Ingress APK Teardown [1.68.0]

Welcome back to another Ingress Teardown. After a small hiatus with no teardown with 1.67.1, I’m proud to announce a teardown of 1.68.0 which is currently on a 1% rollout to a play store near you. Assuming no errors crop up for those already on it, this version should reach the rest of you in the next few days. Like usual, we can peek into the APK and see what is hidden away. So lets dig into 1.68.0.



Image used in the background of the Wearable portion of IngressAs we’ve talked about. Ingress wearables are coming. The only question is when.  This image you see on the right (or below) was named wear_generic_bg.png. This means a wearable background photo. So this could be the background interface used on the wearable version of Ingress. It looks pretty nifty in my eyes, especially since it is a design of the logo we haven’t seen before.

We also saw the addition of various strings that hint towards how the wearable app will interact with you (the user).

<string name="IOS_NOTIFICATION_UNLOCK_MESSAGE">launch Ingress</string>
<string name="ACTIVE_MODE_RUNNING">Active Mode online.</string>
<string name="STOP_ACTIVE_MODE">Stop</string>
<string name="ACTIVE_MODE_RUNNING_ABOUT_TO_EXPIRE">Active Mode about to expire.</string>
<string name="EXTEND_ACTIVE_MODE">Extend</string>
<string name="ACTIVE_MODE_PLAYER_RECOVERABLE_ISSUE">There was a problem. Touch to resolve.</string>
<string name="ACTIVE_MODE_SESSION_EXPIRED">Active Mode session has expired.</string>
<string name="NEW_ACTIVE_MODE_SESSION">New session</string>

It appears based on these strings that the basic functionality will be as follows.

  1. Start a Session / Extend a currently running one
  2. This starts a Smart Notification, where alerts can be seen on your watch  / wearable.
    • See information on Smart Notifications here.
  3. Timer starts of how long this session will last, it can be “Stopped”, “Extended” or let expire.
  4. This mode has been called “Active Mode” and lets you take your Ingress playing to a new level.


New Icons (Status bar icons)

Screenshot from 2015-01-12 21:27:57

Not much of a teardown, per se, but I located some changed images that are used in the status bar. These have a transparent background, so they should blend in more to all the different types of devices powering your scanners.

As you can read from above, they are for all the basic notification things like

  • News (News of the Day) notification
  • Multiple News notification
  • Neutralized portal notification
  • Comm notification
  • Attacked portal notification



Obfuscation Again

My method of finding changes is diffing the previous version with the current. This used to expose just the changes like one would expect. However, take a look below at an example of one of the changes now.


.field public static final CREATOR:Lo/ח;


.field public static final CREATOR:Lo/צ;

As you can see, it was a simple change of variable. One unicode char for another. Most likely done by an obfuscator like Proguard. As of 1.68.0, this change is just one of many. Automating huge find and replace operations using sed has worked, but the once manageable job of writing a teardown has become quite the time investment. Information shuffles location on every release so finding “changed” data has become very difficult unless you know what you are looking for.

This means — I will probably miss more things than I have in the past. It has become quite the task to comb through 3,000 files looking for interesting tidbits. However, if this makes spoofing more difficult on every release, then by all means continue Niantic.



This version was built on January 6 and found us on January 12. AXA Shields have been launched so the only unreleased feature remaining in the APK is Ingress Wearables Edition. We will continue to follow this development, including future teardowns.