apk Stories November 10, 2015

You can now try Firefox OS 2.5 on your Android device with a quick APK install

Bored with your current flavor Android, but don’t want to flash a new ROM? You’re in luck. Firefox has today released an interesting “Developer Preview” version of their web-based Firefox OS.

The Firefox OS 2.5 Developer Preview is an experimental app that lets you use an almost-complete version of Firefox OS your device — without having to flash anything. The 88 mb APK behaves like any launcher you would find on the Play Store. However, it also has several system apps for making phone calls, messaging, sending emails, an app store etc. Of course, you can still launch your regular apps.

It’s a Developer Preview for a reason and the animations are rather slow on the device I was testing on (but it is much stable than you’d expect). There are some interesting UI ideas and features in Firefox OS, and since Firefox OS is catered towards lower end devices, it’s unlikely most people have tried Firefox OS. It makes for an interesting exploration. Head on over to the site to download the APK. There’s also an option to flash the OS if you want the full experience.

apk Stories October 12, 2015

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The well-connected Derek Ross took to Google+ last week to tease the latest update to Hangouts, version number 5.0. And while 4.0 — the update that brought a long-awaited visual overhaul — hasn’t even been around that long, this version makes a lot of improvements to the app’s performance, brings full-working GIFs, a splash screen, and more… expand full story

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Last week, WhatsApp announced that it will be bringing a much-needed feature to its Android app: Google Drive backups. While the updated version of the app hasn’t hit the Google Play Store yet, you can already download it directly from WhatsApp and install the Drive backup-equipped app on your phone now. Installing it couldn’t be simpler: expand full story

apk Stories September 28, 2015

Google Play ups app size limit for devs from 50MB to 100MB

Google today announced that it’s increasing the size limit for apps on Google Play allowing developers to upload APK files (Android application package) up to 100MB in size. That’s up from the old limit of 50MB and will allow developers to push out bigger app packages without a warning to the user, which will now only appear when apps are over the 100MB quota.

While Google notes that the increase will help developers with rich apps or graphically intensive games that need a bigger app package, it also warns developers to keep in mind mobile data connectivity and caps, app performance, and install times for users.

Not much changes for users, however, as Google points out that auto-updating of apps will remain “over Wi-Fi only, enabling users to access higher quality apps and games while conserving their data usage.”

Developers can find out more here.

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Earlier this year, a release of Google’s app for Android hinted at future ability to use voice search and commands without an internet connection. Offline voice commands could be used for a number of functions, and are now already be up and running for some Android users with the latest Google app installed…

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apk Stories August 19, 2015

marshmallow-launcher Google finally announced the name to its upcoming mobile operating system a couple of days back. Android 6.0 will officially be dubbed ‘Marshmallow‘, and the developer preview is available to download for developers with Nexus phones. If you don’t have a Nexus phone, you’ll be glad to know you can still get a small taster of what it’s like to use Marshmallow by downloading the Google Now Launcher used in the latest beta software.

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apk Stories August 6, 2015

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Update: The HBO Now APK with Chromecast support is now available to download. It should be rolling out over the next several hours on the Play Store.

Yes, it’s true. Following the service’s introduction on Android and some of Amazon’s platforms a few weeks ago, Google has announced today that HBO is now rolling out support for Chromecast as well. expand full story

apk Stories August 5, 2015

APK Download: Google Keep for Android can now export lists to Docs

It’s been possible on the web for quite a while, but a recent update to the Google Keep app now lets you quickly export your notes to a Google Doc. To do so, make sure you have the latest version of the app, and then select the notes you’d like to export. Then tap the drop down menu at the top right of the screen and tap “Copy to Google Doc”. It’s pretty nifty.

You can grab the app from the Play Store for free of course, and if you’d like to try out the feature right now, open this page on your Android device. All you have to do is tap below to download the APK (via APKMirror), and then tap the notification on your phone once the app is done downloading. You’ll be walked through a couple steps, and then you’ll be on the latest version.

 

apk Stories July 17, 2015

Microsoft announced last month that its Cortana voice assistant would be coming to Android in beta at some point in July, but it looks like the APK has managed to leak out a bit early. We grabbed it as soon as we could, and decided to give it a look. And our first impression, frankly, is that there’s not really anything special about Cortana — especially when Android has Google Now, Hound, and other competitors to pick from.

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apk Stories June 25, 2015

Google Drive for Android 2.2.23 brings ability to download/send multiple files at once

Google Drive for Android, the cloud storage service by Google, received an update yesterday that brings a helpful new improvement for those who rely on the service to access files across devices and share them with others.

Version 2.2.23, which hasn’t propagated completely in Google Play but can be pulled from APKMirror (click here), includes the ability to send and/or download multiple files at once. All you need to do to select multiple files is hold down on one file, and then a blue checkmark will appear indicating the file has been selected. After that just tap the checkmark for every file you want to include and the menu at the bottom of the screen will allow you to choose what you want to do with the selected files.

This should be useful for those who may have a lot of photos, music, and other files stored in Drive that they want to download to a new device, upload to a network like Tumblr, or whatever else. For reference, here’s what the previous version of Drive looked like when you selected multiple files:

 

No option to download or send the files is present when multiple photos are selected (the overflow menu doesn’t include them either). To do so you had to visit the info page of each file individually and send or download from there. A nice little update that avid Drive users will surely appreciate.

apk Stories April 1, 2015

ARC Welder is a new Chrome extension that’s designed to be a developer tool, but it comes with a nice bonus: You can use it to install and run dozens upon dozens of Android apps within your browser. Running Android apps in Chrome isn’t exactly a new concept, as Duolingo, Evernote, Vine, and more were previously installable specifically on Chrome OS via the Chrome Web Store. But now Google’s App Runtime for Chrome can run most Android apps to some capacity via ARC Welder anywhere a Chrome browser can be installed (including Chrome OS), and developers can also use the extension to test their apps.

It’s actually pretty easy to get running, and we’ve put together this quick guide to walk you through the process of using your favorite Android apps on the desktop: expand full story

apk Stories March 6, 2015

Google DriveGoogle rolled out an update to the Drive Android app earlier this week, and as usual, what it touted in the change log wasn’t all that changed. Android Police has dug deeper into the APK update file and noticed some changes that hint at major new features coming to the app. First off, it appears that Google Drive will take over the task of backing up photos and videos for users, a responsibility that has been held by Google+ since its inception.

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apk Stories January 14, 2015

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VLC this week has released the first preview build of its app for Android TV. VLC is one of the most popular pieces media playback software available and is loved for its support of a variety of media types and formats. The app was supposed to receive Chromecast support back in June of last year, but that never officially materialized. Android TV availability, however, may make VLC even more appealing to media lovers.

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apk Stories December 3, 2014

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Google’s Update Wednesday regiment is in full effect this afternoon as the company has rolled out updates to a handful of its Android apps. While many of the updates contain merely bug fixes, several are somewhat notable.

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apk Stories October 16, 2014

Google Keyboard updated with less confusing Settings screen and eight more languages

Google Keyboard offers a great many customization options, but dumping them all into one screen wasn’t the friendliest of ways to access them. The latest version, v3.2, splits them up into seven separate sections to make things easier to find.

The app also adds support for eight more languages, most of them aimed at India. These are Bengali, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil (India and Singapore variants), and Telugu.

The new version should be pushed to your device automatically in the coming days. If you don’t want to wait, you can scan the QR code below (courtesy of Android Police) to download and install the APK manually.

apk Stories October 10, 2014

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Google has updated its Play Store app with a more comprehensive Material Design makeover, and a What’s New section that is both clearer and easier to use.

Version 5.0.31 sees a new, flat Play Store logo, together with flatter icons in the sidebar, and the categories now use the bright colors of the Material Design palette …  expand full story

apk Stories August 18, 2014

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A few months ago, reports started circulating that Mozilla was developing its own streaming stick to compete with the Chromecast. The device was reportedly going to be marketed as a more open alternative to Google’s offering, but despite these reports, Mozilla today added Chromcast support to its Firefox browser on Android. For the time being, you must be running the nightly build of Firefox to use it, however.

You can download the nightly build of Firefox for Android from this page. Once you get the APK installed, Mozilla offers a test video casting page for users to visit. If a Chromecast icon appears on that page and your device offers the ability to cast the video, then you’re good to go.

Download the Firefox nightly APK here to get going.

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apk Stories April 16, 2014

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Hints of new features have been found in the just-released Google Camera app. The APK — which was put under the microscope by Liam Spradlin of Android Police — contains references to an Advanced Camera Mode, Time Lapse Mode, and Wide Angle Mode. Additionally, Google has confirmed that the Camera app now captures Photo Spheres in 50 MP, making for a major upgrade  in image quality. expand full story

We’ve seen a lot of leaks regarding Google apps recently, including supposed new icons for Android, new features for Google Now, and a new Gmail interface. This time around, Google+ user Yoel Kaseb has allegedly obtained screenshots of a completely redesigned Google+ app for Android.

Kaseb says the app is unstable and still an early test build, but the design appears to follow the same trends as other recently leaked Google interfaces. Kaseb has also been locked out of the APK by Google and can no longer use the interface, which does lend some credibility to the validity of the images.

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apk Stories April 9, 2014

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Just a couple of weeks ago we reported that Google Now would soon add the ability to remind you when to pay your bills. Now, Android Police has discovered hints at yet another new feature potentially on its way to Google Now. According to the report, Google Now will soon be able to remember where you parked your car and help you locate it. The feature will recognize when you stop your car and get out, save the location, and present you with a Card showing you exactly where your car is.

The Card will be able to navigate you back to the location of your car, and should Google give you an incorrect location, there is a button below the map that offers the ability to correct Google. Based on the information available Android Police created the above mock-up, which shows how far away your car is, when you parked it, and of course, where you parked. In addition to information obtained from other sources, there are several hints that corroborate this report in the code of the most recent Google Search.

The report gives this rumor an 8/10 as a confidence rating, with it losing points due to “the unpredictable nature of pre-release features, and the fact that while there is teardown-based evidence for this, it is rather scant.” Nevertheless, it does seem likely that this feature is currently being developed by Google and does exist.

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apk Stories November 12, 2013

Google’s App Translation Service now available to all developers

Back at Google I/O in May, the company announced some updates rolling out to its Google Play Developer Console with some of the highlights including beta testing, staged rollouts, and a new app translation service. After a successful pilot program, Google has announced on its Android Developers blog that the App Translation Service is now open to all developers:

To help developers reach users in other languages, we launched the App Translation Service, which allows developers to purchase professional app translations through the Google Play Developer Console. This is part of a toolbox of localization features you can (and should!) take advantage of as you distribute your app around the world through Google Play… You’ll be able to upload your app’s file of string resources, select the languages you want to translate into, select a professional translation vendor, and place your order. Pro tip: you can put your store listing text into the file you upload to the App Translation Service. You’ll be able to communicate with your translator to be sure you get a great result, and download your translated string files

Developers interested in purchasing translation services can find the App Translation Service at bottom of the APK section in the Google Play Developer Console. 

apk Stories October 31, 2013

Update: Google has released a full list of what’s new in Android 4.4 KitKat. We’re digging in and we’ll bring you more details as we discover them.

Alongside the official release of its new flagship Nexus 5 on Google Play today, Google is also of course officially taking the wraps of 4.4 KitKat, the latest version of Android that will ship on the new Nexus 5. When will you be able to get your hands on the new OS? Google said KitKat 4.4 updates will arrive for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and the Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Play Editions in the coming weeks.

Google confirmed that the update will not be coming to the Galaxy Nexus. Since it’s two years old, it now “falls outside of the 18-month update window when Google and others traditionally update devices.”

In the YouTub playlist above, Google walks through some of the new features of KitKat for developers and also highlights a number of user-facing features such as a new “immersive mode” that allows users to automatically hide onscreen controls for a truly full-screen experience. In a blog post, Google took sometime to explain the performance improvements it’s made in KitKat, noting that Android can now “run comfortably on the 512MB of RAM devices”: expand full story

apk Stories October 23, 2013

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While from the outside, the most recent YouTube update looked rather minor, Android Police has done some deep digging and discovered a couple of very interesting tidbits regarding future features coming to the app. First off, the APK file makes several hints at background audio support. This means that you will be able to start a video within the YouTube app and navigate to another app and not have your content disrupted. Currently, leaving the YouTube app makes your video automatically pause. Android Police notes that the feature should work when the device’s screen is off, as well.

Within the YouTube app now, the settings option for background audio is hidden, but Android Police managed to reveal the options for a very brief period of time. Regarding the upcoming offline feature, the APK teardown also revealed some of the dialogue messages users will be presented with, though they’re all pretty standard.

Background audio support will be huge for listening to music via YouTube, in addition to other things, such as podcasts and videos. It’s unclear when the feature will launch, but between this and offline video support, YouTube for Android is about to get a lot more useful. expand full story

apk Stories October 10, 2013

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Twitter has finally launched a version of its official Android client that is fully-optimized for the larger displays on tablets. The app has a multi-screen view for scrolling through tweets while reading links in an accompanying browser.

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The app also brings a new Android home screen widget and illustrating of images that are to be shared via Twitter. Interestingly, the app is launching first on the Samsung 10.1-2014 tablet, with launches on other Android tablets to come in the future.

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apk Stories October 12, 2012

Today, we are getting a look at what Android Police claimed is a new build of Gmail—one that “may or may not have come from an LG Nexus system dump.” Among the big new features for Gmail version 4.2, which the report noted also runs fine on Android 4.1, is pinch-to-zoom within your inbox. On top of that highly requested feature, the new Gmail will also get the ability to swipe to delete or archive.

The new app now provides a few options for swiping your conversation list, including: “Has no effect,” “Archive, delete,” or “Always delete.” The default option, “Archive or delete”, will archive conversations in your inbox, delete conversations when in All mail or sent, and it will remove the current label when viewing regular labels.

Also noted is the ability to report a message as phishing. It is unclear exactly when we might be able to get our hands on the new Gmail build, but we will keep you posted as always.

apk Stories May 21, 2012

Shortly after the new Siri-like voice assistant feature of Samsung’s new Galaxy S III, known as “S-Voice,” made its way to other Android devices via an available APK, reports claimed Samsung began to block non-S III users from accessing the service. XDA Developer community members confirmed (via TNW) that Vlingo, the company behind the voice recognition technology used in S-Voice, is now blocking users from trying to access its servers with devices other than the S III.

In December of last year, Nuance, the company currently powering speech in Apple’s Siri app on the iPhone 4S, acquired Vlingo. Samsung previously collaborated with Vlingo for the Voice Commander feature for the Galaxy S II. We expect Nuance has improved Vlingo since the acquisition, while Apple’s relationship with Nuance is not stopping Samsung from using the Vlingo technology. In an interview in October, Norman Winarsky, co-founder of Siri, told us Vlingo was originally used in Siri when it first developed, but noted it is rather easy for apps like Siri to implement new speech recognition technology if it comes along.

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apk Stories May 9, 2012

We already know Flipboard made its Android début last week with the introduction of Samsung’s new Galaxy S III, but today the app is available to everyone willing to download and install the APK themselves. XDA-developer forum user Valcho uploaded the .apk that he extracted from the Galaxy S III, which means you’re getting the actual app. It should also be easily installed through your device’s Web browser, so you will get to try it before its official release on Google Play. Go over to the XDA forums to grab it now.

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apk Stories April 9, 2012

Blackberry Playbook users have —for a long time— been able to sideload Android apps for those who have not been updated with native versions for RIM’s tablet. As noted in a recent report from CrackBerry, Vice President of Developer Relations at RIM Alec Saunders announced via Twitter that the feature is being removed and an alternative solution for developers is on the way. In an earlier tweet, he noted, “Privacy is a huge problem for Android devs, and we don’t want to duplicate the chaotic cesspool of Android market.” CrackBerry explained the reasoning behind the move:

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apk Stories July 22, 2011

To cope with fragmentation of their Android OS, Google has revealed on the Android Developers Blog they are now allowing multiple APK support. Historically, Google only allowed one APK file that would in some cases work on only a number of phones.

With multiple APKs, Developers can now build their apps for different screen sizes, processors, and other hardware capabilities. When a user downloads an app from the Market, they will be automatically assigned the APK that best matches their phone. On the Market all of the versions of the app will be aggregated into one for ratings, reviews, and listing. Google notes what devs need to know:

To support this new capability, we’ve updated the Developer Console to include controls for uploading and managing APKs in a product listing — we encourage you to take a look. If you’d like to learn more about how multiple APK support works, please read the developer documentation. As always, please feel free to give us feedback on the feature through the Market Help Center. expand full story

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