Want the stock Gingerbread keyboard with a little extra oomph in the text prediction? Check out the A.I.type keyboard. It's currently in beta but is pretty darn stable. The gist is this: You get the stock Gingerbread keyboard with some pretty good text prediction. It claims to be able to save you 75 percent of keystrokes (or taps, we gather). Don't think we'd go quite that far, but the prediction is rather accurate, and we'd expect it to get better in future releases. Also, text prediction requires a data connection. So if you're in BFE, you might be SOL.
A.I.type currently supports multiple languages, voice recognition, keyboard themes. It's free in the current beta, and we've got promo video and download links after the break. [A.I.type]
This week we decided to switch it up a little bit, and bring you a special edition of our favorite weekly applications. Not only are these some of our favorite applications, but all of this week's pick require root access on your device. Be sure to join us after the break to take a look at some of these applications!
Busting up some blocks on a cell phone goes way back, and has always been a fun way to pass some time. If you came from a BlackBerry you are probably very familiar with Brick Breaker, and may have missed it when you made the switch. Well, miss no more, because the folks over at MCurrent have blessed us with Block Busta, an Android game that is fun, yet challenging.
The free version contains five stages, while the paid version contains 25 with three rounds of blocks on each. Both versions available in the Android market, and the paid version will only run you roughly $2.15 and is sure to deliver hours of fun. Hit the break for download links.
After getting into a battle with Twitter over its use of Twitter's real-time search access, the folks from Scoopler have moved on and have now released their Just Spotted celebrity tracking application to the Android Market. As described in their press release, the Alpha version release allows you to:
Receive push notifications whenever a celebrity is spotted in your area. Check out the list of nearby spottings to see other spottings near you or click ‘everywhere’ to see the latest spottings world-wide. Click any spotting for more details.
Stalkerish? Certainly, but that's pretty much what they are going for here -- if all you Justin Bieber fans out there are ever going to have a chance at meeting him, you'll first need to know where he is. Jump on past the break for the full press release.
After having earned user approval after a long open beta testing period, LinkedIn for Android has finally hit the Android Market and is now ready for mass consumption. If you are looking to download the app you will need a device running Android 2.1 or higher. You'll find the current release sitting at v1.0.0.
Having done some of the beta testing myself I can say overall, the application is built rather well. No doubt it'll see some updates as it gets into the hands of more users but for now, it's certainly worth a look if you're looking to maintain your account on the go If you've got a LinkedIn account and haven't grabbed it, jump on past the break for the download link.
With The Masters golf tournament starting today, it's nice to see that an official app has been released for anyone looking to keep up to date on the action. The Masters app has some nice features added to it, and it even works on the Motorola Xoom -- although it's not fully optimized for it.
Real time scoring - Interact with the live Leader Board, which features up-to-the-minute scoring and video highlights of the greatest moments on the course
Course overview - Detailed course information with imagery, flyover videos, and par and yardage for each of the Masters Tournament’s prestigious 18 holes
Live radio - Live streaming radio coverage from Augusta National
Comprehensive news coverage - Pairings, tee times, player information, alerts, and all of the latest news and updates from the Masters Tournament.
If you're not able to catch The Masters at home or just want to check out the app while taking it all, the official app is available in the Android Market right now for free. Jump on past the break for the download link and images of it on the Motorola Xoom. [Android Central Forums]
The Amazon Appstore got itself a little update tonight -- it's now at version 1.08 -- and we'd start to get excited about it if we had any idea what was changed. But, hey, an updated app is always better than an un-updated app, unless it breaks something. And, oh, look at that. Icons are missing. That's likely not because of the update, but we'll point fingers anyway.
And FlightBoard's now optimized for tablets. You get about 15 flight listings for a given airport when you're looking at it in landscape (horizontal mode). Tap a flight and you have options to share it over e-mail, chat, Twitter, etc., or you can open it up in the FlightTrack companion app and get even more details. And with FlightBoard, you also get:
Get real-time status for any flight in the world with automatic updates every 5 minutes.
Access over 4000 airports and 1400 airlines worldwide.
View FlightBoard on home screen with Live Wallpaper.
Seamlessly switch between Departures and Arrivals view.
Easily share flight info with friends and family via Twitter, Facebook, SMS and E-mail.
Instantly narrow results via an exceptional search interface.
Save flights in FlightTrack and FlightTrack Pro for real-time tracking.
FlightBoard's a tad pricey at $3.99, and you're really going to need to be a travel nerd for this, but we'd love to see it, say, sitting on an Android tablet in an airport lounge somewhere. Download links are after the break.
As we first told you last night, a developer test Market has surfaced, along with a new version of the Music application from Google. Here's your (and mine) chance to get some hands-on time with both, as they have been leaked out in the Android Central forums. Your're warned to have a full backup before trying these, and mentions a few different methods to install them. On stock Android 2.3.3, they both installed and overwrote the normal system apps, but your mileage may vary.
We also have a bit of new anonymous information about exactly what we're seeing:
"As for the test bed it is actually the android developers market related testing site for new versions of the market, security fixes, and the new in-app billing. Gallery 3D & Desk Clock are not available on gingerbread devices, Camera v12 is a redesigned camera that only has a different icon and background color inside the app. And the Android Music Store can only be accessed if you have an android music account."
As I said last night, it's pretty cool to get a peek behind the scenes of Google's closed-source stuff, even if most of it isn't that useful. You can find a link to both the Market and Music app at the source, with no guarantees how long either will work -- so hurry, hackers :)
We also have a couple more pictures of the Music player after the break. [Android Central forums] Thanks, Anonymous!
Domino Solitaire is a new puzzle game on the Android Market, and I, for one, am loving it. It's a great way to spend a little quiet time exercising your gray matter, and it's fun. Some puzzle games are too easy to offer a challenge, while some are too difficult to make you want to return for more. Domino Solitaire falls right into the in-between space that makes a great app. Paired with the big 10.1 inch display on the Motorola Xoom, and it's something we had to take a better look at.
The premise is simple -- a domino deck is used to draw a board, and you have to try to find out which domino is which. It's not as easy as it sounds, because each domino will fit in multiple places until you start getting some of them filled in. It sounds much more confusing than it really is, and in just a few minutes you'll have it down and be hunting dominoes like a pro. As a bonus, you also have the game Buccaneer Domino, which ramps up the difficulty a bit. The objective is to place the double tiled dominoes on the bottom of seven stacks. You can move dominoes from one stack to another, as long as at least one side of each matches. The trick is that each stack can only hold five tiles, so there's a lot of strategy involved. I haven't been able to beat this one yet, but I'm having a lot of fun trying.
Both games have clear and easy-to-understand gameplay, and should provide a lot of fun to anyone who is a fan of relaxed single-player games. Domino Solitaire is free on the Market for Android 2.0.1 and up, works on both phones and tablets, and will install to the SD card on Android 2.2 or higher. The download link, and a video are after the break.
This isn't, strictly speaking, just an Android issue. But enough of you Android peeps have pinged us over ESPN's text alert service no longer working on Sprint's network that we'll make an exception. It seems you're getting a text message that declares:
Alerts Unavailable Dear Sprint / Boost / Nextel / Virgin Mobile subscribers, ESPN Alerts are no longer available from your carrier. We apologize for the inconvenience, however, our service is available across most other US Carriers.
And that sucks. Because ESPN's also announcing this on its text alert sign-up page, We're willing to bet it's a money thing (when is it not?) and that it has nothing to do with your using an Android phone. (Which makes you a pretty awesome person.) And unfortunately it means Boost, Virgin and Nextel are caught in the crossfire. Let's hope they get this worked out soonest. But in the meantime, you could give a full-fleged ESPN app a shot. [ESPN] Thanks to everyone who sent this in.
Update: And just like that, we get a tip about what's really going on. Here 'tis:
It's not a "money thing" in the traditional sense. They didn't give us a real clear picture of what's going on, but ESPN offers these messages free of charge to ESPN.com members, and Sprint is going to start charging their customers for each individual text message, regardless of having an unlimited messaging package. ESPN really isn't going to put up with it being "free," yet not free.
I'll admit, coming from mostly a BlackBerry background I struggled when hopping onto Android in finding some apps that fit my needs. Not due to lack of apps, but mostly due to the fact there were so many to choose from. RSS readers, for example, was one genre in particular that stuck out as having plenty of options, but none that seemingly fulfilled my needs.
Luckily, I came across GoodNews Google Reader, which fit nicely into what I was looking for. Given that I maintain a lot of RSS feeds, GoodNews handles them and the sharing aspect of RSS feeds quite nicely. The ability to listen to and play podcasts from with the app itself was an added bonus. While in beta the app did have some rough edges but for the most part they are now a thing of the past. Jump on past the break for a full list of features built into the app.
The WWE's "Tough Enough" wrestling reality show returns to the USA Network tonight at 11:05 p.m. EST -- right after Wrestlemania XXVII and "Raw" -- and along with it comes a brand new Android application. It's designed to be used while you watch the show, with check-in features that allow you to compete against your friends, plus hidden features that will be unlocked during the show. You'll also earn points that can be redeemed through USA's Tough Club program, chat with your friends and other "Tough Enough" fans during the program.
Android and the WWE. Nice. Look for the app to go live this evening. We've got more screenshots after the break. [Tough Enough]
Widgets are a big part of Android, providing information at a glance without having to go through the steps of opening an application. Beautiful Widgets has been a long time favorite of both fan and Android Central staff alike, and when we heard that Levelup Studio had released a public beta of a tablet version, we had to go hands-on. It's not perfect -- beta software never is -- but it's stable, and lives up to the beautiful part of the app name. Having said that, the toggle widgets aren't 100 percent just yet, but the clocks, weather, and battery widgets work like a champ.
Hit the break to see a quick video of them in action on the Xoom, as well as a download link for both the public beta and the full, paid Market version (Android 1.5 and up) and a link to the wallpaper before you even have to ask. [Android Central forums]
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