22
Oct
icon

I've been doing APK teardowns for a while now, and most of the time exciting updates end up being relatively boring under-the-hood, only rarely dropping really fascinating hints at future functionality. Today, I was pleasantly surprised, as the situation with YouTube 5.2.27 is exactly the opposite - the update itself couldn't be less boring, but the nugget we dig up inside will make a lot of you very happy.

teardownyoutube

Background audio

So, without further ado, I'm glad to report that background audio should be finally coming to a YouTube app near you, if all goes well during testing.

21
Oct
newsstand

Recently, we tore down an unreleased version of Google's Play Store 4.4 update and discovered that Newsstand, an upcoming Play service we first learned about back in March, had made some progress.

When we first saw Newsstand, it was in the midst of Javascript and CSS in the web Play Store. At the time, it looked like Newsstand would be an addition to the existing apps, books, tv/movies, music, and magazines categories, adopting its own yellow brand color (#FFD700 to be exact).

18
Oct
magazines

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.

16
Oct
doakes

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>.

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Many of you have joked about this in past comments, so I've been wondering whether a Googler will actually do it one day.

16
Oct
image
Last Updated: October 17th, 2013

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.

09
Oct
maps

Earlier today, Google started a staged rollout of a new point release of Google Maps. We've been poring over all the UI differences between the new version 7.3 and the previous version 7.2 from last month for the last couple of hours and managed to catch a few interesting changes. Since the official changelog isn't out yet, these will have to do for now.

Here's what we've spotted.

wm_Screenshot_2013-10-09-23-44-46

What's New?

Duration, distance, and estimated arrival time in the expanded notification

The expanded notification now carries a lot more information than before.

30
Sep
hangouts

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.

Hey, you. Yes, you. Don't forget to check out the Gmail teardown I did on Saturday and voice your opinion on ads that are coming to the Android app.

28
Sep
gmail

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.

wm_Screenshot_2013-09-25-10-51-27

Ads are coming to Gmail

The most significant under-the-hood and probably not active yet addition to Gmail 4.6 is ads.

15
Sep
gps

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.

12
Sep
maps

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.

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