, as well as an option to have searches open in Chrome.

About APK Insight: In this ‘APK Insight’ post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.

Google Podcasts bottom bar

We only have a glimpse of the possible Google Podcasts revamp. The signature change is a new bottom bar with tabs for “Home,” “Search,” and an unidentified icon. The first section could be quite straightforward and show your subscriptions, as well as recommendations. From what we enabled today, it’s unclear if there are any other changes here. Meanwhile, search no longer being located in the top-left and getting its own tab reflects how powerful Google’s audio lookup capabilities are becoming thanks to show transcription.

The last section could either be for playlists — which doesn’t currently exist beyond pre-made ones for new episodes, in progress, and downloads — or the now playing screen. That would help avoid a double bar situation, and would come after the player’s Material Theme revamp made the UI fullscreen.

Google Podcasts is slow to launch user-facing functionality — ex: auto downloading episodes — and hopefully this bottom bar design makes it out of development.

Chrome Quick SearchBox

The next feature we enabled with Google app 10.89 is one that we’ve been tracking for several releases. Now a user-facing Lab for select testers, you can have Search results entered from the “Quick SearchBox” (QSB) open in Chrome rather than the Google app.

The QSB is the field found at the bottom of Google’s Pixel Launcher, or integrated on Nokia and Android One devices. It opens a full screen list of suggestions, and will show app suggestions. Today’s feature does not currently apply to the homescreen widget you can place by yourself.

The benefit of opening in Chrome is not having to use the Google app for Search. The lookup experience is near identical, but the dedicated app is sometimes bad at retaining your previous screen when going back to results from a web page.

How to update?

You can sign-up for the Google app’s beta program here or by heading to the Play Store listing on Android and scrolling to the bottom. The latest beta version of the Google app is immediately rolled out when it’s available.

Dylan Roussel contributed to this article

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