Google app is already revealing the Pixel 9's setup animation and files

Google Pixel 9 mockup with name
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • A beta version of the Google app includes code and files related to the unreleased Google Pixel 9 series.
  • One file represents the Pixel 9's setup animation, which is new but does not reveal much about the new phones. 
  • Another is related to a digital assistant, though it notably does not reference the rumored "Pixie" assistant that may debut alongside the Pixel 9 series.

There are a handful of Google Pixel 9 leaks making rounds, and even more concerning the Pixel 8a that could launch as early as next month. However, it's rare that we get something straight from the source. While it's not much, a new beta version of the Google app reveals that the company is actively making preparations for the Pixel 9 series. There are still a lot of unknowns surrounding the smartphone lineup, but this latest leak confirms the Pixel 9 naming scheme, at the very least.

Android code sleuth AssembleDebug on X noticed a few files in beta version of the Google app that are directly related to the Pixel 9. These files are connected to the Google Assistant setup process, which comes from the Google app. This explains why the beta version of the Google app is the software that contains references to the Pixel 9, rather than just an unreleased Android version. There is some added significance to the Assistant setup process on the Pixel 9 since it was previously reported that the smartphone might feature a new "Pixie" digital assistant.

There are two files included in the Google app beta, per AssembleDebug, that are related to the Google Pixel 9:

  • assistant_robin_suw_pixel9_fragment.xml
  • assistant_robin_suw_pixel9.json

The tipster explains that the first file is likely the Google Assistant setup wizard for the Pixel 9 or the Assistant setup page directly. The second file is the setup animation, which features generic Google icons and design language. Aside from the file names, there isn't much to indicate that these assets are related to the Pixel 9. Still, it's the first indirect reference to the Pixel 9's existence from Google, and it comes months ahead of the lineup's expected launch.

So far, there are also no references to the rumored Pixie assistant. Pixie, which could be an internal codename, is said to be a more powerful version of the Google Assistant leveraging on-device data and AI. Google appears to be moving away from the Google Assistant entirely, removing features in recent months and requiring Gemini users to replace Assistant on their phones. One theory is that Gemini isn't the thing that will replace Assistant once and for all — but another software feature will. 

The Google Pixel 9 series is probably months away from an official launch, as Google usually unveils these phones in the fall. However, these references to the Pixel 9 in beta versions of the Google app are just the start. Rumors and leaks surrounding Google's next generation of flagship phones will only intensify as a launch gets closer.

Brady Snyder

Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John's University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he isn't experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.