For many people around the world, this is the holiday season. We're packing things up and hitting the road to visit family and friends. Most of us will put at least some part of our trip into Google's hands as we launch Maps and wait for it to tell us which turn to take next. A new version hit the beta channel yesterday to prepare for some of these road trips. There are a few new features and a boatload of items for a teardown. Read More
As the shopping season closes in, it's important to be running the latest versions of any apps that do run financial transactions. Android Pay just got a new update to version 1.35 and it looks a little more involved than performance enhancements. Among the live features, you can now long-press most text fields and barcodes to copy the contents into your clipboard. A teardown also shows that Android Pay may soon have notification channels, support for transit cards, and a new promotional game that puts you on a quest for Doodles. Read More
Late yesterday IFTTT saw a huge update. There are more than 30 new services tied to the automation tool via the new Data Access Project, including a ton of government and travel data sources. There is even a new Google Photos service that interfaces with the platform, as well as a VoIP feature for applets that use the phone service. Now you can set up IFTTT alerts on subjects like the economy and public transit, as well as upload images to Google Photos. Read More
Uber wants to make things easier for people who choose to do part of their journey using its taxi service and the other part with public transport. To that end, the company has announced a deal with the journey planning app Transit. It's now possible to view onward train departure times without having to leave the Uber app. Read More
A couple of very useful features have started rolling out to a few lucky Google Maps users in the last couple of days. If you've been following along with our APK Teardowns, you might remember sections covering notifications for mass transit delays and an option to restrict data usage to Wi-Fi only. If you've been eager to see either of these, now might be a good time to open up Maps and poke around. But it looks like both features are launching as staged rollouts, so don't be too surprised if you're not in the opening group. Read More
The update to Google Maps v9.31 brought a couple of fixes for users on Android N developer previews, not to mention some other small changes for everybody. But the most interesting things about this version are still buried below the surface. Yesterday, I covered support for offline maps to be installed on an SD card, and now it's time to dig into the rest of the teardown. If SD card support weren't enough, there are a couple of other features here that have been hotly requested for some time, so it's pretty clearly the Maps team is working hard to fill out the feature set for users. Read More
If you felt like Google clubbed you over the head with tons of announcements and releases last week, you're not alone. Between giving out the codename for Android M, a new preview release, an Android Wear update, and about a dozen other things, it was a huge week. Toward the end of the onslaught, a fairly innocuous update to Google Maps bumped the version up to 9.13 and it has a couple of useful shortcuts that deserve a look. There's also a new Google app, but it's not in the Play Store, and that deserves a Teardown-style discussion of its own. Read More
In two months, hundreds of thousands of people will be flocking to cities all over Brazil for the 20th FIFA World Cup. Since getting around in an unfamiliar metropolis can be a bit of a hassle (looking at you, Barcelona), Google has expanded its public transit information for the relevant Brazilian cities. When World Cup fans get to Brazil, they'll be able to look up bus and train info for all twelve cities with scheduled games.
The news came from Google's official Maps Twitter account, and presumably Brazilians will start seeing the benefit of transit maps and schedules today. Read More
When Apple buys a company, you have to expect any associated Android apps are going to bite the dust. Indeed, that appears to be the situation with the popular public transit app HopStop, which was bought by Apple a few months ago. The Windows Phone app (yes, it had a Windows Phone version) disappeared first, and now it's Google Play's turn to feel the sting of an Apple acquisition.