Google has led the way with native voice search capabilities on Android, and it's take a giant leap ahead with the new Voice Actions, just announced at that event today in Mountain View, Calif. It's about as easy as it gets. Speak it, and it happens. Here's what you can say:
send text to [contact] [message]
listen to [artist/song/album]
send email to [contact] [message]
go to [website]
note to self [note]
navigate to [location/business name]
directions to [location/business name]
map of [location]
We're going to have to play with this and see how well it handles multiple e-mail accounts and the like. But judging by the demo (which you can watch after the break, it's quickly leaped to the top of the voice ladder. [Google]
Who doesn't love a good trebuchet? Who doesn't love castles? And who doesn't love using a trebuchet to knock down a castle? That brings us to Namco's Crush the Castle, an Android game that will undoubtedly bring to mind another game about surly avian creatures.
But what we have here is a simple premise. There's a trebuchet, and there's a castle, and one of 'em is gonna leave on the ground. There's a bit of a map element to it, so you move from castle to castle. To actually do the deed, you tap the screen once, starting the boulder on its way. Tap the screen again to send the large rock flying toward the castle and the inhabitants thereof. Knock 'em all down (and bloody them in the process), and you move on. The fewer the throws, the better your score (and reward from the king).
But a warning: Gameplay is quick. Very quick. It's pretty tough, actually. I'm not sure yet if that's going to keep me from playing the game, or infuriate me into playing it more.
Balancing that is the ability to actually create your own castles. There's something you don't see every day in an Android app -- you can build your own levels. Very, very cool.
And to top it all off, Crush the Castle is available for 99 cents. More screen shots and download info after the break.
Did you just buy a Motorola Droid 2? Are you new to Android? Welcome, and namaste. You've entered the fastest-growing smartphone platform there is, with the coolest phones, the best apps, and you're now a part of the greatest user community around.
But Android can be a little daunting, we know. But we've got your covered. Here are some links that will help you on your way:
Join in!: To start with, make sure you're registered on the site. Once you're registered, you'll be able to comment on blog posts, and you'll automatically be registered for the forums.
The forums: Speaking of the forums, they're the best and quickest way to ask a question about your new Droid 2, or to find an answer. You can find the Droid 2 forums here.
Must-have apps: Your next stop should be our Apps section, where you'll find the reviews on all kinds of Android apps. Games, productivity -- everything you can think of.
And you've lucked out. The Droid 2 launched on a Thursday, which is also when we do our live podcast. Join us tonight at 9 p.m. EDT / 6 p.m. PDT as we talk about the Droid 2 and all the latest news in the Android world.
Congrats on your new phone, and welcome to Android Central!
We're knee deep in the Motorola Droid 2, and it's time for the initial video hands-on. In a nutshell, it's a softer, more gentle version of the original Droid, with the same screen, an improved keyboard, beefed up internal specs and Android 2.2 with Motorola's new user interface. But you knew that already, right? Hands-on after the break. And more to come soon.
Finally, The Dell Streak has been unleashed to those who had the foresight to register for pre-order. For those who didn't pre-order, well y'all have to wait until Friday August 13 -- tomorrow. The Streak is $299.99 on a two year AT&T contract, $549.99 when bought outright. Oddly, even the off contract phones will not be carrier unlocked -- but that's something a few dollars more can fix for you.
Enough listening to me prattle on, head over and order your Streak, and be sure to tell us your impressions in the forums!
If you're running Android 1.6 and above right now (which should be most of you), you can now download the latest update to Gesture Search from Google Labs. For those not familiar with the app, Google has created an app that allows you to search everything on your Android device by simply drawing out symbols or letters on your device's screen.
The new update brings the abilty to literally face the phone away from you and doing a "double flip," resulting in the app starting up to begin your search. This is a step forward, as the app once required you to exit to the home screen and select the widget to run the app.
The Motorola Droid 2 is officially available today. We've got ours and will be putting it through its paces, so check back early and often today.
But we also want to hear from you. Head into the Android Central Forums and leave your first impressions. And we'll pick one post at random this afternoon to win a case from the Android Central Store. So let's hear it. What do you think of the Droid 2?
We've seen quite a few of those iPhone thingy-ma-jigs in our favorite TV shows and movies on the silver screen for the past few years. Though recently, it seems like our little robot buddy has been quickly becoming quite the A-lister. In July we spotted the Nexus One being used by Ari Gold and Johnny Drama on HBO's hit show, Entourage.
The wait is over -- the fellows behind Unrevoked have released their "forever" tool. While we're not going to get into specifics (you can read those, and you had better, at the source link) what this tool does is unlock your Evo or Incredible's firmware -- forever. As in even if you accept an OTA update, it stays unlocked. According the the Unrevoked team, this is a permanent patch.
Be aware, there is always the potential for problems, even big ones. Be sure to read everything and understand before you download and install this. Having said that, I've done it and had no issues, and so have a few others. No go have a read and see if this one is for you, and check out the screenies after the jump. [Unrevoked] Thanks Bret for the screenshots!
Finally, we have a launch date for the Sprint Epic 4G. (See our hands-on here.) The keyboarded version of the Samsung Galaxy S will be available Aug. 31 for $249.99 after two-year contract and $100 rebate. You can reserve yours starting Friday at Sprint.com/epic4g and pick it up in a Sprint store. It's launching with Android 2.1, which we already knew, and will be updated to Android 2.2 in the coming months.
Gaming on Android just got a lot more serious. Engadget is reporting that Sony Ericsson is hard at work on the oft-rumored PSP phone, only it will come with Android 3.0 ("Gingerbread") and is described by those in the know as "a cross between the Samsung Captivate and the PSP Go" (you can see their mockup above). This is quite surprising as they haven't even been able to launch a phone running 2.1 yet.
Sony is aiming for graphics power in the realm of the PSX or PSP. Considering we already have PS1 emulators running on Android, this is perfectly reasonable. To help out with the demands of mobile gaming, the gaming-specific controls would slide out like we are used to in landscape slider phones along with a "long touch pad" rather than the joystick nub that PSP owners would be familiar with.
Other specs for the phone are what you would expect from a high-end device: 3.7- or 4.1-inch screen, at least WVGA resolution (800x480), a non-final 5MP camera, and a 1 GHz Snapdragon CPU. It seems like Sony Ericsson will be putting a custom skin on the device, which we (sadly) have cometo expectas of late. It also seems like Google is deeply involved with the device, and a special section of the Android Market will be created for titles that would require the added power and physical buttons on the phone. Other phones and devices might be able to see the games at some point "if their specs and button layouts meet requirements." Rumored games include members of the Modern Warfare (aka Call of Duty) and God of War franchises.
Price and launch date are vague at best, with October being listed as the earliest possible. In addition, no mention was made of what carrier(s) the phone would arrive on or in what countries, so it is wide open at the moment. Still, this looks to be where Sony is aiming for their future mobile gaming efforts. As such, it should have a great backing from the gaming industry. So, who wants one? [Engadet]
Evernote has updated their excellent Android application to include a widget (pictured), the 'send to Evernote function' (also pictured), pinch zooming within a note, note caching, and a slew of performance tweaks and bug fixes. For those who don't know, Evernote is a cross platform note application with great clients on both mobile and desktop operating systems. We've talked about Evernote a bit before, and you Android Central Podcast listeners know how much Mickey and I enjoy it. This update makes an already great Android application even better. Evernote users, check for the update in the Market, and those who want to check it out for the first time can get the download details after the break. [Evernote Blog via @Sethjk on Twitter]
OK, so it's a little wrong to put the Droid 2 eye live wallpaper on a Nexus One. But it's also very, very right. It's a simple install, and you don't have to be rooted to do it. You just need a phone that can handle live wallpapers. Hit up the source link for the download info. [XDA Developers]
Update: If you're getting a parsing error, try getting the apk onto your phone through a different method. (I used Dropbox, or you can try the Sideload Wonder Machine)
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