25
Sep
unnamed (5)

We've got one last Google update to discuss this evening – YouTube. Bumping up to version 5.1.1, YouTube didn't get an official change log, but there are a few things worth discussing briefly (before Artem does his teardown magic, anyway).

First up, YouTube has a new permission for receiving data from the internet, which it uses to give you new video notifications.

25
Sep
nexusae0_unnamed_thumb32

Somewhere amid the rest of Google's app updates today, Google updated its Search app. While the Play Store still shows an old change log, there are at least a couple of notable changes with the new update.

First among them, as part of Google's ongoing quest for better language processing, is the ability to have language packs automatically update themselves. This is something we uncovered in our last APK Teardown, though some of the more exciting features we saw evidence of (custom hotwords) haven't quite hit prime time yet.

25
Sep
unnamed (4)

Google's got a surprise for users across Asia and New Zealand today, bringing Play Books availability to nine new places: Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and New Zealand.

The company that claims the world's largest selection of online books has been slowly but surely making headway in spreading its Play products across the planet. Of course, it would be great if Google could simply flip a switch to bring Play to all Android users everywhere, but legal issues and other roadblocks mean it still takes some time to expand.

25
Sep
gmail

Google started rolling out a nifty update to Gmail with the Card UI earlier today, but since the update is staged, it may take a while to get to a device near you. Not to worry - we've gotten a hold of the APK (thanks, Kevin!) and verified it's indeed legitimate. You can find it below on several mirrors. As always, just download and install - simple as that.

25
Sep

Cards, cards everywhere, but not a drop to drink. Or something like that.

That seems to be Google's mantra these days, as everything is getting card-ified. Not to say that's a bad thing, because cards are clean, simple, and effective. All three of those things have been a clear goal in Android in the Duarte era, so it makes sense that cards have been so widely adopted.

Today, it's Gmail's turn.

17
Sep
image

Earlier today, Google announced that the new LTE Nexus 7 was now available for purchase from the Play Stores in 9 countries: Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, UK, Japan, Korea and U.S. For some reason, the company has neglected to mention Italy, which just got the Devices (Dispositivi) section added to the Play Store for the first time ever.

The only devices available at the moment are all three flavors of the Nexus 7:

The Nexus 10 and Nexus 4 are nowhere to be found, which isn't too surprising considering they're now almost a year old.

16
Sep
glass_profile

The update to version XE9 started hitting Google Glass a week ago, and now the full factory image has been posted on Google's developer site for interested parties to tinker with. This is a bit longer than past updates have taken to arrive in full system image form. The download clocks in at 327MB, which is about what all the updates have been.

2013-09-16 15_59_52-Google Glass — Google Developers

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.

13
Sep
image

In a post to its blog today, Sony gave a brief look at a new device to be announced this Sunday, the 15th of September.

What the company calls the BRAVIA Smart Stick looks like a waffle or small wafer cookie, and "plugs into the MHL connection on the back of 2013 Sony BRAVIA televisions, with another short cable plugged into the USB port for power." Right now it's unclear if the device will be compatible with other TV models.

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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