The Google App is set to receive a number of new features including improved purchase authentication, video previews, and more. This information is based on a recent teardown by Android Police which has highlighted a number of new incoming features at the code level of the app. While these features have now been spotted making an appearance in the latest beta version of the Google App (v6.16), none of them seem to be active features. So while they are present, they are not yet ready to be made available.
One of the first aspects that has been noted is code relating to purchases made through and using the Google Assistant. It seems the Google App is soon going to include an optional ability to use an additional authentication measure before the purchase can be completed. As this is an optional feature, users will be to choose whether they want it switched on, or just continue to make use of the process in place, as is. The idea here being to provide Google Assistant users with the ability to limit the chance of any unauthorized or accidental purchases being made. In addition, it also seems as though a new video-related feature will be on offer with Search results. In short, it seems that when searches are made through Google Search, instead of only showing a thumbnail image, there will be a short video preview that plays instead. The idea being to provide a slightly more detailed description of what the video is about, instead of just showing a typical creator-defined thumbnail. This in effect, will offer the same sort of description as what is already on offer with links in general - albeit, in video form. So is likely just a measure being introduced to unify the user experience across formats. Once again, this will not be a compulsory feature and can be activated/deactivated by the user.
And that is not all, as the teardown has also revealed some smaller changes that are likely to be arriving soon. The first is a toggle in settings which will essentially allow the user to decide whether app icons are automatically added to the device’s home screen upon download. At present, on stock Android, it is common for app icons to automatically show up, but with this feature, the user will have the option to stop that from happening as a default. While it also seems to be the case that Google is readying the Google Assistant to work more naturally with IFTTT to complete user actions. As mentioned, these features are currently only being noted at the code level and therefore their presence only highlights that they will likely be switched on at some point. Although, there is no guarantee as to when that might actually happen. However, if have yet to receive the update to the most recent beta version of the Google App (v6.16) and would like to be running it, you can download and sideload the APK through the link below.