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APK Teardown

88 articles
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[APK Teardown Part 1] Google Search 2.7: Custom Hotwords, Photo Downloads, Automatic Language Pack Updates, And More

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.

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[APK Teardown/Download] Google Maps 7.1 - Google Is Testing Textured 3D Buildings, Offline Cache Access For The Maps API, And Possibly Some Bug Fixes

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:

3D Buildings!

Remember when I found a "3D" button allll the way back in version 6.12?

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[APK Teardown] Google Glass XE8 - Google Hangouts Chat Is Coming, A Working Lock Screen Lab, And I Think The Glass Team Is Onto Us

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

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Finally. A feature I've wanted since the first day I opened Google Glass: Google Hangouts support.

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[APK Teardown] Google Chromecast App - News, Offers, and Google+ Photo Backgrounds, And An Old 'Universal' Remote

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.

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[APK Teardown] Google Play Music v5.1 - Beam Music To Devices With Chromecasting, And A Hack For SD Card Support! (A Download Link, Too)

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.

Chromecast

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!

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[APK Teardown] Google Play Services 3.1.59 - A Play Games App Browser, More Lobby Work, And Chrome Support?!

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.

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Android 4.3's New Notification Service: Read, Dismiss, And Press Action Buttons From Other Apps; Imagine The Wearable Computing Possibilities!

I totally missed this in my Android 4.3 teardown, but luckily there are some fellow tinkerers out there, namely Kevin of TeslaCoil Software (maker of fine products such as Nova Launcher and WidgetLocker), picking up my slack. It looks like Google is planning some cool notification services for 4.3, possibly something that gets third party apps into the mix!

Contained in the leaked S4 Android 4.3 build are all sorts of notification-related changes.

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[APK Teardown] Android 4.3's Wi-Fi Is Always On And Always Scanning, Unless You Find The Special Checkbox

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.

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[APK Teardown] Google Search 2.6 - Coming Soon: Car Rental Reminders, Event And Sport Ticket Barcodes, And A Wallet Loyalty Card?

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.

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[APK Teardown] Next Up For Google Play Music: Integrated YouTube Playback

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.

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