Ahead of this week’s Pixel 8 event, the company rolled out an update to the Pixel Buds app, readying new features like Hearing Wellness, Conversation Detection, and more, confirming our previous reports.
About APK Insight: In this APK Insight post, we break down the latest version of the app that Google has uploaded to the Play Store. When we unpack these files (called APK files, in the case of Android apps), we are able to see different lines of code within those that hint at potential future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ship these features at all, and our explanation of what they are may be incomplete. We’ll try to enable those that are close to being finished, however, to show you what they’ll look like when they charge. With that in mind, read on.
As we first reported back in May, the Pixel Buds Pro are set to get a feature designed to protect the health of your ears by encouraging you not to listen to loud sound for long periods. Effectively, the companion app will track the volume levels of what’s playing through your headphones. The app will also be able to show the approximate current volume level of your earbuds compared to everyday sounds, such as “Whisper,” “City Traffic,” and “Music Festival.”
To help improve your listening habits, you can check the current volume level of your earbuds and get an exposure report that tracks accumulated listening volume over time.
This is the current media volume of the earphones measured in decibels (dB).
This measures your listening volume over time. As you listen, your exposure accumulates to reach the recommended maximum
Sudden loud noises such as car horns or fireworks can affect your ears almost immediately, but even moderately loud noises such as traffic noise or electrical tools can affect your ears for long periods. As a general rule, the louder the sound, the less time you have to expose it to it.
To protect you from prolonged exposure, the Pixel Buds app will track sound levels on a daily and weekly scale.
Pixel Buds will notify you if you exceed the recommended exposure limit
You are within your exposure limit for the day or week
You are approaching the recommended exposure limit
Reveal the conversation
Meanwhile, on the convenience front, the Pixel Buds Pro will soon be able to detect when you start talking to someone while using active noise cancellation. If Conversation Detection is enabled, the Pixel Buds Pro will automatically pause the music and switch to transparency mode, allowing you to hear the other person more clearly.
Use conversation discovery
Automatically switch to transparency and pause media when you speak
Automatically switch from noise cancellation to transparency when speaking
When you’re in active noise cancellation mode, your earbuds can detect that you’re talking to someone and will automatically switch to transparency mode and pause media for a clearer conversation.
Helpfully, if you activate this feature when you don’t intend it to, Google has also included a one-tap gesture to turn noise cancellation back on and resume listening.
If conversation detection is accidentally turned on, tap the speaker once to return to active noise cancellation mode
Google is also including a way for traditional phone calls to get better audio quality on the Pixel Buds Pro. Using a technology called Ultra Wideband Bluetooth, the headphones will have additional audio data to work with, allowing for “richer, clearer phone calls.” You can read more about this feature in our original coverage.
Pixel Buds use Bluetooth’s ultra-wide range, doubling the bandwidth and delivering richer, clearer phone calls.
Low latency audio
Another piece of information spotted by Dylan Roussel is that the Pixel Buds app is a new feature that will reduce audio latency, which is a common complaint about wireless earbuds, especially the Pixel Buds series. While we haven’t revealed all the details yet, it looks like the low latency might be exclusive to Pixel phones and will require a specific minimum Android version. Strangely, this version varies from device to device, but the Pixel 8 series running Android 14 should be supported.
Nothing in the code seems to indicate how Google will enable this low latency, but our current guess is that the Pixel Buds Pro will get support for Bluetooth LE audio, which, among other issues addressed, reduces audio lag. We’ll be monitoring this as it develops.
New Pixel Buds Pro colors
Finally, it’s all but leaked at this point that the Pixel Buds Pro are gaining two new colors at this week’s Pixel hardware event: Porcelain and Sky. We’ve seen these colors a few times now, and the Pixel Buds app update includes a few additional shots of each, as seen below.
thanks for the Revised JEBwhich some APK Insight dismantling takes advantage of.
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