The Swype keyboard has been incredibly popular, despite not being openly (or legally, for that matter) available for download for Android. But Swype just opened up a beta program for our beloved platform. Here's what you need to know:
Been holding your breath waiting for the "I am T-Pain" auto-tune app to come to Android? Ain't gonna hAAAaaa-pen. At least right now. In an interview with All Things D's Peter Kafka, Smule co-founder and CEO Jeff Smith lays out his reasons for avoiding Android, including having to contend with multiple versions of the operating system.
"Android is not in the plans for Smule," he said. "We just don't see an opportunity for us to make money short-term on Android."
"We love what Google's doing, we're really excited about it ... and people are using their products. The challenges with Android are -- the retail distrubution is not clear for us, and we don't see how we could monetize through their current distribution. It's not one platform. ... So, from the developer standpoint, it's expensive to get into Android."
Hard to blame the man for wanting to make a living. So, no official T-Pain auto-tune on Android. And you know what, we're OK with that.) Video of the interview after the break. [All Things D]
Update: OK, OK. I get it. I've been learned a thing or three over this one. So have at me in the comments, call me a bad person, throw things at my dog, whatever. I only hope one day we'll wake up an our long national multitouch nightmare will be over. :P
Let the debate continue! Earlier this week we saw a pretty damning video that illustrated how multitouch on the Motorola Droid was "better" than on the Nexus One, or that the Nexus One's multitouch is "broken." That was shown with and app called Multitouch Visible Test.
Here's our own unscientific test using a different app, called MultiTouch Visualizer. While it actually runs a little more smoothly on the Droid, it doesn't have nearly the same problem tracking multiple points on the Nexus One that Multitouch Visible Test had.
So what do we take away from this, aside from finding a bug in an app? So long as multitouch works well in the app in which you need it, we wouldn't worry too much. But you don't have to take our word for it. You can download Multitouch Visable Test and MultiTouch Visualizer from the Android Market and try it yourself.
Our pals at JK on the Run put up an excellent piece today breaking down Google's supposed (or blatant, depending on who you ask) favoritism regarding the latest OS versions, features, etc. Basically it boils down to this: Has Google put some of the latest features (i.e. Buzz, Google Maps Navigation) on the most current hardware with the newest builds? Absolutely. And why wouldn't you show off your best software on the best hardware? Writes Kevin C. Tofel:
I ask myself: if I were Google and I wanted to rock out a new app and build the biggest buzz, I’d get it on the heartiest hardware first so it really shines from a performance perspective. I’d also pair it with hardware designed to show it off — the Droid car dock morphs what’s essentially a software product into a look-alike, standalone GPS device.
And as for your older Android phone not yet rocking Version 2.0 or 2.1, remember that unless it's the Nexus One (or the G1, we suppose), updating devices such as the Motorola Cliq -- or the Cliq XT ... or the Devour -- is going to some doing, as Motoroblur is only on Android 1.6 at current. And that's not Google's fault.
Who chose to put Android 1.6 on this new Android device? It certainly wasn’t Google. If you have to “blame” someone, choose either Motorola who made the phone or Verizon who decided to sell the phone. All Google does for this phone is provide versions of it’s mobile platform to the phone maker.
Those are all points we've argued before, and we bet we'll be arguing them for some time to come. Is the platform fractured? Yep. But that's not Google's fault, just as it wasn't Microsoft's fault when Windows Mobile (RIP) saw itself running in various versions on a number of devices. [JK on the Run]
If you have a hankering for the HTC Desire and HTC Legend and happen not to live in the United States (or don't mind paying out the yin-yang), AmazonUK's got you covered. The newest Android phones from HTC will be released, the online retailer says, on April 1.
No movement on Day 3 of the Apple-HTC patent saga (or quagmire, actually). Hey, we said this thing's gonna take years. But it did bring another round of analysis. Today's featured piece comes from The New York Times, and it comes with a pretty graphic showing who's suing whom in the patent world.
And to that we say: "So what?" There are plenty of legitimate reasons for one company to file a lawsuit against another. It happens every day. It will happen tomorrow. Writes the NYT's Nick Bilton:
Although patent litigation is not new in the technology world, these suits, specifically around mobile, point to the drastically changing mobile landscape. Lawyers I spoke with explained that mobile technology was still in its infancy and these large computing companies were trying to stake their claim to the future of computing.
The process of these fights is important, but don't stay up at night worrying about it. Instead, show some patience and wait for th eend result. Or the End of Days ... whichever comes first.
The folks at Degasis.net have offered up 10 free cases to 10 lucky AndroidCentral readers. And let's just get down to it: Leave a comment below and tell us an instance when you wish you'd had a case on your phone. Drop your Nexus One? Send your myTouch on a spill? We wanna hear about it.
The fine print: Cases are currently available for the Nexus One and myTouch lines. Only leave one comment in this thread; we're ignoring duplicates. Contest ends at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. Get to it!
The Motorola Devour (running Android 1.6 with Motoblur on Verizon) made its here this morning, and we've had a couple minutes to give it the what-for. Despite playing second fiddle to the Motorola Droid at least as far as specs are concerned -- smaller screen, less powerful processor, etc. -- it's a very well-crafted smartphone.
The Devour has a Sidekick-esqe form factor. Instead of the keyboard sliding out, the screen slides up to expose four rows on which to type. Having letters on either side of the space bar is going to take some getting used to. And the base of the phone is carved out of a single piece of aluminum and (what isn't these days?) feels very nice in the hand. The slider mechanism isn't as stiff as on the Droid, which is a good thing.
We'll have a full review in a few days. In the meantime, join us after the break for a brief hands-on video.
So for reasons that currently escape us, Samsung has decided to release a commercial showcasing the Samsung Behold II--yep, that middling Android 1.5, TouchWiz UI running phone that never picked up much steam when it was released way back in November. The commercial is a nice spot, we think the stylizing is done rather nicely, but why devote new advertising space to a phone that clearly needs an update? And why so long after release? This would have been more effective if the ad onslaught started in Thanksgiving. And if Samsung wanted to wait this long, they should have waited until Android 2.1 was running on the Behold II to re-introduce it.
Otherwise, timing and TouchWiz UI issues aside, the spot is pretty cool, huh? Check out the full commercial after the break!
For those of you still rotting away stuck on Android 1.5 or 1.6, we thought we'd do a little hands-on with the new Google Gesture search, which is only available on Android 2.0 and up. Because we're sadists and love twisting the knife every chance we get doing the best we can to help get your phones upgraded.
If you are like me and Google is slowing taking over everything you know (in a good way), you have probably downloaded and tried out Google Chrome. One of the great things about Google Chrome has always been the custom skins. While surfing the net and checking out new themes for Chrome, one by the name of “Robot Theme” jumped out, and after taking a look at it I noticed it was basically an Android theme for your browser.
While the theme isn’t an exact Android theme, it is pretty close and pretty slick looking when applied to the Chrome browser. Check it out, and let us know what you think of it, or if you know of any other Android related themes for your browser. [via Android and Me]
Archos is releasing two tablets soon called the Archos 7 and Archos 8.
The Archos 7 home tablet which is a pretty basic 7-inch touchscreen with an ARM9 CPU meaning your not going to get the faster web browsing experience. But this device is extremely portable, runs on Android,can connect to Wifi, and has a usb port to connect to. This tablet comes in memory sizes of 2GB and 8GB for a suggest retail price of 149 and 179 euros. This is a pretty basic tablet that in which you are getting exactly what you pay for.
More about the Archos 8 and watch the video after the break
Yes, yes, Microsoft has released its Microsoft Tag app -- which has been around for a while on Windows Mobile -- for Android. A little background: Microsoft Tag codes are a lot like those black-and-white QR codes you often see on this site. But the MS Tags can hold more information and, let's face it, they just look cooler.
But here's the continuing problem we have: It's yet another standard that has to be adopted. And right now, they're not compatible. Microsoft Tag Reader doesn't scan QR codes, and something like Barcode Scanner doesn't scan Microsoft Tags. Hopefully that will change, because it's a huge hurdle in Microsoft's quest to get its standard adopted. (And if there is an app out there that does both, let us know, huh?
Go ahead, download Microsoft Tag (it kept crashing on my Nexus One, by the way), and give it a shot with the code you see here. Now try it with Barcode Scanner.
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