18
Jul
maps-thumb

Yesterday’s update to Google Maps was certainly no slouch for new features; it came packing some great improvements for cyclists, new voice commands during navigation, and a few other interface tweaks. In addition to these public changes, there are also two brand new features buried within the code which are not active yet, but they may point to some exciting stuff on the horizon.

Teardown

"I Am Here"

Google Maps is pretty good at figuring out where we've gone; between GPS, Wi-Fi, and even things like BLE-based iBeacons, it's possible to pinpoint our locations just about everywhere, even inside of buildings.

15
May
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Yesterday, Google began rolling out a small update to the Newsstand app, bumping it up from 3.2 to 3.2.1. While the version number suggests this was only a bug fix -and it mostly is- there were still a couple of interesting additions discovered during a teardown.

Onboarding Walkthrough

Google is adding a helpful walkthrough for people who are new to Newsstand. Until now, the app has lacked a proper "onboarding" step for the first time an app is run.

08
May
gmsTeardown

There should be no doubt, Google is getting ready to make a lot of announcements at I/O. If we've learned anything from past experiences, Google starts packing its apps full of surprises in the weeks leading up to the big show. The latest update to Play Services started rolling out yesterday and it has grown by a whopping 4 MB, almost 30% larger than the previous version. There's obviously a lot of stuff to look at, so let's just jump right in.

01
May
GoogleSearch-Teardown

The latest version of Google Search rolled out yesterday with a couple of pretty great new features. We already know that 3.4 offers a new parking reminder, mall directories, and the start of voice commands for system settings. But there are still a few secrets worth exploring, so let's get to it!

See Your Friend's Photos

The content of Google Now tends to focus heavily on your current or future location, and as a close second, it tries to be helpful with reminders about TV shows and events.

28
Apr
XE16-Teardown

Last week I posted a teardown of the Settings app from XE 16. That was really just a teaser, because this update is huge. This time I'm ripping into the guts of every app on Glass. That's over 100 apks (counting multiple version updates from the last month), and there's plenty to see. I'm not going to waste time on a long intro, you know what you're here for!

18
Apr
2014-04-18 06.37.37

It seems like forever since we did our last teardown for Google Glass, but that doesn't mean there aren't a lot of things happening for the former Google[x] project. XE16 brought the first ever change in OS version, taking Glass from 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) all of the way to 4.4.2 (KitKat). A minor hotfix from build followed with an undisclosed set of changes and a minor bump in build number.

15
Mar
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We learned yesterday that the Chromecast would finally make its grand entrance to our friends in the UK on March 19. While the recently finalized Google Cast SDK should leave them with plenty of ways to start using it right away, there's one app that definitely needed to take the plunge and add support: BBC's iPlayer. Well, it looks like the BBC had the same thought, because a recent update gives us solid evidence that Chromecast streaming is coming very soon.

19
Dec
google_play_books

Last week, Google rolled out a huge update to Google Play Books that included support for uploading PDF and EPUB files. When the latest update, version 3.1.23, began rolling out, we tested it and noticed that PDF uploading was removed. A quick look at the Play Store's description also shows clearly that it was taken out.

play_books_whatsnew

Additionally, a comparison of the 3.1.17 and 3.1.23 APKs revealed that the following line of code was removed:

<data android:host="*" android:mimeType="*/*" android:pathPattern=".*\\.pdf" android:scheme="file"/>

If you want to upload PDFs into your library, you can still do so via the web interface.

27
Nov
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Last Updated: November 28th, 2013

There's a new version of YouTube out, and as usual, hidden inside its chocolaty center are hints at upcoming features and capabilities. We've seen information about a lot of this stuff before, some of which has even been confirmed by Google itself. Aside from the user interface changes we mentioned in the announcement post, there are framework elements for the upcoming YouTube subscription service, "Uninterrupted Playback," an offline video mode, and background music listening.

10
Nov
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In our last Glass Teardown, we found a ton of new commands hidden in the resources of GlassVoice.apk, pulled from the XE10 update. Just a couple of days ago, XE11 rolled out to Explorers, and it's got even more to tell us about future Glass functionality.

In this teardown, we'll take a look at progress on functions XE10 hinted at, new resources that clarify some of our previous discoveries, and a couple of new things as well.

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