Phil Nickinson

Good lord, it's December already. How did that happen? That means we've got about a month before CES in Las Vegas. For you new folks, CES is the first major event of the year, though it's definitely more focused on consumer electronics than mobile. But that doesn't mean there won't be more than enough to keep us busy.

We might still see a minor release or two this month, but more than likely we're done with the major phone announcements until 2013.

And now, for a few more quick thoughts on this fine Sunday morning ...

  • I'd like to think I know a thing or three about Android. A decent judge of both hardware and software. But while I can bang out 1,000 words on why I think application like Falcon Pro is pretty damn good (though certainly not perfect) to me, reading Romain Guy's breakdown of why hiccups happen is an excellent reminder of just how much work goes into apps to make them as good as they can possibly be. Remember that the next time you bitch about an update taking longer than you'd like. Or the next time you refuse to pony up a buck or two for an app. Whether it's a Twitter app or a clock or something a little more intricate, good devs work hard. [Update: And look at that, Falcon's dev has already updated the app with these recommendations. How's about that?)
  • I'm inclined to side with WPCentral's Daniel Rubino, who doesn't believe a single job listing for a Linux expert means Nokia is making an Android phone. Those dots are just too tempting to connect without actually being supported by any real facts. Yes, Android is built on Linux. So's a hell of a lot of other stuff. And Nokia's been bringing its maps app to other platforms. One new twist, though -- that LinkedIn job listing is "no longer active." Try not to speculate too hard over that. [Update: Nokia's Doug Dawson confirms on Twitter that the job listing was for Nokia Maps support, not some Android phone.]
  • In case you didn't notice on Tuesday, Google still kinda sucks at selling things. Maybe that's not quite fair, but certainly its retail side of the Google Play store still isn't robust enough to handle the nerd crush of a Nexus launch. Wonder how much of that was because of naturally heavy traffic, but certainly the publicizing of ways to bash the hell out of the webpages even more quickly didn't help matters.
  • I noticed after updating my Nexus 7 to Android 4.2 that the new Android keyboard with its swiping input is now set as the default input. And on my Galaxy Nexus, SwiftKey was completely uninstalled. A quick search finds a smattering of such reports. (SwiftKey forums, Reddit, Google+, Twitter) Let's hope that's the result of some sort of weird bug (certainly seems there are enough of those lately) with the addition of the new keyboard in Android 4.2, and not something more sinister. (Remember that SwiftKey¬†is about to launch its new tracing keyboard, SwiftKey Flow.) Google purposefully breaking third-party keyboards in favor of its own? I shudder to think. Anybody seen this sort of things with other third-party keyboards after the update?
  • In case you missed it, we're stuffing stockings with Google Play Gift Cards all month long, and each of the 31 winners is in the running for a Nexus 4. Full details here!

See ya'll this week!


Reader comments

From the Editor's Desk: Nokia doing Android, disappearing keyboards, and other quick hits


no thoughts on what we might be seeing that's = mind blown @ CES?
also, who should we be looking to for those Nexus accessories? the googs, the relevant hardware partners?
maybe I should write in to the podcast with these questions; also something I always look forward to from ac.

donkey chain & keep up the good work

Mindblowing would be Samsung's new Amoled screen that can be bent around and is unbreakable, it was shown in pics to bend forward and backwards.

oddly my Swype has been force closing since I starting trying out the new keyboard on my gnex running 4.2.1.... hmmm. may be nothing or is it?

There are a few post about this on the swype blogs. Don't uninstall it because you won't be able to get it back. However, there's no word of a fix from the swype beta team last I looked which was Friday.

Asking followers to be patient for updates is a frequent message at Android Central. And I agree, you need to give the software folks time to work the bugs out. But often its their own darn fault. Phone makers in particular are chomping at the bit to announce they, too, are updating to the latest os, then sit back in a veil of silence for months while they tweak to make the software work on their device.

So how much time is enough? And when are we being impatient? If the manufacturers take 6 months and the software is still buggy, did they rush too quickly to market? How about 9 months? Certainly 1 year! Its a bit of an open ended pipe. But the danger is if the software is not released quickly enough, it becomes irrelavent. Especially with bug and security fixes.

I know it's not a nexus device but on my new galaxy Note 2 running 4.1.1 whenever the phone is restarted it switches back to the stock Samsung keyboard... Every single time. And it drive me nuts, because I am a swiftkey fanboy for sure.

Honestly the first time I restarted it was when I drained the battery down to 0. That's when I first noticed it. Each time after I just kept doing it to see if it was fixed. Thus far no.. The phone overall is amazing, but that small aspect is kinda messed up.

Did you make sure to go into "Settings -> Language & input" and change your Default? If that doesn't work, then go into "Manage apps" and disable the Samsung keyboard.

Ya it is set as default. Then when the phone is restarted the Samsung keyboard is taken over as the default. Thanks for the info about disabling it through the apps. Didn't think of that.

I have a Note 2 from Sprint, also running the latest stock firmware, using Swiftkey, and I have not experienced this. The only thing I've seen like this is that if I go into Developer Options and enable "Stay Awake" (keep the screen on while plugged in) it resets to off every time I reboot.

Mildly annoying, but I figured maybe Samsung set it up that way on purpose, because that's a developer feature and they figure most people wouldn't want it that way all the time?

I can't wait to see what CES holds in store for this year. maybe some more 1080p and quad core phones. Or i would even be satisfied with 720p non pentile and quad core.

My guess is that well see 1080p screens and processors similar to the dual core one on the nexus 10 and that Samsung chrome book. That would be pretty sweet

It's going to take a few more bad quarters and low WP adoption rates to get there. I can't imagine shareholders/investors staying happy with Elop and Microsoft's silent takeover of Nokia for much longer.

That said, I got a chance to play with a 920 and it is a good phone, but dang if it ain't the biggest, heaviest hunk of plastic I've ever held. Comfortable, but the ID reminded me of a Thunderbolt that weighs 5 lbs.

Not happening. First, Nokia currently receives a billion bucks a year from Microsoft in exchange for their full on support of WP (don't forget MS makes money off of lots of androids sold)..

Also, they may not be doing much now but I don't Nokia will pass up the Microsoft money just to be another Android OEM chasing what's left of the profits that Samsung and (struggling) HTC have gotten to. It would he cool no doubt I but I seriously doubt it's ever going to happen.

I think its overdue to a Nokia Android, Carl Zeiss lens and good hardware, coupled that with an unlocked bootloader and should be good.

SwiftkeyX for Tablets works just fine on 4.2.1 so I doubt there is a conspiracy to make Android's stock keyboard dominant in 4.2.1 ... works fine on my N7.

I'd like to see the Nexus 7 upgraded to 1080p and a faster CPU and GPU. 1080p makes sense on a device that size.

Hi Phil, I'm sorry to hear your SwiftKey disappeared! I want to reassure you and your readers that we're aware of a few reports of this and have been looking into it. We have contacted the Android development team to understand what caused this in their code and we are doing what we can on our end to resolve this issue for those affected.

Meanwhile, we suggest trying to redownload SwiftKey from the same storefront you originally purchased it from. As long as you are signed into the same account that you originally used to purchase the application, you will not be charged a second time. Also, remember that to get SwiftKey fully installed, you may need to click on the SwiftKey 3 icon in your app drawer to initialize the installation process.

I hope this helps - here's a link that advice:

PS The SwiftKey team will be out in force at CES, can't wait!


I haven't experienced this problem (as I'm using a Note 2 on 4.1.1) but I just wanted to say thanks. It's great to see not only is the Swiftkey development team on the ball, but that there are members of them on here. To me, it shows a development team that is paying attention to its customers, which is awesome. You guys have done a great job with Swiftkey, and I recommend it to everyone.