Google Duo is a little unusual among the company's apps, as it identifies users not based on the Google account that connects you to everything from Gmail, to YouTube, to the Play Store, but instead uses your device's phone number. Pretty much ever since it launched, we've been wondering if that situation would ever evolve. Now it looks like that's finally happening, as Google updates its Duo support pages in anticipation of the change. Read More
The Android Pay name has been dead for weeks, replaced by Google Pay for the foreseeable future. With the rebranding out of the way and the adjustment period starting to fade, it's time to get back to business as usual. The latest update looks a bit like a bug fixer since there don't appear to be any immediately visible changes after installing. However, a teardown gives a view of a new feature coming for prepaid accounts that will ensure they never run low on funds. Also, work continues on the effort to merge in Google Pay Send, formerly Google Wallet. Read More
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 has just announced a new developer preview for Wear OS, which it says brings Android P platform features to wearables. It includes a number of additions, such as a dark system theme, limited background activity, radio deactivation when the watch detects it's not being worn, and so on. Downloads are available right now for the Huawei Watch 2 Sport and Classic. 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
“Well, maybe it's on Netflix. Um … did you check Hulu? What about Amazon?” While streaming services make it easy to dive right into your favorite shows, sometimes tracking down that program can be way more difficult than it needs to be. Maybe one service has the current season of the show you're looking for, but past seasons are on another. And as licensing deals are signed and expire, shows may drift from one service to another. How the heck are you supposed to keep track of where anything is? Today it's Google to the rescue, as the company starts sharing info on which streaming services carry the media you're searching for. 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.