On the last episode of Android Police Teardowns, Google's plans for Smart Burst were revealed. Soon, Creations are going to become an innate part of the Camera app, giving users their own collages, animations, group pictures with the best possible smiles, and even pictures styled as if they were taken in a photo booth. Many questions remain. Will Google finally make the most out of the Camera 2 API? Will there be slow motion and HDR modes? And will readers get that this intro is just a goofy bit modeled after old TV shows that awkwardly explain the whole previous episode in 30 seconds before continuing with the story? Read More
We're just two weeks away from the anticipated launch date for Android 6.0, up to two Nexus phones, and possibly many other surprises. As we all know, secrets are rarely well-kept as the clock counts down on big new products, and that means bits and pieces occasionally escape. We've got an early look at the resources belonging to Google Camera v3.0, which we expect to see included with the upcoming Nexus handsets and rolling out to the Play Store.
Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong.
Android Pay is finally here and it's pretty much everything we expected it to be. While there are plenty of questions about where we can use it, which credit cards can be set up, and why it's so aggressive with brightness even when barcodes aren't on screen, the actual act of spending money is about as straight-forward as it could be. As it turns out, there's one feature Google hasn't really discussed yet, but it could become the best thing about using a phone to buy things. Android Pay can automatically redeem special offers, submit account details for loyalty programs, and make a payment in just one tap to a payment terminal. Read More
It seems like all hands are on deck to get Google's apps to conform on the new workmark. In all of the rush, a minor snafu occurred yesterday. A dogfood version (generally intended for internal testing) of the News & Weather app was uploaded to the Play Store, adorned with the cute little paw print badge. Well, the accident has been cleaned up and the proper version has been uploaded to the Play Store today. Let's just hope nobody had their noses rubbed anywhere.
Left: Old launcher icon. Center: Dogfood icon. Right: New launcher icon.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence.
A late afternoon update to the Play Store just hit the scene. While we've only witnessed a single new dialog box in the live app, there are plenty of things standing out from a teardown. Preparation for Android 6.0 is clearly a big part of this release as signs pop up for support of the new optional permission model and fingerprint readers. There is also an uninstall manager in the works for those times when you've run out of space. We can also look forward to a new interface for requesting refunds and an option to get very precise recommendations based on location. Read More
YouTube updates have been rolling out at a pretty speedy rate lately, averaging about 3-4 each month. The latest bump is relatively minor, but it includes a useful new feature to quickly wipe any offline content from your device. A teardown also reveals that there may be a new auto-syncing feature that will download content for offline viewing without the need to manually pick out videos. As usual, we've also got a download link at the bottom if you'd like to grab the apk. Read More
Inbox for Gmail continues to stack on new features and refine its existing capabilities. While it may never fit the needs of many Gmail users, it has earned a strong following of fans that couldn't live without it. The latest release doesn't appear to add anything to the user experience, but a teardown shows a few of the changes that may be on the horizon.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong. There is always a chance that details may change or plans may be cancelled prior to the launch of a new feature discovered in a teardown.
Android Pay has been a hot topic in the last weeks after a series of memos and promotional materials turned up with the supposed August 26th launch date. As it turns out, Google hadn't yet distributed the necessary software to enable Android Pay for use on phones. That changes with version 8.1 of the Play services apk, which began rolling out Friday afternoon. A look around inside of the app also suggests there has been a bit more progress on the long-anticipated Kid Accounts. As of this release, there is also an important change to the convention Google uses for identifying Play services apk variants for different devices. Read More
Many gamers are acutely aware of the impending launch of Google's new live-streaming service YouTube Gaming, which will go head-to-head with Amazon's recently acquired Twitch.tv. After the last few months of beta testing, YouTube Gaming is finally set to leave beta later today to allow users from almost anywhere in the world to broadcast their own gameplay footage live to anybody who would like to watch. Google has just released the Android app, which serves as the guide and viewer for live shows and much of the recorded gaming content on YouTube. As usual, we've got the apk available for download, Read More
which may come in very handy since the Play Store will initially limit availability to residents of the US and UK.
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