Google Phone 16 Teardown Hints At Minor Changes & U.I. Teaks


Google's unambiguously-named Phone app was recently updated to version 16 and a teardown of the new APK file seems to suggest new user interface tweaks and a voicemail transcript feature could be added via a future update. In particular, the voicemail transcription feature has shown up in at least the past two teardowns and the new version builds on the previous lines of code that were added. Previously, the code only showed that Google was working on a self-branded free transcription service in order to allow users across more carriers to get visual representations of voicemail messages. The newly added code appears to reference a button to turn off the feature and dialogue boxes to be shown to a user who does turn them off – which effectively announced that doing so will erase all voicemail transcripts. Beyond that, Googlers seem to be working to add a rating system to help the transcripts improve over time. Ratings include "bad" or "good" and there is also a string included thanking users for their input.

With regard to interface tweaks, there are two such changes that have new code associated with them. The first applies to the favorites tab of the Phone app. Previously, only the star icon on the tab itself gave any indication that the tab was actually intended to show favorite contacts. If the new code is implemented, a new string will be displayed immediately underneath which reads "Favorites." That's followed by rows containing any favorite contacts – shown as round image icons and a name, as compared to the current boxes – as well as a new button which seems to be to add them to speed-dial. That's an assumption made based on that there are also new strings of code that hint at options to choose from with regard to which method to use in order to get in touch with contacts on speed-dial. Meanwhile, a second header has also been included beneath favorites, which reads "Suggestions." A similar but downscaled version of the Favorites interface is repeated there, with an additional contextual three-dot menu, rather than an "add" button.

Finally, the assisted dialing feature may soon show a far more streamlined version of its dialogue box, rather than providing a list of every available country and country code. The list of country code is shortened and the code in the app's APK seems to suggest it will be automatically populated based on country codes stored alongside a user's contacts. If that gets implemented, it should make it much easier for users to adjust which country code they are dialing by default. It's important to note that none of these changes is ever guaranteed to arrive with a future update to the Phone app. However the new features do come forward to users more often than not, so they are still worth examining.


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Junior Editor

Daniel has been writing for AndroidHeadlines since 2016. As a Senior Staff Writer for the site, Daniel specializes in reviewing a diverse range of technology products and covering topics related to Chrome OS and Chromebooks. Daniel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering and has a background in Writing and Graphics Design that drives his passion for Android, Google products, the science behind the technology, and the direction it's heading. Contact him at [email protected]

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