Google’s Now Playing Might Start Showing a History of Identified Tracks in a Future Release of Android

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Apr 25, 2018
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The prospect of your device’s microphone continually listening is a scary one, and it happens more often than you think (remember Facebook listening in on your phone calls to serve ads?). To give a positive to an otherwise 1984-esque idea, Google put a positive spin on it in the form of Now Playing, which debuted on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. It allows the phone to constantly listen for music and display the song info on the AoD, lock screen, and in the notifications. Thankfully, the feature isn’t enabled by default and one has to navigate through a labyrinth of menus to enable it.

The feature is excellent for when you can’t be bothered to ask the Google Assistant or Shazam the song, but it is far from perfect. So far, it’s failed to a good chunk of obscure music I’ve thrown at it. One minor annoyance with Now Playing is the fact that it doesn’t remember the list of tracks it identified, which is to change soon.

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XDA Developers performed a teardown of the latest Pixel Ambient Services APK that includes a new string that mentions history for music. The feature doesn’t appear to be enabled just yet and is switched off by default, but all it takes is a flip of a switch to get it working. Several developers have created apps that can display the song history, but it would be better if Google supported it natively.

Once the feature rolls out in a future Android release (hopefully Android P), there will likely be a new button in the notification for a recognized song to view the history. It would be nice to have additional options, such as the ability to share your history with friends and integration with last.fm, Spotify and other streaming services which rely on creating tailored playlists based on your listening habits.

Source: XDA developers

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