Notification channels are one of the key user-facing features added with Android Oreo, and almost all of Google's major apps were ready for launch day with their own set of custom channels. A few notable stragglers like Inbox and Hangouts remain, but today's update to the Google+ app means it cannot be counted among them. Unfortunately, the custom channels added in this update are almost certainly not what G+ users were hoping to see. Read More
Over the last few months, Google has been taking small steps to integrate Allo and Duo into different pieces of the phone. Most recently, Allo shortcuts were added to the Contacts app, but today's teardown is more closely related to Duo recording its video chats to the system call log. It looks like Google's next step may involve having its Phone app be a little more forward about Duo. Read More
The latest update to the Google app is rolling out to beta channel members right now. There aren't any immediately obvious changes on the surface, but as the tradition often goes, there are some things under the hood worthy of discussion in a teardown. This version brings a pretty good indicator that 8.1 will be the next version of Android. There are also signs that user-defined actions are going to get some changes in the future. We're also going to hit an option to turn off the built-in screenshot handler and a little bit more about Google's upcoming "Bisto" headphones.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android's application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information.
The latest Google Maps beta update began rolling out to users late last night, and it brings with it a feature some users have been requesting for years: User-selectable language and voices. Not only that, but there are a few things from the teardown that may be of interest. Some of them are more like follow-ups to older topics, but there are some new bits of information to check out with each one. Read More
Version 3.4 of Google Photos started rolling out earlier today, and like so many other recent app updates, you're probably not going to see much in the way of changes. This is a pretty common theme around this time of year as Google prepares to launch new hardware and services. But investigating the app updates themselves can still turn up clues about future enhancements. In this release, there are signs that users will be able to mark photos as "favorites" and quickly pull up a list for easy browsing. There's also going to be a new notification when you're on cellular networks to allow one-time passes for the backup system to use some of that data and get your photos and videos into the cloud ASAP. Read More
It's hard to imagine writing about Allo without talking about stickers, and as the title suggests, this post isn't going to change that. Version 17 just started rolling out, but it looks to be basically the same on the surface. At least no significant changes have turned up for me. However, a teardown of the apk shows that there are even more sticker-related improvements on the horizon. Read More
Yesterday was a busy day with the official announcement of Android Oreo and our sun playing a short game of peekaboo behind the moon. Yesterday also saw the release of a brand new version of the Google app to the beta channel. After a bit of digging, there aren't any notable changes jumping out at us, but a teardown of the APK provides a monstrous amount of information about a mystery device called Bisto. There's plenty here, so let's dig straight into the juicy bits! Read More