Right now, in the slide-out "hamburger" menu of most Google apps, there's a Help button, with a tiny circled question mark icon. If a user needs help with the app (or anything else), this button will pull up a web page. Once on the web page, users can browse through categories for help articles and potential solutions or, if all else fails, request a support call from Google.

It looks like Google wants to make that experience a little more elegant, though.

In recent updates to both YouTube and Wallet, we've seen code suggesting a new app-level feature called Google Help. Most of the hints toward this functionality come in the form of strings, referring to the same functionality users currently get on the web - the ability to browse help categories (with app-specific help as a starting point), read articles, and request a call with Google support staff. But instead of being handled through a web page, the Help interface would move to the app itself.


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Current web interface

Without going through the whole laundry list (there are a lot of relevant strings), here are a few highlights (present in both the YouTube and Wallet APK files).

<string name="gh_help_suggestions_title">Suggestions</string>
<string name="gh_help_browse_all_articles_title">Browse all articles</string>
<string name="gh_help_recent_articles_title">Recent Articles</string>
<string name="gh_help_search_title">Search results</string>
<string name="gh_help_topics_all">Help Topics</string>
<string name="gh_menu_phone">Call support</string>
<string name="gh_menu_click_to_call">Request a call</string>
<string name="gh_menu_email">Email support</string>
<string name="gh_menu_help">Help</string>
<string name="gh_menu_feedback">Feedback</string>


<string name="gh_menu_play_store">View in Google Play Store</string>
<string name="gh_menu_print">Print…</string>
<string name="gh_menu_clear_history">Clear help history</string>
<string name="gh_search_on_web">Search the web</string>

<string name="gh_cuf_rating_selection_prefix">Your rating: </string>
<string name="gh_cuf_required_field_description">* Required field</string>
<string name="gh_cuf_add_additional">Add Additional</string>
<string name="gh_cuf_confirmation_message">Your message was received. Thanks for contacting Google!</string>

So it looks like functionality will be almost exactly the same, except users will evidently be able to view their history of support calls/queries, and possibly provide feedback on their experience.

We've received additional information confirming that Google is indeed looking to make this process more native to Android, with a familiar interface making its way under any instance of the "Help" button.

This isn't a huge change, but it is certainly a welcome one. The current implementation, where a user transitions from a native app interface to the web for something as critical as help is far from an ideal user experience.

As for when we might see this change? Our information indicates that there is additional backend living in an updated version of Google Play Services, so hopefully we shouldn't have long to wait now.