SwiftKey is hands down the best keyboard for Android devices out there. The keyboard has arguably the best prediction system out there, which makes typing on touchscreen slabs a breeze.
Today, the folks behind SwiftKey have unveiled what they have been working on for the last few months — SwiftKey Flow. Think of SwiftKey Flow as a combination of SwiftKey’s brilliant prediction system with the swyping power of Swype. The combination of these two should lead to a killer single hand typing experience on Android devices.
Here is a video of SwiftKey Flow in action -:
The best part of SwiftKey Flow is that, unlike Swype, users can either glide across the screen to enter a word or go the traditional tap an alphabet mode.
Sadly, SwiftKey Flow is not yet available for beta testing. The developers are still busy putting some final touches to the keyboard before they release a beta version to SwiftKey VIP members. Head over to SwiftKey’s website to register yourself to for an exclusive access to the beta version.
Less than a week ago, Google unveiled its new $249 Exynos 5 powered Chromebook. With such a low price and an ARM processor, Google has intelligently positioned the Samsung Chromebook as an secondary laptop for many.
The Chromebook is already up for pre-order in many retail stores and online retailers and should be available in stores by the end of this week. However, beginning from today, interested buyers can directly purchase the Chromebook from Google via its Play Store. As of now, the estimated shipping time is around 3-5 days.
The Chromebook will be the first non-Android running device ever to be available in the Play Store and clearly shows Google’s intention with the Play Store. The Samsung made Chromebook packs in a 11.6-inch screen with a resolution of 1366×768, an Exynos 5 Cortex-A15 SoC, 2GB of RAM, 16GB SSD, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, SD card slot and up to 6.5 hours of battery life.
Today, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon have teamed up to announce the release of their own mobile wallet service in the United States, Isis Mobile Wallet. Beginning from today, owners of Isis compatible mobile handsets can enjoy a wallet free shopping experience in Salt Lake City and Austin.
“The launch of the Isis Mobile Wallet in Austin and Salt Lake City represents a milestone for both Isis and the mobile commerce industry,” said Ryan Hughes, chief marketing officer, Isis. “With as many as twenty Isis Ready handsets headed to market by year end, we are experiencing an unprecedented level of support for NFC and consumer choice.”
The Isis mobile wallet service from three of the biggest operators in the United States might just kill Google’s own Wallet service. Google launched its Wallet service back in late 2010 with the Nexus S. Since then, the service has failed to become mainstream mainly because of the opposition from the U.S. carriers and the lack of Google Wallet compatible handsets.
On the other handset, Isis mobile wallet service is already supported by 9 different Android handsets, with 11 additional handsets to be available by the year end.
While Google only recently added support for all credit and debit cards in Google Wallet, Isis only works with cards from American Express, Capital One or a Chase card.
It has been known since quite sometime now that HTC is working on a 5-inch Android handset with 1080p resolution. The specs of the handset was leaked by XDA developer, Football, a couple of weeks ago.
Today, the folks over at Android Central got their hands on some pictures of the handset thanks to one of their source. The picture clearly shows the Verizon branding on the phone, with the DLX having the same styling clues as the DROID Incredible series.
The Android Central source also sent a picture of the handset’s About device page that confirmed the specs of this monster – a 1.5GHz Quad-Core Krait SoC, Adreno 320 GPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of on-board storage and a non-removable 2500mAh. The lack of a microSD card slot and a non-removable 2500mAh battery might be a disappointment for many and turn out to be eventual deal-breaker. Hopefully, HTC will release a 32GB variant of the handset as well.
On the software side, the DLX will be running on Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean with Sense 4+ on top of it. There is no word as to when HTC and Verizon will be announcing the DLX, but it should be out around thanksgiving.
Canonical has been working on brining Ubuntu to Android devices and other form factors for quite sometime now. On Friday, Canonical’s Commercial Engineering Director, Victor Palau, uploaded a video on YouTube of Ubuntu running on the Google’s $199 tablet, the Nexus 7.
The Google-branded-ASUS-manufactured Nexus 7 packs in 1GB of RAM, a quad-core Tegra 3 SoC from Nvidia, Wi-Fi and a 7-inch screen despite its low price point.
The video above is pretty short (21 seconds) but shows the Nexus 7 running Ubuntu with Unity desktop interface without any issues.
Canonical will be unveiling more information about Ubuntu for the Nexus 7 at its upcoming Ubuntu Developer Summit in Copenhagen to be held later this year.
Beginning from today, Android developers in India will be able to directly sell paid apps, in-app products and subscriptions in the Play Store.
India has played a major role in Android’s growth with device activations in India jumping around 400%. Android users in India have also downloaded more apps than they downloaded in the last three years, sky-rocketing the country to the fourth-largest country in terms of app downloads.
Along with support for paid apps, Google has also added support for Indian currency and other currencies for developers to take advantage of. Developers will be paid directly by Google at the end of each month to their local bank accounts.
Google had earlier added India to the list of countries that could sell paid apps in the Play Store, but removed it just a day after. Now, with Google officially announcing the the inclusion of India to the list of countries that can sell paid apps in the Play Store, Indian developers don’t need to worry about the country once again disappearing from the list without any explanation.
Google has out of the blue announced a new Chromebook manufactured by Samsung. The 0.8-inch thick body of the Chromebook from Samsung packs in 16GB of storage space, 2GB of RAM, an 11.6-inch screen, Bluetooth, microSD card slot, HDMI-out port, two USB ports and finally, an Exynos 5 Dual processor!
To keep the price of the Chromebook down to $249, Google and Samsung decided to use an ARM based processor instead of a traditional x86 ULV processor from Intel. Even then, the A15 is no slouch as it was initially designed to power servers before being scaled back for other portable devices.
Google touts that the Chromebook boots in less than 10 seconds, and can easily playback 1080p HD videos without breaking a sweat. The whole UI of the Chrome OS has been GPU rendered as well, which should allow for a buttery smooth UI browsing experience.
All potential Chromebook buyers will also get 100GB of free storage space on Google Drive to where they can keep all their files secured.
The new Samsung Chromebook will be available for pre-order starting from today on Amazon, Best Buy, PC World and other retailers. It will hit the retail stores next week, and can be purchased directly from the Play Store as well.
Google has been on a roll recently, fixing all the minor annoyances in the Android ecosystem and releasing small but long-lusted features from the community.
After rolling out a new Play Store update that fixes many issues that have been irritating Android users for quite sometime, and bringing gift cards, Google has added another new feature to the Play Store – Wishlist.
Wishlists will allow users to bookmark apps, music, videos, books, games or just about anything available in the Play Store so that they can try it out sometime in the future. As of now, there is now way to share a wishlist with your friends or relatives though.
The feature will be automatically enabled on your phone, if you have the latest version of the Play Store (v3.9.16) installed. If you cannot wait for Wishlists to show up on the Play Store, try restarting your phone. Many people reported that they got the feature instantly after they rebooted their handset.
As of now, the Wishlists feature from Google will only be available to Android users in the United States.
Today, Google has sent out press invites for an Android related event, which the company is going to hold on October 29th in NYC at 10AM.
The invite from Google contains a picture of Google Now welcome screen, with the line “The playground is open” written in the search bar. It might be possible that Google is opening up the Nexus program for other Android OEMs? Or maybe the company will work on adding AOSP support for all the existing high-end Android devices from various OEMs?
Google will also be unveiling a new Nexus handset at the event, manufactured by LG this time. The leaks and rumors suggest that the Nexus handset from LG will be known as the Nexus 4, and will pack a quad-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Krait processor, Adreno 320 GPU, 2GB of RAM, a 8MP camera, and a 4.7-inch IPS HD display. The new Nexus handset will also be accompanied by a new Android version, 4.2 in all probability, and hopefully, a 32GB variant of the Nexus 7.
For all unlucky souls like us, Google will also be live streaming the event at youtube.com/Android.
Microsoft is also holding an event on October 29th where it will be unveiling Windows Phone 8.
Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S owners can download the OTA update zip file from here and here, respectively. Owners of Nexus S (I9020 and 9023 variants) can manually install the update by downloading the OTA update, renaming it to ”update.zip” and then transferring it to their handset. Then, reboot your handset into recovery mode by pressing the Volume Up and Power key and finally select the ‘install update.zip’ option.
The steps to manually install the OTA update on the Galaxy Nexus are a bit complicated, but if you are still interested, then head over to this thread on XDA for the steps.
Owners of the Wi-Fi variant of the Motorola XOOM will be automatically notified when the update is available for their tablet. The 4G LTE variant of the XOOM and the Galaxy Nexus will get the update only after Verizon is done with its internal quality testing, which can take quite a while.