Good things are happening with Google Voice. While the app normally stays fairly quiet, the last few months have shown a lot of positive attention is going into the service. The surface-level changes in this update aren't too major, but a teardown shows that users will soon get a vastly improved voicemail system that features on-device recording and support for multiple messages. Read More
The Gboard team has a reputation for rolling out updates right around the witching hour, likely aiming to rob sleep from a diligent teardown guy. Last night brought a new beta version of the app, and this one sports a new feature that's bound to save a few keystrokes: Auto-spacing. As usual, there are also some new languages, and a teardown shows a few new changes on the horizon, albeit most of them are still seated firmly in the mystery column. Grab the latest APK from the download link below to try out the new Auto-spacing feature. Read More
Welcome to a brand new update to Google Contacts. It's actually not all that different, but there are a couple of tweaks to contact pages, particularly to labels. They look a bit better and take less space. A teardown also turns up more progress for an upcoming Cleanup wizard feature. We're still looking for more changes, and as always, you can join in by grabbing the latest update from the download link at the bottom. Read More
Google's ARCore technology is building steam since its initial test launch on Pixel and Galaxy S8 phones. This came with a promise to support more phones, which was followed a few weeks later with a half-dozen more phones added during MWC. To keep the momentum going, Google also featured nearly 90 new apps and games that made use of ARCore in some way. Now with the latest update, we can likely guess at the next phones on the list. Read More
It's time for another update to the Gmail app. Like so many apps lately, there's nothing in the way of visible changes upon updating, possibly because we're starting in on that lead-up to I/O. However, a teardown does show that users may soon get to turn Conversation View on or off for each of their Gmail accounts. There's also more progress on Snooze, which may hint at a launch coming very soon. Read More
In October of last year, Microsoft announced it was bringing its Edge web browser to iOS and Android. The browser is primarily targeted at people already using Edge on Windows 10, as it syncs all data across your devices (much like Chrome and Chrome for Android/iOS). The Android version was released later that month, and Microsoft has continued to update it since then. Read More
A beta update to the Google app has been making the rounds. As usual, there's not much new to see after installing this release, but many changes are awaiting Google to flip a switch before going live. Also following the usual pattern, there's a teardown of the APK that provides plenty of hints about what's to come. Version 7.24 reveals plans for a floating bubble with current sports scores that remains visible on top of other apps, an effect for the Google search box, a mysterious new project called Valyrian, assorted follow-ups for the Pixel Buds, home automation, and more.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android's application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information.
Every week, I examine somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred app updates while looking for changes. The most interesting things turn into APK Teardowns or Download posts. Many of the remaining updates are unremarkable, amounting to a few bug fixes, routine updates to libraries, or even just pixel-level adjustments to layouts and images. However, there are usually a few updates that land somewhere in between. I don't want to spam readers with dozens of short posts, but I hate to ignore things that people might want to know about, so I'm going to wrap up the leftovers for a little weekend reading and call it Update Notes. Read More
An interesting new version of the Project Fi app began rolling out yesterday. There's a big change to the version number, but otherwise, nothing special to see in the app. However, a teardown of the resources reveals some important changes are scheduled to arrive. The biggest addition will be spam filtering, which should remove all of the disturbances caused by annoying telemarketers and scammers. Also in line are notifications when your data usage suddenly skyrockets, and an in-app feature to turn off Bill Protection once your data is throttled. Read More