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Articles Tagged:

teardown

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Brutal YouTube tester JerryRigEverything finds a lot of plastic in Sony's 'premium' Xperia XZ

If you haven't at least glanced at YouTube gadget aficionado JerryRigEverything (whose real name is Zack), you should close this tab and go do that. He puts new phones through excruciating damage tests for "entertainment purposes only" - it's the kind of thing that we're not really supposed to do in our standard reviews (unless the phone dares us to kill it). In a breakdown of the Xperia XZ, Sony's current premium flagship which retails for $700, Zack found a surprising amount of materials that were less than premium.

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Latest beta of Android Wear companion app allows filtering non-Wear Bluetooth devices and prepares to launch the Play Store from phones [APK Download + Teardown]

Development on the Android Wear platform has stumbled a bit as the official 2.0 release has been delayed until early 2017. That doesn't mean the companion app can't continue to get updates. A fresh beta build of v2.0 came out a couple of days ago with a couple small tweaks to remove one of the little annoying things about the Bluetooth pairing process. The teardown also reveals a couple of interesting additions related to standalone apps and the Wear-specific Play Store.

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Google Fit v1.61 prepares for hydration logging, gym workouts, and more [APK Teardown]

There's a new update to Google Fit rolling out to [aspiring to be] healthy Android users, but there aren't any obvious signs of changes from just looking at the app. A little digging around under the hood reveals quite a bit is either in the works or just about to launch, including hydration logging and counting reps at the gym. We might also get to track climbing data soon and get notifications for activities that Fit isn't 100% confident about. Oh, and there are some more round icons because it was bound to happen eventually.

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Google Maps v9.40 beta adds a dedicated space for photos from business owners and prepares for phone number verifications [APK Download + Teardown]

There's a new version of Google Maps rolling out to users on the beta channel. This one doesn't seem to be stacked full of big features, but there's at least one new addition to the photo browser. There are also some clues about upcoming features from a teardown. This release is a beta, so you won't get it through the Play Store (right now) if you aren't already signed up to receive early updates. As always, there's a link to download this release from APK Mirror at the bottom.

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YouTube Kids v1.91 shows plans to support Daydream VR and allow parents to block videos and channels [APK Teardown]

If you're taking care of a little one and updates to the YouTube Kids app are actually opportunities for excitement, you've probably been feeling a little let down by the last few version bumps. It's not that anybody really needs it to keep up with the likes of Google Maps or the core YouTube app, but a few big features are surely welcome. This version isn't actually packed with anything notably new for users today, but it brings promises of some things to come. A teardown shows that kids will be able to enjoy videos in VR and parents will be able to block videos and channels right from within the app.

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Google Messenger v2.0 adds unread counts to several launchers, brings a new launcher icon, prepares for RCS support, and much more [APK Teardown + Download]

The Google Messenger app officially hit version 2.0 yesterday. There are plenty of changes, largely related to visual tweaks like a new launcher icon, color changes, and some revised layouts. While a mostly visual release, there are some functional improvements, as well. A teardown also brings a good look at some interesting things in the future of messaging.

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iFixit's Pixel teardown reveals decent repairability and little sign of HTC manufacturing

On the outside, Google's Pixel phones look an awful lot like Apple's flagship. But what about on the inside? iFixit has a hallowed tradition of taking apart every new major smartphone (and other tech products), and determining how repairable it is. iFixit has posted their teardown of the Google Pixel XL, and there are some small surprises.

In their attempt to free the display from the phone's assembly, the OLED panel separated from the glass "a little too easily for our liking." This resulted in a broken OLED panel, and no doubt is a sign the Pixel is a bit hard to dig into.

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Google App 6.7.13 beta readies Lite Mode for data-constrained regions [APK Teardown]

Google hasn't been shy about ingratiating itself and its services with the people of India and similarly data-constrained markets – and it should take a bow because some competitors certainly aren't trying very hard to keep up. Last month Google announced a number of initiatives for the Indian market designed to cut down on unnecessary data costs. Among the announcements was a change to the News & Weather app adding a so-called "Lite Mode" that intelligently reduces the amount of text and images that ultimately reaches a phone. Now it looks like the Google app itself will be sporting the same options.

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Google Maps v9.39 adds a handy traffic widget and hints at live data about busy places [APK Teardown + Download]

Google Maps made it into the update cycle this week, bumping the version number up to 9.39. This update appears to be a bit lighter than many from the last few months, but it's not completely lacking improvements. There's a new shortcut that can be used to jump directly into the traffic screen. A quick teardown also reveals a potential improvement to the busyness chart on many locations. As always, we've got a link below to pick up the APK.

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Google Photos v2.2 comes with more auto-generated highlight cards, prepares to create time-lapses and upgrade the video player [APK Teardown + Download]

An update to Google Photos began rolling out yesterday, and alongside it came a promising blog post about new assistant cards highlighting memories and suggesting rotations for sideways photos. Regular users may recognize that some of these aren't totally new, at least not with this version. However, there are some under-the-hood changes that speak to some interesting things for the future. A teardown shows that the video play may be getting an overhaul and Photos might soon auto-generate time-lapse videos for us.

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