Swype was the first keyboard to bring the gesture typing implementation on mobile devices and especially to Android devices. However, Swype was never available as a download-able keyboard on the Play Store, and was only available on certain Android devices that it came pre-installed with.
Today, all that changes since the new owners of Swype, Nuance Communications, have finally released the keyboard on the Play Store. The keyboard is available in a trial as well as a paid version. The paid version is up for grabs for $0.99 right now, with its price set to increase after a few days.
While Swype truly was revolutionary when it first came in the keyboard scene, it is now barely able to keep up with its competition. SwiftKey, the most popular keyboard and one of the most popular applications on the Play Store, recently implemented its Flow technique of typing that is similar to Swype’s implementation. SwiftKey’s implementation is arguably superior since it allows users to have up to three languages active simultaneously. This makes typing in different languages simultaneously much more easier in SwiftKey compared to Swype.
Play Store Link
Over the last few months, Google has been slowly bringing most of its features to India and other third world countries. This includes free turn-by-turn voice navigation, the ability to publish paid apps in the Play Store for Indian developers, INR currency support, and much more recently, the release of Play Books and directly selling the Nexus 7 via the Play Store in India.
Today, Google has released another of its Play services for its Indian users to enjoy – Play Movies. Google has priced the movies at a pretty decent price, with the prices varying from Rs. 50 to Rs 120 to rent a standard definition movie. Users can directly purchase a movie as well with prices beginning from Rs 390 for a SD quality movie to a whopping Rs. 650 for a one in HD.
Android users can access the Play Movies service right from the Play Store application on their phone or tablet. You can also purchase or rent movies directly from the Play Store website.
In addition to Play Movies, Google has also enabled the option to buy paid movies from YouTube Rentals. Until now, users were only given the a catalogue of free movies, but from today, the catalogue has increased to include paid movies as well.
Along with India, Google has also brought its Play Movies service to its users in Mexico. Hopefully, Google will soon bring its Play Music and other Nexus hardware to the Indian Play Store sooner than later.
Google Voice, unlike other Google services, is not as tightly integrated with Android devices as people would hope for. While Google Voice has replaced messaging (SMS) for many, the lack of a unified messaging inbox has been bugging Android users since quite sometime. ShortFuse of the Super One Click fame has released a new app in the Play Store – Fusion Messenger – that brings a single unified inbox for your normal messages and Google Voice, for now.
This is the first public beta of the application and the developer aims to add support for other messaging services such as Facebook messenger, Google Talk and other such services.
The app uses Holo UI but does not look that good. However, the app is blazing fast and nearly every option of the app can be customized to your liking. While the app may not be that great in its present state, it is backed by a talented developer who has been continuously taking public feedback, and it is just a matter of time before the app evolves into a must have app for every Android device.
The first public beta of Fusion Messenger can be downloaded from the Play Store.
Earlier today, Google’s Play Books service went live for Android users in India. Play Books will allow users to purchase and read eBooks right on their Android device.
The whole Play Books service is tied with the Play Store itself, thus if you have already added your Credit or Debit card details to your Google Wallet, you are all set to start buying eBooks from the Play Store.
The Play Book does have a vast library of eBooks available including some of the classics and nearly all the books from Indian authors. While users can grab some of the Books for cheap on Play Books compared to say Flipkart’s eBook service, some books are comparatively much costlier than their print edition.
It is quite surprising that Google launched the Play Books service first in India, and not its other two popular Play Services – Music and Movies. Hopefully, it will also launch Play Music and Movies in India soon.
Apple’s iTunes Music store went live in India back in December last year and allows you to buy music and rent or purchase movies directly.
PowerAMP, one of the most popular music player on the Play Store, has received a major update to build 524. The new update brings a number of improvements and bug-fixes including support for paid themes in Android 4.2 running devices.
The update also adds support for MusicFX API and Huawei Dolby Mobile support wherever available, along with support for Android 4.2+ lock screen widget. The developer has also added support for multi-window allowing Galaxy S3 and Note 2 owners to simultaneously run PowerAMP with any other app side-by-side. The direct volume control bug that has been plaguing Android 4.2 users has also been fixed.
The full change-log is below – :
– fixed issue with 3rd party skins flashing
– updated localizations. Huge thanks to all crowdin.net translators!
– Route Media action bar button (JB 4.1.2+)
– JB 4.2+ lockscreen widget
– MusicFX API support (Settings-Audio-Advanced Tweaks)
– Huawei Dolby Mobile support (where available)
– full support for skins on JB+
– experimental multiwindow support for Samsungs
– Poweramp lockscreen rotation (large screens)
– fix for playlist/library being reset sometimes
– few other issues fixed
If you have not already, head over to the Play Store and try out PowerAMP now. It is feature rich, has a decent UI and is backed by an excellent developer.
Pocket Casts, a Podcasting app from Shifty Jelly, also got a major update to v4 today. The new version brings with it an absolutely stunning UI, a new tablet optimized UI, the ability to backup and restore the apps settings and much more. It also brings a bump in price to $4 (previously $3).
The update definitely makes Pocket Casts the best podcasting app out there, even though it still lacks Google Reader integration.
Mozilla today released an exciting update for Firebox Beta on the Play Store. The update brings a lot of under the hood improvements along with support for more lower-end devices.
One of the most useful features for all NSFW and porn addicts out there will be the per-tab private browsing mode. This feature will allow Firefox mobile users to open a new private tab, along with other normal tabs, instead of switching completely to private mode.
With the new beta, Firefox will also be available to some of the older ARM v6 devices with QVGA resolution and 384MB of RAM. Other important changes include H.264/AAC/MP3 hardware decoding for pre-Android 4.0 devices.
The official change-log is as follows -:
– Per-tab private browsing
– Gingerbread and Honeycomb support for H.264/AAC/MP3 hardware decoders
– Top Sites in about:home are now customizable
– System requirements have been lowered to 384MB of RAM and QVGA displays
– <canvas> now supports blend modes
– Various <audio> and <video> improvements
– getUserMedia implemented for web access to the user’s camera and microphone (with user permission)
Learn more: http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/mobile/20.0beta/releasenotes/
The beta is already live on the Play Store, and can be downloaded from here.
Twitter has rolled out an update for the official Twitter app for Android. The update mainly brings usability improvements to the Discover, Connect and Search features.
Below is the full change-log right from Twitter -:
- Discover: Now all the content in Discover — Tweets, Activity, Trends and suggestions of accounts to follow — appears in a single stream, on both iPhone and Android. You can also dive into Activity and Trends from new previews at the top of the Discover tab.
- Search: Search results now surface the most relevant mix of Tweets, photos, and accounts, all in one stream (similar to the stream in Discover). We’ve also added a new search button to Twitter for iPhone, letting you search from anywhere within the app. (This button was already available in the Android and iPad apps.) Look for the magnifying glass icon next to the button you use to compose a Tweet.
- Connect: To provide a simpler experience in the Connect tab, the default view is now Interactions, which shows you new followers, retweets and mentions. If you prefer to view only your mentions in Connect, you can adjust the default in settings – find the “Connect tab” option and select “Mentions only”.
- Links: Click a URL in a Tweet to go directly to that website from any timeline and get to content highlighted on Twitter faster. (Previously, when you tapped any part of a Tweet, it would first expand and then a second click was required to get to the website.)
The update does not bring any graphical or UI improvements which the official Twitter client for Android badly needs. The app still does not follow the Holo guidelines, and looks like an iOS port.
On the other hand, Carbon for Twitter, the recently released absolutely stunning Twitter client also got a bug-fixing update last night.
The change-log is as follows -:
– Notification bug that crashed after tapping
– Repeat Notifications
– Notification bug that crashed app when Avatar couldn’t be loaded
– Direct Messages Delete bug wasn’t saving changes
– Long press bug on Messages
– Composition Screen Account Selector bug
– User Profile Bio: tapping on Mentions & Hashtags bug.
– Timeline duplicated tweets on concurrent refreshes
– Compose bug that didn’t allow tweeting at 140 characters
– Verified & Private badges
– Quick mentions
If you are an avid Twitter user, and have not already tried Carbon for Twitter, you are missing out on a lot. The app lacks a lot of features, but the developer is working on adding them soon. The app is also going to run out of its 100k Twitter token limits after which new users won’t be able to use the app, if they have not already reserved a token.
One of Android’s biggest weakness is the inability to backup all the user installed apps and its data without root access. That changes today with the release of Carbon – App Sync and Backup from Koushik Dutta.
Carbon will work on all Android 4.0+ running devices, and can backup all your installed apps and its data without root access. The app can backup the data either to your phone’s SD card, PC or to cloud storage services such as Dropbox, Box and Google Drive. You can also setup a schedule at which the app will automatically take backups of your installed apps and app data, and upload it to the cloud.
The only catch here is that before you can start using the Carbon app, you are required to use the desktop client of Carbon. Otherwise, users without root access won’t be able to use the app. Users with root access can directly use the app without the need to use the desktop client of the app. Non-root users are also required to use the desktop client of Carbon each time they restart their device.
Carbon is available as a free download in the Play Store with an IAP (In-App Purchase) of $4.99 to unlock the premium features of the app.
P.S. – Carbon will not work on Motorola devices due to a bug that breaks Google’s Backup and Restore service.
It looks like LG and Google are soon going to unveil a white Nexus 4. The folks over at Tinhte have managed to get their hands on a white Nexus 4.
Externally, there are no changes in the white Nexus 4, except for everything being white compared to the black variant that is available now. The crystal reflection as seen on the black Nexus 4 is also visible on the white Nexus 4 under the right angles and lighting conditions.
Like the Galaxy Nexus though, the front of the white Nexus 4 is absolutely black, making for a nice (or weird) contrast.
At the moment it is unconfirmed as to when Google and LG plan to release the white variant of the Nexus 4. Up until now, LG and Google had been struggling to meet the demand of the Nexus 4, and it was only yesterday that the handset went back in sale on the Play Store in the United States and Canada.
Head over to Tinhte for more pictures of the Nexus 4 in white.
Yesterday, the Nexus 4 was back in stock in the German, Canada and United States Play Store. Today, Google and LG have made the latest Nexus handset available to more regions of the world including the United Kingdom, France and Spain.
After struggling for more than a couple of months with the Nexus 4 stock, Google and LG seem to have finally caught up with the demand. It is going to be nearly 24 hours since the handset was made available in the U.S and Canada Play Store, and is yet to be sold out. The shipping times of the handset have also not slipped to an insane 8-9 weeks like before, and remains at a respectable 1-2 weeks.
The LG-manufactured-Google branded Nexus 4 is also expected to be available in Australia later today.If you could not get your hands on the Nexus 4 in the last couple of months, now is your chance.