Google is working on a shorter Assistant settings overhaul

Almost two years after the last Settings overhaul, Google is once again trying to make it easier to control and manage the ever-growing list of what Assistant can do.

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.

Prior to the current design, Google grouped various Assistant preferences and menus into one of four tabs. In August 2020, the company highlighted “popular settings” at the top, but otherwise stuck to an alphabetically organized list. It’s a nice approach, but the list has become too long and will only get longer.

Assistant settings today

With the latest Google app, we’ve enabled a redesign of Google Assistant settings. A search bar with an account selector on the right appears at the very top. Otherwise, it’s still a list but much shorter than before and groups preferences under three main sections that reflect common actions:

  • Customize your Assistant: General, Access your Assistant, Accessibility, Devices with Assistant, Languages, Assistant voices and sounds, Your information, At a glance
  • To make things progress: Continuing conversation, Home and family, Notes and lists, Reminders, Routines, Shortcuts
  • Manage apps and services: Favorite apps and services and Your apps

Upcoming redesign of Assistant settings

Some menus have been renamed with “Hey Google & Voice Match” becoming “Access your assistant”, while “You” is now “Your information”. This page, however, has been greatly expanded and houses all of the “Your” menus – people, places, vehicles – as well as wellness and several other smaller preferences. The next custom speech recognition setting might also be there.

However, the bulk of this redesign sees several settings grouped under high-level groups/pages. For instance, “Home & familyhouses Home Control, Face Match, Family Bell, Assignable Reminders, and (what appears to be new) Parental Controls.

A larger merger sees Calendar, Music, Podcasts, Videos and more placed under the new “Favorite apps and services” page. This particular saves more than a few places and is the most effective approach.

It’s unclear if this Google Assistant settings overhaul will see any further changes ahead of launch or when that will happen.

Learn more about the Google Assistant:

Thanks to JEB Decompiler, which some APK Insight teardowns benefit from.

Dylan Roussel contributed to this article.

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