Earlier this week, we posted the first look at the upcoming Android Play Store app v4.4. As it turns out, besides sporting a new look and a secret message to the teardown team, the updated Play Store is strongly hinting at another new arrival - one we've been waiting for since March. And now we have the updated name for it - Google Play Newsstand.
March 2013: Google Play News
But first, allow me to refresh your memory.
Well, folks, it finally happened - after numerous APK teardowns, Google has finally dropped a message to the Android Police teardown team inside one of the APKs - the Android Play Store v4.4 nonetheless.
The message reads: <string name="ap_teardown_notice">"These aren't the features you're looking for, officer"</string>.
Many of you have joked about this in past comments, so I've been wondering whether a Googler will actually do it one day.
Last weekend, I finally got my own Google Glass unit. Since then I've been trying to adapt to using it and all its features, but as always there are a few things no Explorer can do just yet. With the update to XE10, the list of hidden or unimplemented features has changed dramatically. We've rifled through the build and picked out the gems we think are most worthy of discussion, including as yet invisible abilities within GlassVoice (as pointed out by our tipster Zhuowei) including 3D modeling, a stopwatch, panorama capture, and much more.
Hangouts was one of many Google apps that received pretty significant updates last week. Version 1.2 finally brought availability statuses for people on your contact list, better organization of contacts, and several other improvements. Under-the-hood, however, I spotted a few more additions that don't seem to be live just yet, which is exactly what we have APK teardowns around here for.
Now that the insane week of Google app updates has passed (gotta love those Rollout Wednesdays, right?), I've had some time to dig into the APKs and have found a number of interesting things in some of them.
We'll start with Gmail, which received a fairly significant Card UI update with version 4.6.
Ads are coming to Gmail
The most significant under-the-hood and probably not active yet addition to Gmail 4.6 is ads.
When Google launched the Android Device Manager in early August, I applauded the initiative because we finally got a much-needed security solution that was built into every Android devices that ships with Google's services. Rather, it was a good start, since the functionality was so limited: location, remote wipe, and alarm.
For the last two days, I've been digging around the new Google Play Services APK 3.2.64 that started rolling out to Android devices everywhere.
Earlier today, Google released a relatively minor update to its keyboard application with only one really useful change: numbers in the top row on tablets. While the update itself is indeed not too significant, it did manage to bring several interesting half-baked under-the-hood bits which aren't quite ready for consumption. These are exactly the kinds of bits we like here in the AndroidPolice teardown kitchen.
Armed with some of Ron's initial findings, my teardown partner Santiago Rosales and I dug into the innards of the v1.1 APK.