Google Phone 9.0 Shows New Android O Features, Animal Paws

The latest build of Google's Phone Android app that recently started rolling out on the Google Play Store contains evidence of upcoming Android O features, as well as some unusual assets starring animal paws, an APK teardown performed by Android Police has revealed. The 9.0 build of Google Phone shows some signs of backend support for Notification Channels that debuted in the first developer preview of Android O, indicating that the Mountain View-based tech giant is already working on updating its existing product and service portfolio with support for flagship features that will debut alongside the next major iteration of its open source operating system. The code present in the new build of the app clearly references the Notification Channels application programming interface (API), though the functionality itself seemingly isn't ready to be released with a server-side switch as the code is incomplete.

Regardless, the existing code suggests that the Phone app will support at least six Notification Channels in the future, namely Ongoing, Incoming, External, and Missed calls, as well as Voicemails and Miscellaneous notifications. Furthermore, the new build of the app indicates that Google will update its communications tool with status messages that notify users when they receive or successfully send an image. This feature is likely going to be implemented to better integrate Phone with Android Messages or other apps seeing how this particular app isn't an instant messaging (IM) solution. Google also updated Phone with a number of Motorola's dialer codes, in addition to adding some references to a possible post-call messaging feature that would allow users to quickly send a text message to their contact whenever they're unable to reach them.

Finally, the Google Phone build 9.0 also includes two animal-related assets, i.e. WEBP images depicting a cat paw and a dog paw. The assets that can be seen below seemingly don't have a particular purpose in the app, though it's possible they'll be used for some kind of an Easter egg animation in the future. Regardless, more details on the upcoming additions to Google Phone are expected to be available shortly, possibly even by the time Google I/O 2017 starts later this month.

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