29
Jun
Jelly-Bean-Logo

Wow. Out of the blue, an Android 4.3 rom hits the internet, and it's not built for the Nexus 4, or 7 or 10, but for the Samsung Galaxy S4. What a strange turn of events.

Of course, I couldn't stop myself from diving right in, and while I don't have a Galaxy S4 to show you screenshots, that's really not a big deal, because this leak pretty much looks identically to 4.2.

26
Jun
nexusae0_Search-Icon_thumb

Google Search was just updated to version 2.6, which means it's teardown time! As usual with Google Search, it's impossible to bring up the new stuff "at will." Cards pop up entirely based on a bunch of crazy inputs that I can't easily replicate (emails, location, etc) so there's no way for me to check if new code is functional or not. So, I'll just cover everything that's not in the change log, and if you manage to see a live, working version of something, just send in a screenshot.

13
Jun
mtv-oldschool

As I was digging through the latest build of Google Play Music, I noticed something strange: lots and lots of YouTube stuff. "That's odd," I thought, "What does YouTube have to do with Play Music?"

Oh, right, music videos!

Sure enough, there's some fairly revealing text included, too:

<string name="finding_videos_for_track">Finding related videos for the track...</string>
<string name="no_videos_for_track">No videos found for the track.</string>
<string name="youtube_video_details_hd">%1$s | %2$,d views | HD</string>
<string name="youtube_video_details_nonhd">%1$s | %2$,d views</string>
<string name="youtube_video_duration_hms">%1$02d:%2$02d:%3$02d</string>
<string name="youtube_video_duration_ms">%1$02d:%2$02d</string>

While listening to music, you'll be able to tell Play Music to hunt down the YouTube video for that song.

13
May
common_settings_icon

Welcome back! Google Play Services 3.1 is such a ridiculously huge update; I had to stretch it out over two articles - that's a first for APK Teardown. If you somehow missed the Google Play Games extravaganza, part one is right here.

Part two is all about the non-games discoveries, which there are a lot of.  Before we get into that though, there is one detail I left out of the games article that I really should mention:

The Play Games Codename

nsmb-mushroom-1up

Google always comes up with the coolest code names for projects, and the Play Services games client is no exception.

11
May
ic_launcher_play_games

Remember how we told you Google Games was coming, and how it's going to pack multiplayer functionality, leaderboards, achievements, and stuff like that? That's happening. There are going to be cloud game saves too.

Fresh out of Google HQ, we've managed to score a copy of the new Google Play Services v3.1.36, which is very slowly rolling out to devices right now. For comparison, the current Play Services that most people have is v3.0.27.

08
May
nexusae0_ic_head_wake_up_large_lower_thumb

Man, Google Glass moves at the speed of light. This is crazy.

The big XE5 update just hit the interwebs, so that means it's time for a teardown! XE5 is still Android 4.0.4 based, but now we're up to build 4.0.4-665738; the old version was 4.0.4-625737.

The Glass Team is still extraordinarily messy; any new file usually has copies in a million different locations. Basically, everything ships in every APK.

02
May
ic_head_wake_up_large_lower

Despite not (yet) having Google Glass, I've managed to get a hold of a system dump, so it's time to have some fun for the day and see if Glass has any (more) hidden goodies for us. It'll also be fun to see just what makes Glass tick, and how the OS is laid out.

APK Teardown is usually at its best when I have a previous version to diff against and, you know, when I've actually used or at least seen the software in question.

18
Apr
nexusae0_GAMES1
Last Updated: April 20th, 2013

We've got a good one for you today. A teardown of MyGlass, yes that's right, the Google Glass companion app, has given us what looks like the entire Google Games Service feature list. You just can't make this stuff up.

The games service probably has nothing to do with Google Glass; Glass can't run complex apps. The Glass team accidentally shipped the full suite of Google Play Services with their new app, which is not normal.

16
Apr
app_launcher_icon

MyGlass, the Google Glass companion app, has just hit the Play Store.  Since no one actually has a pair of Google Glass yet, no one actually knows what this thing does. To save myself from going crazy while waiting for my Glass email, ripping apart this new app seemed like a good distraction.

Permissions

The package name is "com.google.glass.companion," and, naturally, this release is version 1.0.0. MyGlass has a decent amount of permissions, here are a list of the most important ones:

  • Access Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (ACCESS_WIFI_STATE/ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE/CHANGE_WIFI_STATE)
  • Google Voice Send and Receive permissions
  • Full account access (GET_ACCOUNTS/USE_CREDENTIALS/MANAGE_ACCOUNTS)
  • Receive and send SMS and MMS
  • Full location access (ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION/ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION)
  • Full internet access
  • Read contacts

So basically, it's a tethering app - a tethering app that Glass appears highly dependent on.

15
Apr
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For the first time in a million years, Google Voice got an actual update. While the changelog is, as usual, of no help whatsoever ("Improved the reliability of SMS delivery"), a teardown teases out an eyebrow-raising tidbit: Google Voice’s configuration settings can now be read by other apps.

The GV update comes packing a new service for handing out this info, called “GoogleVoiceConfiguration,” and a new permission, "com.google.android.apps.googlevoice.permission.FETCH_CONFIGURATION."

There’s an explanation of the permission in the strings file:

<string name="google_voice_fetch_configuration_permission_label">Read Google Voice configuration</string>
<string name="google_voice_fetch_configuration_permission_description">Allows applications to read the configuration of Google Voice, including your Google Voice phone number.</string>

That's about it for the cold, hard facts.

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