Ahead of the Pixel event, a pre-release Google Home update includes early signs of two distinct docks for next year’s Pixel tablet.
About APK Insight: In this “APK Insight” post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.
Long before Google confirmed that a Pixel tablet was set to be released in 2023, we’ve been tracking rumors and code evidence of the tablet doubling as a Google Assistant smart display like the Nest Hub. To make this possible, we heard earlier this year that the Pixel tablet will offer a charging dock that holds it at a useful angle and includes a speaker.
To offer the full Google Assistant smart display experience, including Chromecast capabilities, the Pixel tablet and dock will be integrated with the Google Home app. This week, in preparation for the Google Home app’s major redesign, a pre-release version of the app was (perhaps mistakenly) rolled out to select people via the Play Store and subsequently surfaced on APKMirror.
Our APK Insight team is still actively digging into the many, many changes included in this update — which for some even includes the full Google Home redesign — but one detail that caught our attention is a significant amount of preparation for the Pixel tablet. Up to this point, we’ve been working under the assumption that there was only going to be one dock accessory for the tablet.
However, digging into the code for this special “dogfood” build of Google Home, we find that Google appears to be working on two distinct dock accessories, both associated with the same “Tangor” codename of the Pixel tablet. The two docks are referred to in the code as “Yuzu” and “Korlan.” We were also able to separately confirm these codenames as related, via a code comment from a Googler. As an aside, yuzu and tangor are both citrus fruits, while a korlan is a tropical fruit that’s closely related to the lychee.
For now, there aren’t any obvious signs in the pre-release Google Home code about how the two Pixel tablet docks will vary. It looks like Korlan may have an extra feature that isn’t on Yuzu, but the code available today isn’t clear on what that might be.
Looking at the bigger picture, it’s possible that the two styles of dock may be related to recent signs that Google is preparing a separate “Pro” model of the Pixel tablet which is internally referred to as “Tangorpro.” Depending on the differences between the standard tablet and the possible Pro upgrade, it’s possible a separate dock design may be necessary.
Notably, the “Korlan” dock for the Pixel Tablet appears to be a bit farther along in development, as it’s currently possible to manually enable the setup flow — seen above (h/t Mishaal Rahman). Just like any other Google Home device, you’re able to specify which room in your home the dock is placed. Expectedly, the setup flow doesn’t show us much without actually owning a Pixel tablet.
Thanks to JEB Decompiler, from which some APK Insight teardowns benefit.
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