Not quite sure the stock Android 2.2 keyboard is going to take over the top spot from some of our favorites, but it's definitely getting better. Used to be to type a number or symbol, you'd have to hit the button at the lower left, then hit the key you want. Let's just say I was not a fan.
Now to get a number or symbol, all you have to do is swipe your finger toward to top of the screen from the qwerty row of the keyboard, and you get 'em. It's a small improvement, but definitely a welcome one.
But, wait, there's more. Hold down the ?123 key to bring up the option (OK, that's not new, but it's still good to know). Even better, though, is if you have more than one language installed. If that's the case, you can easily switch from an English QWERTY keyboard to the German QWERTZ keyboard by swiping left and right on the space bar. Huzzah!
(Thanks, Ceasar! Find a cool new feature in Froyo and want to tell the world about it? E-mail us here and we'll make you famous!)
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We've been using Vlingo during its brief beta process, and now you can too, as it's finally in the Android Market. In a nutshell, Vlingo takes the place of Google's built-in voice-to-text service, but it goes even farther (and dare we say, at times works better). In addition to allowing you to dictate just about anything to your heart's content, it also will read incoming text messages and e-mails, which is great for when you're driving. (Though let's hope we get some better voices for that in the near future.)
Vlingo's available now in the Android Market [link] for $9.99. Check out video of it in action after the break.
Let's take a quick look at multitouch on the Sprint Evo 4G, shall we? In daily use, it's been holding up just fine. Pinch-to-zoom works as it should, and the touchscreen is as responsive as you'd expect.
In comparing it to the Nexus One -- which has well-documented quirks with its touchscreen -- the Evo 4G seems to pass our little test OK. (And here's our video of multitouch on the Verizon Droid Incredible, too.) The points didn't follow my fingers quite as quickly as I might have liked, but, again, real-life use hasn't been impacted.
The Garminfone runs Android 1.6 (boo) with a 600MHz processor, 3.5-inch display, and 3-megapixel camera. Sure we wish all phones that release now ran Froyo but we can't have it all. At least you're promised the best navigational Android device on the market. Well, hopefully, or this Garminfone has no point. [via engadget mobile]
Yep, there it is. The Motorola Droid Shadow, same as we just saw in some promo material. This one was found and napped in a corporate Verizon gym in Washington, then sent on to Gizmodo. It reportedly contained a text message confirming it is "unreleased" and then was remotely wiped.
That's a 4.3-inch screen you see there (same as on the Evo 4G -- and like the Evo, it likely isn't AMOLED or anything, that we're OK with that). It also is said to have an 8MP camera and will shot 720p video (again, like the Evo), 16GB of internal storage, a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and HDMI out (again, like the Evo). And have we mentioned this thing pretty much is spec'd out exactly like the Evo 4G?
Anyhoo, if anybody else has an unreleased phone they want to leave lying around, we'll be at the Abeline Sizzler about 7:30 tonight for their "Show Mama a Good Night Out" promotion. [Gizmodo]
Before today, overclocking a Motorola Milestone was mostly just a dream, because of the way the boot partition is locked up. But no more. Thanks to some pure genius (something we're getting used to when talking Android), you can now rev up your RPMs (erm, or clock cycles) on the Milestone, and all you need is to make sure your phone is rooted. Additionally, you’ll be able to overclock the Milestone to 1.2GHz, just like the Droid, which should provide a significant speed boost. This method works by actually changing the structures in the kernel’s memory runtime via an injected kernel module, which means you could turn up your CPU before playing a game, or turn it down to save battery life; all without having to reboot the system. Be sure to check out the in-depth instructions. [Milestone Overclock code page via XDA Developers] Thanks, Tiago!
One of the biggest thorns in Android's side so far has been lack of Bluetooth voice dialing. (These are phones, after all.) For those of you on-the-go who need to safely use the phone features without touching it you now have the option in Android 2.2.
Once your device is paired and connected, a press of the action key brings up what you see above. You're greeted by a female robotic voice who also repeats your instructions. Seems fairly accurate (as accurate as my Blackberry or Pre), and worked well with both a Motorola MOTOROKR S305 set and a Jawbone Icon in my testing. Shout out Froyo-ers -- does your headset work, and how's your Bluetooth experience on 2.2?
The Motorola i1 is actually a rather decent phone for those in the iDEN market -- it packs a 5-megapixel camera, gorilla glass screen, and is Military Spec 810F certified for blowing rain, dust, shock, vibration, temperature extremes, low pressure, salt fog, humidity and solar radiation. Now that's a spec list for you. The i1 also comes preloaded with Opera Mini 5 (and the native browser too) and Swype, so in all, a pretty decent option for those looking for a rugged handset. [via southernlinc and MobileCrunch]
All our friends across the pond, as well as any expatriates living in our neck of the woods have a new application to check out. Heck, even us yanks could do well with a little English culture added to our lives. The London Evening Standard and Handmark have joined together and now the popular tabloid style London daily paper can be read right from your Android device.
Hit the break for the full press release, as well as a few screenshots. Now if you'll pardon me, it's time for tea here in Appalachia.
That's right, we're not nearly done with the Google IO cover. Here we have the LG Ally, a mid-level Android phone that's going for $99 after rebate with Verizon. In and of itself, it's not a bad little phone. But when you consider that you can get another horizontal slider on Verizon -- what's it called? Oh, yeah, the Motorola Droid -- for next to nothing these days, it's kind of a tough sell.
The keyboard itself wasn't bad, but the overall experience (and we take this with a slight grain of salt given that who knows how many people used this thing before us) was a bit sluggish and, again, just not as quick as the Droid.
Likely in anticipation of the upcoming T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide launch, the original myTouch is now available for free from T-Mobile (with new two-year contract). Remember, the myTouch 3G started off as the second Android device ever and turned into T-Mobile's flagship Android device (it still gets tons of commercials!)--it was definitely a solid phone from Android's previous generation. But with the myTouch 3G Slide besting the myTouch 3G in every way, it was due for a huge price cut. If you really want a myTouch, we'd wait until June 2nd for the myTouch 3G Slide. It doesn't make sense to invest in the previous generation anymore, even if it is for free. [t-mobile via tmonews]
When the Nexus One first came out, there was some question about wireless N. Mainly why didn't it work. N1 users who were rooted and running Cyanogen Mod started seeing some 802.11n goodness last month, but now it's official. Wireless N support is included in Froyo. You probably won't notice much speed difference (at least I didn't) as even the Snapdragon processor can only process so much information. But the increase in signal strength and range is awesome -- especially for spending a Sunday morning out on the deck reading the news with a pot of coffee and a cigar. I used to have to depend on Sprint 3G and my Hero to do that, but Froyo lets me bring the N1 out for some fresh air and to join the party.
(Thanks, John (and Google)! Find a cool new feature in Froyo and want to tell the world about it? E-mail us here and we'll make you famous!)
Location based services have become very popular, as we all know. Gowalla, one of the more common applications, started as an iPhone application, and since their Android development has began the application has come a long way. Gowalla 2.0 was just released, and let's take a look at it after the break.