APK Teardown

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Android Messages v2.5 removes the FAB for new conversations, prepares to launch video calls, read QR codes, and exchange money [APK Teardown]

"The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change." That's a famous quote by the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Heraclitus. Nobody knew it at the time, but he had been sent back from the future and was actually making a snarky comment about Google's approach to design. It was only about two years ago when every app was adding FABs (floating action buttons) regardless of how much or little they made sense, and now we're saying an abrupt goodbye to the one in Android Messages as it vanishes with the latest update. Alongside that simple change, a teardown also turns up signs that the app will soon provide shortcuts to launch video calls, exchange money with contacts, and read QR codes.

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Google app v7.12 confirms squeezable sides on Pixel 2, prepares for multi-step shortcuts, resuming podcast episodes, and more [APK Teardown]

As we close in on Google's October 4th launch event, a new beta release of the Google app itself is rolling out with hints about some of the things we may hear about during the presentation. In this update, we find further confirmation that one or both of the new Pixels will include pressure-sensitive sides that wake up Google Assistant. There are also clues about customizable search bars and interchangeable voices for the Google Assistant. And we can look forward to routines, which are basically shortcuts capable of taking multiple actions.

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Google Photos v3.5 prepares for the launch of Google Lens and resumes work on timestamp editing [APK Teardown]

A new version of Google Photos is rolling out to Android users around the world. Like so many recent updates, this one doesn't change much from the user perspective, but it is meant to begin preparations for new features that will be enabled in the coming weeks or months. A teardown reveals more details about what we have to look forward to in Google Lens when it launches. Also showing up are the signs that we might finally get to edit timestamps on our pictures.

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Google Phone v12 reveals further Duo integration is coming [APK Teardown]

Over the last few months, Google has been taking small steps to integrate Allo and Duo into different pieces of the phone. Most recently, Allo shortcuts were added to the Contacts app, but today's teardown is more closely related to Duo recording its video chats to the system call log. It looks like Google's next step may involve having its Phone app be a little more forward about Duo.

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Allo's in-chat translation feature is rolling out to everybody, v18 also brings adaptive icons [APK Download]

Language is officially no longer a barrier for Allo users, message translation is now rolling out to users everywhere. First discovered back in July with a teardown of v14, translation can be done by long-pressing a message and tapping the Google Translate icon appearing in the title bar at the top. You can also hide the translation with another long-press and a tap on an undo icon.

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Google app v7.11 beta suggests the next Android version is 8.1, adds battery levels for Bisto headphones, prepares to tweak user-defined actions, and more [APK Teardown]

The latest update to the Google app is rolling out to beta channel members right now. There aren't any immediately obvious changes on the surface, but as the tradition often goes, there are some things under the hood worthy of discussion in a teardown. This version brings a pretty good indicator that 8.1 will be the next version of Android. There are also signs that user-defined actions are going to get some changes in the future. We're also going to hit an option to turn off the built-in screenshot handler and a little bit more about Google's upcoming "Bisto" headphones.

Teardown

Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android's application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information.
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Google Maps v9.61 makes language and voice user-selectable, foretells of "two-wheeler mode" and Reserve with Google [APK Teardown]

The latest Google Maps beta update began rolling out to users late last night, and it brings with it a feature some users have been requesting for years: User-selectable language and voices. Not only that, but there are a few things from the teardown that may be of interest. Some of them are more like follow-ups to older topics, but there are some new bits of information to check out with each one.

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Google Photos v3.4 prepares to add favoriting and offer one-time permission to do backups over cellular [APK Teardown]

Version 3.4 of Google Photos started rolling out earlier today, and like so many other recent app updates, you're probably not going to see much in the way of changes. This is a pretty common theme around this time of year as Google prepares to launch new hardware and services. But investigating the app updates themselves can still turn up clues about future enhancements. In this release, there are signs that users will be able to mark photos as "favorites" and quickly pull up a list for easy browsing. There's also going to be a new notification when you're on cellular networks to allow one-time passes for the backup system to use some of that data and get your photos and videos into the cloud ASAP.

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Duo v17 begins experimentation with color effects, white balance, and exposure controls, also brings round and adaptive icons [APK Teardown + Download]

Duo has done well positioning itself as a simple, yet innovative app for video chat. Despite a focus on simplicity, it's time to begin experimenting with enhancements that can establish Duo with new audiences. The latest update contains clues suggesting the development team may bring some advanced camera settings to the app so users can make sure they're sending the very best image possible.

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Google Maps v9.60 brings usable Picture-in-Picture mode, prepares for adding personal notes to locations, food reviews, and more [APK Teardown + Download]

Friday saw the launch of video submissions by Local Guides, some of which are already popping up. But that wasn't the only thing to come with the v9.60 update, the Picture-in-Picture mode added in the last update has been fixed and now offers a useful window into your trip while you're using other apps. There are also several new topics for a teardown, including personal notes for locations, food reviews with photo submissions, and much more.

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