We have previously seen Bluetooth keyboards paired with rooted devices, and all of that fun hackery, but this time we have a very simple, straightforward solution that can be used on a stock Android device. Share Keyboard is an application that will allow users to use their computer keyboard to type notes, emails, or any other messages for their Android device right from their computer.
The way this works is after a user sets Share Keyboard as their input method, they are then given a URL at the bottom of the screen, which they visit from a computer. After visiting this from a computer they are then able to type, and watch it all appear on their Android screen after they have finished typing and clicked the send to phone. Additionally, if you found yourself in the middle of an e-mail that got longer then expected, you can pull the text from the phone, sync it to the website, finish the message and sync back to the phone for easy sending. For those who want an easy solution, without the need for root and flashing custom ROM's on your device, this application is definitely a great way to achieve easy typing on your Android device. [Android Zoom via Android Central Forums]
Two pieces of news for any readers in the land of the rising sun -- Softbank Mobile announced that they will be selling the Desire HD in mid November, with reservations being taken starting Oct 15; and the Froyo rollout for the original Desire has been halted for devices with OLED screens.
It's hard to find anything more exciting than a Froyo update, but the news that the Desire HD will be launching just might do it. We've seen it for Europe, and on Vodaphone specifically, but so far all we've heard or seen for those of us in the states is T-Mobile's MyTouch HD version. Wouldn't this be a beast on AT&T? [Softbank Mobile (Japanese)] Thanks Christopher!
It's that time again folks, when we share a few of our finds over the past week. So have a look at what some of your favorite Android geeks are using, and hopefully we can narrow the choices down for you just a little bit.
Googler Tim Bray has posted more details about the Android Market rollout to new countries on the Android Developers blog. As always, it's an excellent read chock full of tips and instructions for developers, there's a bit of information for the end user we want to pass along to everyone about setting up your Android phone to take advantage of the new Market. If you've had paid applications all along, you're good to go but if you're in one of the new countries (Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, and Taiwan) you'll want to pay attention to the following:
For users to make a purchase of paid apps in these countries, they must have the latest Android Market client, which we have started to make available as a self-update and should reach all users within the next few days. This is a silent update; users will not see a notification and will not be prompted to do anything. If you want to accelerate the self-update process, launch Android Market, navigate back to the Home screen, and after 5-10 minutes, relaunch it.
If you haven't already received the clien update, give it a try and enjoy the complete version of the Market! [Android Developers Blog]
Last month when we brought you news of the new 1GHz myTouch, buried in the press release was a mention of a new Yahoo app with a feature we're all very excited about --video chat. Some of the substantial advantages this app has over other video chat applications (including those on other operating systems, ahem, iOS) are:
Not restricted to Wi-Fi
Large user base
Cross-platform capabilities; can be used between Android, Mac and PC
Unfortunately, along with the benefit of it not being restricted to Wi-Fi (its exclusion from the cross-platform list should have been another good hint,) comes the news everyone expected: the app will not be available for iOS users. Good thing we’re with Android, right? [via Reuters]
How easy is it to push an Adobe AIR app to the Android Market? Let's watch Adobe's Lee Brimelow create a very simple test app for Adobe AIR, compile and distribute to the Android Market -- in about 6 minutes. It's that simple, folks. We can already imagine Adobe AIR giving the Android App Inventor a run for its money. And given that there are so many AIR developers out there already, it's time for a whole new crop of Android apps, folks. video at the source link. [gotoAndLearn()]
Andy Rubin recently sat down with PCMag for an in-depth Q&A session about Android and some of the hottest topics surrounding the OS. For those who don't know, Rubin is one of the founders of Android and currently is a VP at Google, overseeing the development of Android. Check out his talk with Sascha Segan at the source link, including answers on customizations ("the OEMs seem to learn pretty quickly what sells and what doesn't sell"), Gingerbread and where he stands on other platforms. [PCMag]
That's not any sort of optical illusion -- Android developer DJ_Steve has ported Froyo to the Dell Streak, and has made the files available for download. Be warned, this is no easy process, and there are some known issues, but it appears that most of the early adopters are having a successful (and fun) time with Android 2.2 on that big 5 inch screen. It's pure vanilla for the time being, but Steve is the head developer for the Streak port of CyanogenMod, so that's on the horizon. Hit the source for the download link and instructions, and there's a video after the break. [Modaco via StreakSmart] Thanks @SooGoh!
AppBrain has just updated its website and Android app to allow users to send text, URLs, and even wallpapers right to their phone from their browser of choice. Sending text or URLs copies it to your clipboard, so you just need to long-press somewhere to paste the text. As for wallpapers, you can enter in the URL location of the image or upload one yourself and it will be automatically sent to your phone and set as the background. The image I tested this on was quite large, but the process went so fast that it was already on my phone by the time my hand could go from my mouse to the wake button on my DInc. Impressive, to say the least.
These features should make a great replacement for Chrome to Phone for anyone not on Froyo, so go check it out now. Links to the app are after the break, and anyone with an account can goto their "My Apps" page to see the new features in the toolbar along the right side. [AppBrain]
Phil, Jerry and Cory tackle the day of reckoning -- a dozen Android smartphones released in 24 hours, including the Motorola Droid Pro on Verizon. Plus, a bonus chat about "openness" with Rene Ritchie from TiPb.com.
We've all used software that would be oh-so-perfect if that one nasty bug got squashed, and Lance Gilmore, Product Operations Manager at T-Mobile, is no exception. Apparently, I'm not the only person with a shiny new G2 that has been having problems with Google Listen asking for a Gmail account after I've already entered it, nor are the other folks reporting the bug over at the Google Listen discussion list. But lo and behold, Lance gets results. In other words -- Lance Does. Google Listen received an update to fix this particular bug mere hours after someone with a better title than "Hillbilly Blogger" chimed in on the issue. So if you were seeing this problem, update and give it a try.
Authors note: This one's satire folks. I'm pretty sure the good people at Google Labs were working on the issue long before Mr. Gilmore arrived on the scene. I'm also sure big G and Mr. Gilmore will be good sports about it. And if not, you'll see my post about my self destructing G2 in the very near future! [Google listen-discuss]
The Desire HD. File this one under "things we'd love to see in the United States," which is another way of saying "We'd like to see AT&T offer some seriously high-end Android smartphones not called Samsung Captivate." You probably heard of the Desire HD as the "EVO 4G for Europe" and while that's not far from the truth, the addition of the Sense 2.0 Cloud features as well as the subtle updates throughout Sense (like a most-recently-used list of apps in the notification dropdown) add up to a new package that surpasses the EVO 4G experience by a slim margin.
Also surpassing the EVO 4G by a slim margin: the overall design and feel of the Sense HD. It feels just a bit more solid and the subtle touches on the back of the phone show that HTC often does a better job presenting a unique package before they make deals with carriers.
T-Mobile has released its official response to the G2 "rootkit" controversy with a very short press release. It doesn't really say anything the development community hasn't already figured out -- the G2 was built in a way that provides a safety rollback in case the system gets corrupted. The response does state that it's a software issue, and the buck was passed along to HTC. You can read the mini-presser after the break, but one question I feel a need to ask -- if the "subset of highly technical users who may want to modify and re-engineer their devices at the code level" is so small, why spend the money to prevent them from owning the hardware they paid $499.99 plus taxes for?
In the interest of being fair and balanced (and a little smarmy) I'll also present the response of one highly respected member of the Android development community:
Seriously, @HTC @TMobile your little G2 "omg no hackers" thing is a joke, we're very close. Just need kernel source, GPL ring a bell?
The G2 is a great phone. In fact, I think it's the best Android phone I've ever used. T-Mobile customer care went above and beyond to help me get everything switched over. Don't make me regret buying it. [T-Mobile, @ChrisSoyars]
Driving is a tricky thing at times, make one wrong directional decision and you could be stuck in hours of traffic. Waze is a great application that brings users to skip the rush. This application, which was recently just update to version 2.0, allows drivers to report accidents, traffic back ups, road closures and more, and others can then view them in real time to know where not to go.
With this update they brought a great new feature which they call Local Driving Groups which allows brands and media a way to tap into certain groups of users and engage them in a more meaningful way. Whether you are a heavy traveler, or just a casual driver around the town, this application is a must have to keep you in the know, and to be able to report to others if you are the unlucky one stuck in the jam. Download link after the break.
Healthy lifestyles are important to many people, and with hectic lives, and always being on the go it can be difficult to maintain without proper tools. The folks at 24 Hour Fitness have launched an application, My24, which allows users to keep track of all their fitness needs on the go. While the application was developed for the members of their club, it is also available to the general public without any log in information required.
Users will be able to have quick access at their fingertips to the club finder, club details and class schedules with the click of a button, in addition to an extensive video library that will help them understand how to use the machines and maximize their workouts. Additionally users will be able to track their Body Mass Index, calories burned during workouts and a daily calorie calculator so it is easy to tell if your consumption is in a healthy range. Applications promoting personal fitness and ways to assist have become rather popular, and there are several options, but if you are looking for something with extra functionality, and a clean interface be sure to give My24 a shot. Download information after the break. [via BusinessWire]
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