Last weekend, I finally got my own Google Glass unit. Since then I've been trying to adapt to using it and all its features, but as always there are a few things no Explorer can do just yet. With the update to XE10, the list of hidden or unimplemented features has changed dramatically. We've rifled through the build and picked out the gems we think are most worthy of discussion, including as yet invisible abilities within GlassVoice (as pointed out by our tipster Zhuowei) including 3D modeling, a stopwatch, panorama capture, and much more.
Now that the insane week of Google app updates has passed (gotta love those Rollout Wednesdays, right?), I've had some time to dig into the APKs and have found a number of interesting things in some of them.
We'll start with Gmail, which received a fairly significant Card UI update with version 4.6.
Ads are coming to Gmail
The most significant under-the-hood and probably not active yet addition to Gmail 4.6 is ads.
Earlier today, Google released a relatively minor update to its keyboard application with only one really useful change: numbers in the top row on tablets. While the update itself is indeed not too significant, it did manage to bring several interesting half-baked under-the-hood bits which aren't quite ready for consumption. These are exactly the kinds of bits we like here in the AndroidPolice teardown kitchen.
Armed with some of Ron's initial findings, my teardown partner Santiago Rosales and I dug into the innards of the v1.1 APK.
The Google Search 2.7 APK teardown is now officially the longest one in the history of Android Police. We find a bunch of interesting things, post about them, continue digging, and what do you know - keep running into new stuff. I'm fairly positive there won't be part 4 this time around, as we've squeezed out every last drop from v2.7, but as they say - never say never.
If you haven't read the first two parts yet, you should do so now to cover the bases.
Just when you thought we were done with the already rather extensive Google Search teardown, another wild teardown appears. Yup, still the same good old Search 2.7, but this time, we found a hidden feature that you will really want, even more than custom hotwords. At least I think you will.
Turns out, there's a secret flag within Search that lets you use the hotword, set by default to 'Google,' anywhere in search results instead of just the home Activity.
A couple of days ago, Google dropped a pretty sweet but surprising late-night update to Google Search with version 2.7.9. You can read about the announced features and download the APK here, if you haven't yet. After the dust settled, I jumped right into the multitude of under-the-hood changes and was able to uncover quite a few things not included in the changelog - both ones that are coming in the future and ones that are already here.
A couple of weeks ago, we were very excited to find a new, revised version of the Roboto family hiding in a leaked Android 4.3 build. Since then, I've been keeping an eye out for any more Roboto goings on.
With the new Play Store web portal having launched today, I thought I'd check in and see if it was using the new version of Roboto we reported on before. As it turns out, it isn't.
Yesterday, we reported on an alleged Android 4.3 Jelly Bean ROM originally posted by SamMobile. Since then, we have – in usual style – been digging away, looking for goodies. In the midst of that search, Ron noticed something – the Roboto files in the ROM were up to 30% bigger than the versions found in 4.2.2.
My first guess as to what would cause a file size difference was the presence of additional glyphs.
When Ron tore down the most recent Play Store APK, he discovered references to pre-orders hiding within. It wasn't clear at the time just what this option would apply to, but now we know! It's books! According to a new help page, if an item on Play Books is not yet available, you may find a pre-order option that you can use to place a reservation. Neat!
The page also states that when you place a pre-order, your credit card will not be charged until the book is available.
It was a little surprising to see Google announce a new Nexus device this year without LTE support. While LTE deployment is still lagging behind in many regions, the good old USA is fast becoming blanketed with speedy 4G. Now that the Nexus 4 is in the wild, iFixit has taken it apart, and you'll never guess what they found. Yes, a 7-band 4G LTE radio chip. The plot thickens...
The chip in question, the Qualcomm WTR1605L (highlighted in green above), supports all currently operating LTE networks around the world.