The beta code for the latest version of the Google App hints at several new features that could be coming to the platform. Most notably, the App could give users the ability to lock their incognito sessions with their biometrics, and to disable the ringer on Nest smart home devices.
The reports come courtesy of an APK teardown of the Google App 11.39.7 beta, which highlights the relevant code for both functions. The Nest feature would give users more control over their home environment, ensuring that the ringer will not go off when no one is around, or when people simply don’t want to listen to it.
The incognito feature, meanwhile, would create an extra layer of privacy for those who want to browse anonymously. If a user activates the feature, their incognito sessions would lock after a certain amount of inactivity, and they would then need to verify their identity with a biometric authenticator to resume the session. The feature would prevent other people from viewing the user’s incognito history, and would presumably take advantage of on-device biometrics. That means that the unlock would likely be achieved with face or fingerprint recognition.
The beta code also referenced a “Speaking Practice Mode” that would teach users how to pronounce certain words. The feature would ask users to say a word that appears on the screen, and offer playback of the correct pronunciation. At the moment, the Mode seems to be limited to the English language, although it would theoretically expand to provide instruction in other languages if the service does go live internationally.
As with any beta, there is no guarantee that the features will ever appear in a finished product, though all three seem like they would add welcome utility to the Google App. The biometric incognito lock is similar to a secure autofill feature that asks for biometric authentication before entering stored password and login info on a mobile device. Google has also updated its Chrome browser to prevent phishing and notify people about data breaches.
Source: XDA Developers