Google has been rolling out updates to its flagship app at a record pace, with significant updates landing only a few days apart. The latest may be a sign that the developers are nearly done, as the additions appear to be slowing down. In this update, we can see small visual tweaks, but nothing else too major. As usual, it's in the teardown where the changes are racking up, including signs that users will get to choose their own services for lists and notes taken by Assistant, an ability to trim the silence from podcasts, and a small follow-up regarding Google Doodles.

What's New

Left: v8.1. Right: v8.2.

As is the trend lately, there always seems to be one or two small visual tweaks in many updates, almost like playing Where's Waldo. In this one, we're seeing several Assistant settings have now been indented and the navigation button bar has gone fully white on phones that support changing the color. There may be more pixel-level changes, but let's not dwell on them.


Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android's application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong. Even when predictions are correct, there is always a chance that plans could change or may be canceled entirely. Much like rumors, nothing is certain until it's officially announced and released.

The features discussed below are probably not live yet, or may only be live for a small percentage of users. Unless stated otherwise, don't expect to see these features if you install the apk.


Set default services to handle Lists and Notes

One of the least popular things to happen since the launch of Google Assistant has been switching the shopping list from Google Keep to Google Express. Many users have asked to at least get a choice between services, much like we do with streaming music providers. Now it looks like we'll get that option for notes and lists.

<string name="assistant_settings_notes_lists_title">Notes and Lists</string>

<string name="notes_lists_title">Your Assistant will use this provider by default when creating a note or list.</string>
<string name="notes_lists_category_title">Lists and notes services</string>
<string name="notes_lists_none_preference_summary">Secondary information</string>
<string name="notes_lists_none_preference_title">None</string>
<string name="notes_and_lists_icon_text" />

<string name="assistant_notes_lists_preference">assistantNotesLists</string>

excerpt from /xml/assistant_device_type_settings.xml
<PreferenceScreen android:icon="@drawable/quantum_ic_lists_grey600_24" android:persistent="false" android:title="@string/assistant_settings_notes_lists_title" android:key="@string/assistant_notes_lists_preference" android:widgetLayout="@layout/preference_widget_next" android:fragment=""/>

<LinearLayout xmlns:android="" xmlns:app="" xmlns:aapt="" android:gravity="top" android:orientation="horizontal" android:layout_width="match_parent" android:layout_height="wrap_content" android:minHeight="?android:attr/listPreferredItemHeight">
<ImageView android:id="@android:id/icon" android:layout_width="@dimen/notes_and_lists_icon_size" android:layout_height="@dimen/notes_and_lists_icon_size" android:layout_marginLeft="@dimen/notes_and_lists_item_margin_start" android:layout_marginTop="@dimen/notes_and_lists_item_margin_vertical" android:contentDescription="@string/notes_and_lists_icon_text" android:importantForAccessibility="no"/>
<RelativeLayout android:layout_width="0dp" android:layout_height="wrap_content" android:layout_marginLeft="@dimen/notes_and_lists_item_margin_start" android:layout_marginTop="@dimen/notes_and_lists_item_margin_vertical" android:layout_marginRight="@dimen/notes_and_lists_item_margin_end" android:layout_weight="1" android:layout_marginStart="@dimen/notes_and_lists_item_margin_start" android:layout_marginEnd="@dimen/notes_and_lists_item_margin_end">
<TextView android:textAppearance="@style/Preference_TextAppearanceMaterialSubhead" android:ellipsize="marquee" android:id="@android:id/title" android:fadingEdge="horizontal" android:layout_width="wrap_content" android:layout_height="wrap_content" android:singleLine="true"/>
<TextView android:textAppearance="?android:attr/textAppearanceSmall" android:textColor="?android:attr/textColorSecondary" android:id="@android:id/summary" android:layout_width="wrap_content" android:layout_height="wrap_content" android:maxLines="4" android:layout_below="@android:id/title" android:layout_alignStart="@android:id/title"/>
<LinearLayout android:gravity="center" android:orientation="vertical" android:id="@android:id/widget_frame" android:layout_width="@dimen/notes_and_lists_icon_size" android:layout_height="@dimen/notes_and_lists_icon_size" android:layout_marginTop="@dimen/notes_and_lists_item_margin_vertical"/>

Beyond the basic fact that services will be selectable, there's really not much else to glean from these additions. We'll just have to watch for the day when some new options become available.

Trim silence from podcasts

A few podcasting apps offer more than just management of downloaded audio files, they also pull off a few tricks with the audio itself, like speeding up playback. Google will be implementing a feature that can trim the silence from episodes if they have long periods of dead air. This can be pretty useful with live recordings and episodes that aren't very professionally produced.

<string name="trim_silence">Trim silence</string>

excerpt from /layout/feature_playback_panel.xml

<CheckBox android:id="@id/trim_silence" android:layout_width="wrap_content" android:layout_height="wrap_content" android:layout_marginLeft="24.0dip" android:text="@string/trim_silence" android:layout_alignParentLeft="true" android:layout_centerVertical="true" android:layout_marginStart="24.0dip" android:layout_alignParentStart="true" android:buttonTint="@color/quantum_white_100" style="@style/playback_trim_silence" />

Trim silence will appear as a checkbox in the player panel, directly next to the playback speed control.

Follow-up: Doodles in the search box

A little over a month ago, a teardown turned up some interesting Doodle-related hints that tied closely with the Google search box. We're likely to get the Doodles appearing there, much like Gboard users have seen in the recommendation row from time to time. However, if you don't like that idea, you'll be able to turn it off. A new settings page and toggle were added just for that option. Of course, it's not visible yet, but neither are the doodles.

<PreferenceScreen xmlns:launcher="" xmlns:android="" xmlns:app="" xmlns:aapt="">
<SwitchPreference android:persistent="true" android:title="@string/pixel_doodle_qsb_title" android:key="doodle_in_qsb_enabled" android:summary="@string/pixel_doodle_qsb_summary" android:defaultValue="true"/>


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. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.

Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free