Late last night, the latest version of Google Maps began rolling out through the beta channel. For many people, this will likely bring new notifications with convenient shortcuts to local area transit maps. There are also signs that Google is adding integration with bicycle sharing services, a vague hint of new activity around speed limits, and possibly some new perks for Local Guides.
Personal privacy is and probably always will be a difficult topic now that a digital lifestyle has become indelibly linked to our culture. It’s not enough to stop using a service, we should be able to have data deleted from the servers just in case a hacker manages to gain access. Google Play Games has long offered the ability to erase entire profiles, which includes the Gamer ID, XP, scores, and any other data saved to its servers.
iFixit today published its teardown of Apple’s sixth-generation, education-focused iPad and found that — unsurprisingly — the tablet shares many of the internals of the fifth-gen iPad. The teardown crew also looked at the new iPad’s potential for durability and repairability in an education environment by comparing it to competitors in the field.
Images via iFixit
The new iPad’s lack of waterproofing, non-replaceable charging port, zero upgradeability, and use of glue throughout the internals added up to a “repair nightmare.” iFixit then pointed towards the HP Elite x2 1012 G1 tablet, which got a perfect repairability score of 10 out of 10, summarizing that “Apple’s ‘education’ iPad is still a case of won’t — not can’t.”
Looking into the iPad’s internals, the two major updates in the new tablet are an upgraded A10 processor and Broadcom chips for Apple Pencil support. iFixit got a peek inside the iPad using Creative Electron’s X-ray imaging software, discovering “only minor differences” when compared to a similar X-ray of the previous iPad.
One of the iPad’s advantages in terms of repairability comes in the form of its digitizer panel easily separating from the display. iFixit pointed out that in the event that either component should break, repair will be easier for schools and educators.
In the education space, Apple has some stiff competition in the form of low-cost, Google-powered laptops. How does this iPad, er, stack up against a Chromebook from HP or Asus? Given that schoolkids can be a bit rough on their electronics, here’s an iFixit take on it:
iPad’s glued-glass display is more vulnerable to drops. Thankfully, this is the one iPad that retains an air-gapped digitizer panel—not as visually impressive as other recent iPads, but it’s much cheaper to replace cracked glass that isn’t LOCA-bonded to the display panel underneath. Separate accessories like the keyboard and Pencil add to the cost and are easier to lose—but are also easier to replace if damaged. (Note the missing key on our HP’s keyboard.)
Eventually, iFixit got down to the logic board and discovered the iPad’s A10 Fusion processor and two Broadcom touch screen controller chips, previously found in the 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models. iFixit theorized that the new iPad’s Apple Pencil support “comes in part thanks to this “Pro”-grade chip.”
The sixth-gen iPad has the same battery as the previous model, with 32.9 Wh capacity. iFixit noted that while this allows Apple to reuse existing manufacturing lines to reduce waste, the battery is still locked behind a “repair-impeding adhesive” that greatly reduced the iPad’s repairability score. Apple has provided easy battery removal before, in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, but iFixit hasn’t seen anything like it since.
Ultimately, iFixit gave the 2018 iPad a repairability score of 2 out of 10, favoring the fairly easy repair options of its air-gapped, non-fused display and digitizer glass, but taking marks off for its heavy use of adhesive and sticky tape. To read the full teardown, visit iFixit.com.
After an unusually busy week of updates, Google capped it off with a late-Friday rollout of its central app. As we should expect, there aren’t any immediately obvious changes to the interface from installing this update – those will appear in the coming weeks as Google switches them on remotely. However, we’ve got a teardown of the APK that covers some of what we’ll be seeing in the future.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android’s application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information.
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.
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.
A look through the latest Google Voice doesn’t appear to bring much in the way of changes, but there are a few curious tweaks to the text visible in Settings.
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.
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.