Android Police

APK Teardown

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Play Store v6.7 Prepares To Preload Data For Faster Performance And May Hint At New Android Wear Features [APK Teardown]

As most of our readers know, an update to the Play Store rolled out a couple of days ago with a feature many of us have been requesting for nearly three years: the ability to join and leave beta test groups from within the Play Store. For reasons we can only speculate about, the join/leave capability was disabled about 24 hours later. While the headlining feature was covered in our original post, there are still a couple of interesting tidbits waiting for the teardown treatment.

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Google Camera v3.2 Prepares To Support Shooting In RAW+JPEG On Nexus Devices [APK Teardown]

Google's Camera app isn't the most advanced tool for taking photos. It completely avoids manual controls and generally lags behind OEMs for most major features. Where it's lacking in advanced features, the Camera app tries to make up for with a simple interface and clever techniques to intelligently deliver better photos without putting the burden on users. This means it works pretty well for simple point-and-shoot purposes, but skilled and professional photographers aren't likely to give it a second look. A teardown of a recent Camera update shows that Google is testing an option to save both RAW and JPEG files with each picture, a popular feature on many dedicated cameras and high-end smartphones.

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Android Pay v1.3 To Allow Use Of Loyalty And Gift Cards Without Unlocking [APK Teardown]

The idea of contactless payments has turned out to be an unusually divisive topic. Some people are certain that we're only a couple of years away from abandoning physical credit cards in favor of using smartphones at the checkout line, while others see it as an obnoxious novelty that slows down everything and should be ignored. Whatever the case, it's interesting to watch the progress of mobile payment methods as they grow and evolve in an effort to capture consumer interest. The latest update to Android Pay v1.3 doesn't appear to bring any immediately available new features, but a teardown reveals that we will soon have the option to use certain types of cards without unlocking our phones.

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Google Drive v2.4 Adds Inline Uploads And User-Selectable Colored Folders, May Soon Add Various Smart Recommendations And More [APK Teardown + Download]

While Google has been pushing out a ton of OS and app updates, the Drive team got out one of its own. This is a perfectly good update on its own, but it also includes clues to some upcoming features, too. In this update, you'll find a newly revised look and operation for uploading files, and there's even a color picker for folders. (Yey!) On the teardown side, we can look forward to recommendations for files, a shortcut to "Team Drives," and possibly even another form of device backup. Oh yeah, and the FAB changes color.

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Play Movies & TV v3.13 Includes The New Play Branding Icon And Details An Aspect Of Streaming From The Family Library [APK Teardown + Download]

A few days ago, Google announced newly revised icons for its Play-branded apps. Newsstand was the first to emerge with the updated look, but aside from very minor tweaks to a few of the icons inside the app, there wasn't anything significant to be seen. The Play Movies & TV app received a pretty similar update, again with a few minimal icon changes and the new launcher icon, but there's actually something more interesting in the teardown: new rules about streaming paid content when it's shared in the family library.

What's New

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After Google announced the new icons, I insisted that AP should not post about the individual updates if those were the only changes worth pointing out.

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Maps v9.23 Adopts Visually Distinct Navigation Notification, Automatically Downloads Offline Maps, And Much More [APK Teardown + Download]

Google is sending out all kinds of things today. First it was Nexus factory images, then an Android Auto update some users can actually care about, and now a pretty full bump to the Maps app. There are plenty of live features to look at in this one, but there is some teardown material, as well. There's no point in wasting words, let's get straight into it.

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Photos v1.17 Enables Non-Destructive Photo Editing, Hints At Motorola Promo, Smart Rotation Recommendations, And A New Launcher Icon [APK Teardown + Download]

An update to the Google Photos app just rolled out, bringing the current version number up to v1.17. This release is pretty straightforward with just one notable change: photos can now be edited in a non-destructive fashion. In other words, you can make changes to a picture and still return to the original version if you like. That feature alone is certainly enough to make this a worthy upgrade, but a teardown provides some good clues about features that are probably coming in the next couple of releases, assuming they're not already here.

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Google Is Preparing To Drop Support For The Physical Wallet Card On June 30th

The first signs of the Google Wallet Card were discovered during an APK Teardown, so it only seems fitting that its death should also be foretold the same way. That's right, the real life Wallet Card is not long for this world. Text found in the Google Wallet v14 update reveals plans to terminate the versatile little card on June 30th.

Google's story with a physical card has always been pretty tumultuous. In mid-2013, AllThingsD posted a report about a clunky demo of the project in front of an already unsatisfied Larry Page. This led to the removal of Wallet's then current Vice President, Osama Bedier, and all but confirmed the project was probably doomed.

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Android TV Remote Control v1.1 Is Preparing To Add Gamepad Capabilities, Auto-Sleep For Supported TVs, And Volume Tuning For Voice Responses [APK Teardown]

If you own an Android TV box or a television with it built in, there's a pretty good chance you've also taken the time to install Google's remote control app to go with it. It's not that the app is necessary, but it's a great backup in case your main remote is lost or the batteries die. All things considered, it's a pretty basic utility app; but it might not be quite so simple in the near future. A teardown shows that this little remote control is about to turn your phone into a full-fledged gamepad. There are also signs that it may soon take care of shutting off your TV for you and we might also gain control over the volume of voice responses.

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Photos v1.16 Includes Hints Of A Burst Mode Manager, Comment Sections, And Something About Albums With Maps [APK Teardown]

The latest update to Photos was fairly light on new features, but that's not always what makes an update interesting. Sometimes the most exciting part about a new release is seeing the ingredients that will make up the next great iteration. This update is packed with clues about new things in the pipeline including support for comments, a new screen to manage shots taken in burst mode, and a feature on shared albums that will suggest links to locations around the world.

Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (application packages) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information.
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