Earlier today, Google started slowly rolling out an update to Maps with version 7.2. This is a point release, up from 7.1, so I expected more than just minor changes. While not as big as the quiet Drive update yesterday, Maps 7.2 brings a few notable changes to the table that Google has not yet (or won't ever) itemized in the changelog. Upon getting my hands on the APK, which you can find at the bottom of this post, I hopped onto the teardown couch and dug in.
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.
The Google Search 2.7 APK teardown is now officially the longest one in the history of Android Police. We find a bunch of interesting things, post about them, continue digging, and what do you know - keep running into new stuff. I'm fairly positive there won't be part 4 this time around, as we've squeezed out every last drop from v2.7, but as they say - never say never.
If you haven't read the first two parts yet, you should do so now to cover the bases.
Just when you thought we were done with the already rather extensive Google Search teardown, another wild teardown appears. Yup, still the same good old Search 2.7, but this time, we found a hidden feature that you will really want, even more than custom hotwords. At least I think you will.
Turns out, there's a secret flag within Search that lets you use the hotword, set by default to 'Google,' anywhere in search results instead of just the home Activity.
A couple of days ago, Google dropped a pretty sweet but surprising late-night update to Google Search with version 2.7.9. You can read about the announced features and download the APK here, if you haven't yet. After the dust settled, I jumped right into the multitude of under-the-hood changes and was able to uncover quite a few things not included in the changelog - both ones that are coming in the future and ones that are already here.
Maps 7.1 is slowly rolling out into the world. Google is making this teardown particularly difficult, because they haven't even gotten around to releasing a change log yet - it's up to me to come up with something. First though, we need to cover the good stuff that most definitely won't be in the change log, because this has me excited:
Remember when I found a "3D" button allll the way back in version 6.12?
Yet another Google Glass update means yet another Google Glass Teardown - we're now up to version "XE8." Despite Glass being a complete nightmare to do diff work on (every file is in every APK), and the highly experimental nature of Glass (stuff gets removed all the time), Glass teardowns have actually had a pretty good hit rate.
Google Hangouts Chat
Finally. A feature I've wanted since the first day I opened Google Glass: Google Hangouts support.
Chromecast is one of the slicker devices to come out of Google HQ in a while. After you're all set up, just tap a button on YouTube or Netflix, and BAM, whatever you were watching is now on your television. It's really awesome.
For the researchy-types like me, the Chromecast comes with two piece of software to dig through. The first is the physical device software, which, while it is sort-of Android based, it's only Android-based at the low level.
Google jumped the gun just a little bit and shipped tomorrow's version of Google Music today, which means we've got about 12 hours to spoil even more of the surprises Google has in store for us at their "Breakfast with Sundar Pichai" event. Let's get to it.
Music ships with all sorts of support for something called "Chromecast." It's basically Google's version of Airplay. Check this out:
<string name="error_start_session_failed">Unable to start a session with the Chromecast device.</string>
<string name="error_session_ended">Lost connectivity with the Chromecast device.</string>
<string name="error_ramp_command_failed">Failed to control the media.</string>
<string name="error_no_session">Not currently connected to the Chromecast device.</string>
Connect to a remote device, and start playing media!
You might not have noticed, but a fresh version of Google Play Services started silently rolling out a few days ago. Google I/O came and went without an Android version bump because Google wanted to send a message: Google Play Services is the single most important APK on your device. It was recently used to roll out Google Play Games, cloud app data storage, and the fused location provider.