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Posts Tagged: gapps

google maps 8

Yesterday, we had a rather typical Google Update Wednesday, with major updates to Google Wallet and Chrome Stable, as well as a minor update to the Google Play Store. Now, Google is following up on yesterday’s updates with a major revision to Google Maps, which brings elevation info when using biking navigation and better support for voice input.

Perhaps the most interesting new feature in Maps 8.2 is elevation information in route planning. When viewing route options in biking mode, you now get a visual representation of route altitude This feature is currently reserved for those using biking directions, as it wouldn’t be of much use to those driving to their destination.

In addition to the new elevation info, you are also now able to issue voice commands while in navigation mode. Voice input is initiated by tapping on the microphone icon in the lower left hand corner of the display. Using voice input, you are able to ask Maps questions like, “how long until destination,” “what time will I get there,” “mute voice guidance,” “show a route overview,” “show traffic,” “what’s my next turn,” and so on. Unfortunately, however, Google’s traditional Fuzzy Logic voice input capabilities haven’t quite carried over into maps. So if you don’t say the exact right phrases, it doesn’t appear to work very consistently.

While Maps 8.2 has already begun rolling out, it will naturally be some time before everyone receives the update. As such, we’ve gone ahead and mirrored the APK  for your sideloading pleasure.

[Via AndroidPolice]

Google Android Apps

It’s Wednesday once again, and more often than not, that means that it’s time for another set of Google first party Android app updates. Today, we have major updates to Google Wallet and Chrome Stable, as well as a minor point revision to the Google Play Store.

First up, we have Google Wallet. Today’s update brings us to version 2.0-R172-v18 (up from the 2.0-R163-v17 update about two months ago). Despite not escalating much in terms of version number, it brings one key feature that has been in the works for some time: gift card management. In addition, it also allows you to ask for money directly within the app and send money for free using your debit card.

Next up, we have an update for Chrome Stable. This update brings the stable release channel to version 36.0.1985.122, up from last month’s 35.0.1916.141. It doesn’t add much in the way of user-facing features other than something we spotted in Chrome Beta last month when it was updated to version 36: improved text rendering on non-mobile sites.

Finally, we have a minor update to the Google Play Store, bringing it to 4.8.22 (up from 4.8.20). This update should proceed in the background for most people, and if not, you can manually request it by going to Play Store settings and tapping on the version number. However, this doesn’t always work for everyone, so we’ve gone ahead and mirrored it (and the other two updates) below for your sideloading pleasure:

[Many thanks to XDA Portal Supporter MihirGosai for the Play Store APK]

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Google Android Apps

Although Google’s first party application update timing isn’t quite as predictable as it once was, “Google Update Wednesday” is still a thing. Today, Google has issued major updates to its first party Google Camera and Gmail apps, following up on a minor Google Search update that was issued yesterday.

The stars of the show here are Google Camera and Gmail. The update to Google Camera brings us up to version 2.3.017 (up from 2.2.024 a little over a month ago). This update brings support for Android Wear as well as a refreshed panorama mode interface. The new panorama and PhotoSphere interface increases visual polish by giving us larger and more visible guide circles, as well as a new in-app guide to show you how to get the best results.

Next up, we have a moderately significant update to Gmail. This update brings us to version 4.9 (1266230), up from version 4.8 last month. For those who don’t remember, last month’s update brought us the ability to save attachments directly to Google Drive from within Gmail. Today’s update takes the Google Drive integration one step further by allowing users to insert attachments directly from Drive. Google Drive-based attachments can be inserted just like standard local attachments, and they can be found in the action overflow menu in the compose screen.

Finally, we have a minor update to Google Search that brings us up to 3.5.16.1262550 (up from 3.5.14.1234234 just a few weeks ago). This update, which started rolling out yesterday, is pushing out to both x86 and ARM devices. It doesn’t seem to add any new functionality that we’ve noticed just yet. However, we don’t have too much reason to complain on that front, thanks to yesterday’s backend update.

All of these app updates will make their way out to consumer devices through the Play Store via a staged rollout. Naturally, not every device will be in initial wave. However, we’ve gone ahead and mirrored the APKs over on our Google Drive for your sideloading pleasure:

voice search correction

As accurate as Google Voice Search has become over the years, it’s still far from perfect–especially for less common words or when issuing search queries in noisy environment such as a car or crowded area. Now, a Google Search backend update update has made Voice Search a bit smarter by allowing you to correct misheard queries.

Google Voice Search has demonstrated contextual awareness for quite some time. For example, if you search for “Show me pictures of Renaissance art,” it shows you pictures of Renaissance art as you would expect. If you then follow this up with, “how about Baroque,” you are then shown pictures of Baroque art. Today’s update takes this one step further by allowing you to correct misheard search queries by simply saying “No, I said,” followed by the corrected query.

The results are pretty hit or miss right now, as Google Search seems to break contextual awareness somewhat frequently when correcting search queries. This is even more likely if you attempt to correct a misheard query multiple times. However, this added functionality is certainly a step in the right direction. And when used in conjunction with “OK Google Everywhere,” Voice Search is now even more useful for those in situations where direct device control isn’t the most convenient.

[Source: Google]

"OK Google" on any screen

You may recall how last week’s update to Google Search brought “OK Google” hotword detection to any screen, something which was previously only available when on the home screen of the Google Experience Launcher or in the Google Search app itself. We’ve now received one more update to Google Search, but even with this latest update, the revised hotword detection is only available to certain Google accounts. Luckily, root-enabled users were quick to find workarounds, but as we all know, not everyone’s running a rooted device.

Now, Redditors have found a way to get this working on any device and user account, without the use of any fancy root-enabled sorcery. The procedure itself involves nothing more than searching for “OK Google Everywhere.” After doing so and then backing out of Google Now, you’ll be able to go to Google Now Settings –> Voice –> OK Google Detection and enable hotword detection from any screen (including the lock screen).

This fix was originally found by Redditor xStreame, and it was then expanded upon and reposted by pr01etar1at:

  1. Open Google Now
  2. Search for “OK Google everywhere”
  3. Click any link [may be unnecessary but I did it]
  4. Back out to Google Now
  5. Go to Settings>Voice
  6. Audio History and Anywhere Detection should now be available as settings.

If you’ve been longing for the Moto X-like hotword detection from any screen, now’s your chance to get in on the fun. Now if only this could be extended to when the display is powered off for users willing to sacrifice a bit of battery life for this added functionality.

[Source: Reddit (1,2) | Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

Google Android Apps

It’s still Wednesday in Mountain View, and you know what that means—it’s another Google Update Wednesday. Today, we have one entirely new application in the Play Store, two major app updates that bring Android L compatibility, and four other, more minor updates.

First off, we have Android Wear. Coming in at inaugural version 1.0.0.1261840, this app allows you to pair with and edit the parameters of your new Android Wear device–provided you’re one of the lucky few to already own one. In addition to basic device configuration settings, this app also allows you to control voice action preferences, as well as notification settings.

Next up, we have Google Docs 1.3.251.21 and Google Sheets 1.3.251.25. Those of you brave enough to be using the Android L Developer Preview on your daily driver device will have undoubtedly noticed that before today, Docs and Sheets simply would not install on L Preview. This changes today, thanks to updates to both of these apps. In addition, both updates now allow you to directly edit Microsoft Office (Excel and Word) files, just like what we saw in Slides not too long ago. If that’s not all, both apps have been given a touch of Material Design UI flair, thanks to a floating action button and trademark Material Design visual stylings.

Finally, we have minor updates to Search, YouTube, Slides, and Google Play Services. These updates come in at versions 3.5.15.1254529, 5.7.41, 1.0.783.22, and 5.0.84, respectively.

All of these app updates will make their way out to consumer devices through the Play Store via a staged rollout. Naturally, not every device will be in initial wave. However, we’ve gone ahead and mirrored the APKs over on our DevHost account for your sideloading pleasure:

Latest App Updates:

Google Play Services:

[Many thanks to XDA Portal Supporter MihirGosai for the APKs!]

Google Android Apps

Update: As it turns out, a new version of Google Play Services rolled out while we were compiling this post. We’ve added the appropriate links down at the bottom of this page.

___

It’s not quite (Google Update) Wednesday just yet, but we’ve got a bunch of Google first party app updates to share with you today. Most significantly, we have an update to Google Play Music. In addition, we have smaller, bugfix updates for Google Keyboard, Sheets, Drive, Gmail, and yet another update to Google Play Services.

First up, we have Google Play Music. Today’s update takes us to version 5.6.1608P.1252217 (up from 5.5. from1509O.1140258 early last month). As one would expect from the relatively major point increment, Play Music 5.6 brings quite a few new features. The first two things you’ll notice about version 5.6 are in its slide-out “hamburger” drawer. For starters, there’s now account switcher functionality like many of Google’s other Play-enabled apps. In addition, there’s now a switch in this menu to toggle Downloaded Only, which was moved from a less prominent place in the UI. In addition, this new version brings support for the upcoming Android TV, and but it no longer works on Chromecast emulators like Cheapcast.

In addition to the major update to Play Music, we also have more minor updates to Keyboard, Sheets, Drive, Gmail, and Play Services. The Keyboard update takes us to 3.1.20003.1236599 (up from 3.0.19373.1072412a), Sheets takes us to 1.3.251.12 (up from 1.3.144.27), Drive is now 2.0.222.40 (up from last week’s 2.0.222.39), Gmail is now 4.8.1 (up from 4.8.0), and Play Services is now up to 5.0.81. We haven’t noticed any major changes in any of these, but given how many people were having major battery drain issues with the previously released Play Services 5.0.77, we wouldn’t be surprised if this update fixes things.

These updates are gradually making their way out to consumer devices via their listings on the Google Play Store. But of course, not every device will get them in the initial wave. Luckily, we’ve gone ahead and uploaded the APKs to our Dev-Host account:

NEW Google Play Services:

OLD Google Play Services:

[Many thanks to XDA Portal Supporter MihirGosai for the tip!]

QuickOffice on Android L

Approximately two years ago, Google acquired Quickoffice, Inc. Then about nine months ago, the QuickOffice suite was re-released as a free app in the Google Play Store. At the time, many were quick to criticize the redundancy of having editing capabilities in Google Drive, as well as a standalone office suite. Complicating matters further, Google also decided to release standalone Docs and Sheets apps at the end of April. But two days after the release of Docs and Sheets, Google Drive 1.3 removed its built-in editing capabilities in favor of the new standalone apps.

Now that we also have the standalone presentation editor Slides, it’s natural to assume that Google would aim to remove the last remaining redundancy: the QuickOffice app itself. As stated on the Google Apps blog, QuickOffice will be removed from Google Play and the iOS App Store in the coming weeks:

With the integration of Quickoffice into the Google Docs, Sheets and Slides apps, the Quickoffice app will be unpublished from Google Play and the App Store in the coming weeks. Existing users with the app can continue to use it, but no features will be added and new users will not be able to install the app.

With the removal of QuickOffice, hopefully Google will be better able to focus its efforts on making Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drive as smooth and capable as possible. Are you a QuickOffice user? If so, what are your thoughts?

[Source: Google Apps Blog | Via AndroidPolice]

Screenshot_2014-06-26-14-39-50

Even with all of the I/O 2014 and Android L commotion, Google still managed to give us a healthy Update Wednesday yesterday, with app updates to Google Drive, Search, and Maps, as well as the arrival of Slides and Android TV Remote in the Play Store. But not content in simply delivering 5 new APKs for us, Google has now issued updates to Keep and YouTube. The Play Services 5 update that we talked about yesterday has also begun rolling out.

First up, we have a relatively significant update to Google Keep. Today’s update brings us to version 2.3.02 (up from version 2.2 from early April), and it packs one major feature. If you’re one of the lucky few to already own an Android Wear device–either through I/O or by ordering on the Play Store–you can now view your Keep notes, reminders, and lists on Android Wear-powered wearables.

In order to run this latest version of Keep, you must have Play Services 5 installed. This is most likely due to new APIs needed for the Wear integration. Thankfully, we have you covered there as well, with mirrors for every known variant. In addition, YouTube was also updated to version 5.7.41 (up from version 5.7.38 two weeks ago). There’s nothing major here, so it’s most likely just a bugfix update.

These app updates will make their way out to consumer devices through the Play Store via a staged rollout. Naturally, not every device will be in initial wave. However, we’ve gone ahead and mirrored the APKs over on our DevHost account for your sideloading pleasure:

Google Play Services:

Are you a current / soon-to-be Android Wear owner? If so, do you see yourself using this Keep integration? Let us know in the comments below!

[As usual, many thanks to XDA Portal Supporter MihirGosai for the APKs!]

Google Android Apps

Despite all of the Android L craziness we’ve seen today (from its unveiling to the permissions changes and UI improvements) it’s still Wednesday, and you know what that means. It’s time for another Google Update Wednesday, folks. This time, we’ve got major updates to Google Drive and Google Search, a more modest update to Maps. In addition, we also have two new apps in the Play Store: Slides and Android TV Remote Control.

First up, we have a significant update to Google Drive, which brings us to version 2.0.222.39 (up from last week’s 1.3.222.29). There aren’t too many new features in this new version, but it packs a massively updated, and more modern UI that is visible when viewing file details. This refreshed screen now allows you to perform actions more easily, and with fewer clicks. The screen now allows you to share, download, move, and rename a file–and if you hit the overflow button, you can print and delete as well. In addition, a new activity tracking section at the bottom of the details page shows the last modifications made to a file, by date.

Next, we have an update to Search. This update takes us to version 3.5.14.1234234 (up from April’s 3.4.15.1143430). Upon updating, most users won’t immediately notice anything different. However, with Search 3.5 installed, certain Google accounts are now able to use “OK Google” Hotword detection in any screen, including the lock screen and third-party apps. Unfortunately, this feature is only available on a few accounts at the moment, but hopefully the rollout continues quickly.

Last in terms of app updates, we have a more modest update to Maps, which brings us to 8.1.1 (up from last month’s 8.1.0). This update is a bit less significant than the Drive and Search updates, but according to the Google Play Store listing, this update improves terrain view and transit directions. And for those lucky enough to already own Wear, it adds support for that as well!

Finally, we have two new applications, which have just made their Play Store debut: Slides and Android TV Remote Control. We’ve been looking forward to the release of Slides ever since Docs and Sheets were introduced several months back. Now, it’s finally here–and with it, Google now has a fully functional office suite. Most impressively with Slides is that as announced at the I/O keynote, you are even able to natively edit Microsoft Office files. In addition to Slides, we also have Android TV Remote Control. Even though none of us actually has Android TV yet, this application will be quite useful once Android TV-enabled TVs and set-top boxes start popping up later this year and early next year.

All of these app updates will make their way out to consumer devices through the Play Store via a staged rollout. Naturally, not every device will be in initial wave. However, we’ve gone ahead and mirrored the APKs over on our DevHost account for your sideloading pleasure:

SpotifySocialPostings

While yesterday was certainly the day of Android 4.4.4 thanks to a rather unexpected security update, a new Android version isn’t all that Google had in store for Android users. Yesterday evening, Google began the rollout of a Google Search backend update that makes it easier than ever before to go from searching for an artist to listening to their music.

With this latest backend update, Google Search now integrates with several Android media player apps. When searching for a particular musical artist, Search now gives you direct links to listen to said artist directly from your search results, as can be seen in the screenshot to your right.

At the moment, this feature is compatible with iHeartRadio, Google Play Music, Rdio, Spotify, TuneIn, and YouTube. But unfortunately, this feature is only enabled in the US at the time being. However, it’s more than likely that this feature, which doesn’t seem to have any particular reason for being US-exclusive, will make its way to other regions soon. In fact, Google even mentions this by saying, “we’ll keep expanding this, so stay tuned.”

It’s nice to see yet another useful Google Search backend update deliver useful functionality without the need for an application update. Being US-exclusive for the time being certainly isn’t ideal and we can’t imagine why such a feature must be regionally locked. Hopefully, however, it is made available in more regions soon.

[Source: Official Google Google+ Page]

dogfood

Yesterday, we had a rather healthy dose of Google Update Wednesday, thanks to updates to Chrome Beta, Drive, Hangouts, My Tracks, and Translate. This was promptly followed by a new Google Email app, which unfortunately also meant the potential loss of yet another formerly open source application. Now, we have an incremental update to Google’s Play Movies & TV app, as well as yet another update to Translate–this time without the dogfooding.

First up, Google issued yet another update to its Translate app. You may recall that yesterday, a dogfed version of Translate unintentionally made its way out to certain consumers via the Play Store. This version, which came in at 3.0.8, has been promptly followed up by a non-dogfood 3.0.10. This unfortunately means the loss of the cute dogfood icon in both the application icon, as well as when switching translation direction in the app. Aside from that, there are no known changes between this and yesterday’s release.

Next, we have Play Movies & TV, which actually began rolling out late last night. Just like most of the app updates we saw yesterday, this one is pretty minor by bringing only one noticeable user-facing feature, which is wishlist support. This list can be viewed both in the app’s Watch Now section, as well as in the slide-out “hamburger” menu on the left panel.

All of these app updates will make their way out to consumer devices through the Play Store via a staged rollout. Naturally, not every device will be in initial wave. However, we’ve gone ahead and mirrored the APKs over on our DevHost account for your sideloading pleasure:

Google Email 6.3-1218562

Earlier today, Google gave us yet another “Update Wednesday” with new versions of Chrome Beta, Drive, Hangouts, My Tracks, and Translate. Seemingly not content with simply updating the above, Google has now given us one more: Google Email—no, not Gmail.

Over the past couple of years, Google’s made efforts to make much of the core Android independent of any particular Android version. Google’s done this by bringing many first party apps to the Play Store such as Gmail, Chrome, and Hangouts, as well as the introduction of Google Play Services. Google also recently brought the Camera app to the Play Store, along with a whole lot of added functionality.

Now, Google has added the company’s “other” first party Email client to the list, which you may be familiar with if you use a POP3 or IMAP Email account in addition to Gmail. According to the Google Play Store, in addition to simply bringing the app to the Play Store, the update to version 6.3-1218562 brings increase security for Gmail accounts, easier account setup, KitKat printing support, and various other bugfixes. In addition, we’ve also noticed a refreshed UI that brings it inline with Google’s recent UI paradigms including that ever-present slide-out “hamburger” menu. Finally, this likely means that we’ve unfortunately lost yet another formerly open source application to its closed source counterpart.

This update should be available to the vast majority of Nexus and Google Play edition devices (other than the M7 and S4) through its Play Store listing. Unfortunately though, this means that if you’re rocking any other device, you’re out of luck for the time being. Luckily, we’ve gone ahead and mirrored the APK over on our Dev-Host account for your sideloading pleasure. However, compatibility will surely be hit or miss for unauthorized devices.

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