When Google Play services receives an update, there's almost always something interesting to discover. Many of our future experiences – good and bad – are shaped through the new features Google adds to this one framework. Google Play services 7.3 recently rolled out to users, and like previous versions, it contains some hints about new features and capabilities we can expect for the future. With this update, we've got signs of a built-in invitation system for apps, more forward progress on the long-rumored Nearby feature, and more. Read More
Now that Project Fi has come out into the open, we can expect to see integration for the new service popping up in a handful of Google's apps over the coming weeks. The first app to received custom support is Hangouts, which began rolling out just hours after the Project Fi website went live. This update doesn't make any changes to parts of the app we care about, but just adds some elements that come alive when a device is hooked to Google's new service. Read More
Update Wednesday hit like a ton of bricks, this week. It didn't help that it also happened to land on tax day in the United States. Not only were there new versions for about a dozen apps from Google, but a couple of new ones joined the mix. Yet again, Drive and its associated document editing apps are gracing the Teardown stage with even more new improvements on the horizon. Read More
Large companies have a hard time keeping secrets, especially when multiple partners and countless employees become involved. Bits and pieces are bound to leak out, both intentionally and accidentally, and sometimes a wealth of information can be discovered about unannounced plans. It appears that an app designed for Google's much anticipated MVNO has turned up in an unofficial Nexus 6 firmware image. If legitimate, the app not only confirms the service, but it may reveal some details about service plans, billing, and even a previously unheard-of name, "Project Fi."
Disclaimer: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether.
For the last couple of months, we've seen a lot of big things happening for Drive, Maps, Search, and even the News & Weather app. It's been fairly quiet for the suite of Google Play content apps – but don't be fooled, big changes are coming. A recent Update Wednesday release of Play Movies didn't present any noteworthy or visibly obvious changes; but a look inside revealed a couple of hints about upcoming changes. Just two days later, a brand new release of the Play Store came along to not only fill in some of the gaps, but to add even more interesting bits. Read More
A fresh update to the Google App, formerly Google Search, just started rolling out. Don't get too excited yet, it looks like the only user-facing change today is that Nicknames has finally gone into wide release for the users that didn't already have it. The good news is that a quick teardown shows that Trusted Voice might be launching soon, possibly even with this version. There's also a new experiment in the works called Seamless Hotword.
If you were one of the many users that didn't already have a Nicknames in the Accounts & Privacy settings screen, this update probably enabled it. Read More
We've heard a number of rumors about Google launching its own Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), codenamed Nova. According to reports, the service will source wireless service from Sprint and T-Mobile, but it will rely on Wi-Fi networks to bear most of the weight of both data and voice services (though VoIP). While the details of this plan still aren't clear, another piece of the puzzle just emerged that indicates Google is going to offer its own virtual private network (VPN) service, and it may be targeted specifically at Nova subscribers.
This information resulted from a tip we received a few days ago, pointing us in the direction of a new application called Google Connectivity Services. Read More
A couple of days ago, Google Drive made news with an update that introduced a new, intuitive Drag & Drop implementation for easier file management. While that appeared to be the only significant change, a look under the hood revealed not only that the Drive team is about to fulfill one of the most often requested features, but it also answered one of the many questions about the fate of Google+ Photos after the split.
: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong. Even in the most cut and dried examples, there is always a chance that details may change or plans may be cancelled prior to the launch of a new feature.
Inbox hasn't been around for that all that long, and Google is carefully improving and adding features to make it useful for the app's intended audience. With a fresh update to version 1.3, Inbox is receiving some improvements to its graphics and visual styling, and the ability to configure notification sounds by account. After a quick teardown, it also appears that there will soon be launcher shortcuts to launch immediately into creating a new task (i.e. Reminder) or composing a new message.
The first thing most people will pick up on is that the navigation drawer now falls in line with Google's recommendations, and joins many other apps by extending all the way up to the top of the screen. Read More