Today's Hangouts update was a bit of a surprise. Besides landing on Monday, the update was a fairly large one. Users of the latest version of Hangouts are already enjoying merged SMS/Hangouts threads, improved status markers, a new home screen widget, new sound effects, the ability to share contact cards, and other touches. But - as with any Google update - it's worth looking a little deeper in the app to see what may be hiding in the code.
Most of the time, we execute APK teardowns by comparing the code of older app versions to an updated version. Newly released apps can hold juicy information too, though. We've quickly taken apart Google's newly released camera app and discovered a few tidbits worth mentioning.
Our primary target for this teardown is the strings file. This file holds a wealth of strings not yet revealed in the interface that look like they'll bring missing features back and add some new ones, too.
Google blew a lot of minds with its Android Wear announcement yesterday. The ambitious project, which aims to put a specialized version of Android on as many wearables (for now watches) as possible, has been talked about, analyzed, and previewed heavily for the past 24 hours, but there's still more to discuss.
Today, we've got the Android Wear launcher (extracted from the emulator) as it currently exists. This is an early version of the home launcher that you'll see on the Moto 360 and likely other wearable devices coming in the near future.
We learned yesterday that the Chromecast would finally make its grand entrance to our friends in the UK on March 19. While the recently finalized Google Cast SDK should leave them with plenty of ways to start using it right away, there's one app that definitely needed to take the plunge and add support: BBC's iPlayer. Well, it looks like the BBC had the same thought, because a recent update gives us solid evidence that Chromecast streaming is coming very soon.
One more app that took part in Update Wednesday yesterday is the official Chromecast app, which helps users set up their new Chromecasts to work with their phone or tablet. The app got bumped from 1.3.10 to 1.5.3 and while Google has published its own short change log, we of course couldn't resist doing a quick teardown to see if there were any other goodies. First though, here's what Google says is new.
Google's begun rolling out an update to Maps, bumping it from version 7.5 to version 7.6 just after flipping the switch on dynamic rerouting. Officially, what's new in the update hasn't been laid out, but as usual we've managed to get the APK and take a quick peek inside. In this post, we'll outline some of the new, interesting bits we've found in the new app, and those who don't want to wait for the update can grab the APK themselves at the bottom of the post.
Today, Google finally opened the Chromecast up to developers in a meaningful way, releasing the Google Cast SDK and integrating the relevant Android API into Google Play Services, the ever-growing backbone of Google's Android-based offerings. The update has already begun its rollout. Of course, that means we're going to look inside and see what's new, and we've also got a download for those who just can't wait for Play Services 4.2 to hit their device.
There's a new version of YouTube out, and as usual, hidden inside its chocolaty center are hints at upcoming features and capabilities. We've seen information about a lot of this stuff before, some of which has even been confirmed by Google itself. Aside from the user interface changes we mentioned in the announcement post, there are framework elements for the upcoming YouTube subscription service, "Uninterrupted Playback," an offline video mode, and background music listening.