08
Aug
Youtube-Teardown

A couple of days ago, Google fulfilled its obligation to prevent me from sleeping by releasing a stack of newly updated apps for me to examine. Some of them were pretty straight forward, like the latest version of Android Device Manager, and others turned out to be pretty mind-boggling. That's how the YouTube update turned out. The apk grew by 2 MB, and Google certainly packed in quite a bit, but many of the additions don't make much sense.

06
Aug
Youtube-Thumb

Update Wednesday is here, and it's time to start things off with YouTube. The latest release makes the jump up to version 5.9, and it's quite a hefty one. This time around we see the file size jump up an additional 2MB. Here's what you're getting with those extra bits.

18
Jul
MapsEngine-Thumb

When the Google Maps Engine app hit Android in late 2013, it enabled users to view and share custom maps. Now an update has landed that empowers them to create and edit such maps as well. Users can spawn new ones, add layers, and move points around as needed. They can then go back and rename aspects as they wish.

Engine1 Engine2 Engine3

Engine4 Engine5 Engine6

The update has also introduced some UI changes, so while it may look largely the same, it's a little cleaner around the edges.

11
Jun
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Facebook's official Android app got an update today, bringing it to the nice, round version 10.0 mark. The update doesn't include any clarity for the app's interface (which, in many ways, is not dissimilar to a plate of spaghetti), but it does pack a few handy new tricks.

First up, the new app will allow users to "like" posts, photos, and pages without an internet connection. So if you're scrolling through your stream but don't have a data connection, no worries - just hit the "like" button and forget about it.

06
Jun
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Kingsoft, makers of the popular productivity app Kingsoft Office, today announced that the Android app has reached 210 million users around the world. To mark the event, the app has been rebranded to WPS Office and given a new icon to match. The announcement comes on the heels of the app's update to version 6.0, which introduces "over 100 feature updates and enhancements," including a revitalized interface, support for 44 languages, and - in Kingsoft's words - "much more."

The app can view, create, and share office documents on any Android device running 2.1+, and offers collaboration features like edit tracking and comments.

04
Jun
Talon-Thumb

Talon thinks your Twitter experience could use a shot in the arm, and it's ready to provide the juice. A big update has rolled out for the app that provides the ability to view multiple images within a single tweet, queue tweets to go out once a data connection is re-established, filter in top tweets while searching, and perform a whole host of other actions. For example, you can also schedule tweets from the compose window and translate tweets from a foreign language.

19
May
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Gmail just got an update to version 4.8, an update that brings with it some refreshing UI changes, and a few other features too. First, we'll take a look at the UI tweaks.

First up, the pull-to-refresh animation has been brought into line with the Google Search app - it now cycles through Google's red, yellow, blue, and green brand colors rather than using a simple blue animation. The length of swipe necessary to trigger a refresh has also been shortened.

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!

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