Text-to-speech engines read text aloud, saving users from having to read it themselves. Google's TTS offering comes pre-installed on numerous Android devices, and like much of the software previously shipped as part of Android, it's now ready to spread its wings in the Play Store. Here it's available to far more users, as it can now be installed on devices that don't come with the software pre-installed (pictured below -left). In contrast, on the Nexus 5, Google TTS is apparently already installed and unremovable (pictured below - right).
It's not often that I get to fit the entire changelog of a software update in the headline, but today's the day. Verizon has shared details about an upcoming update for the Galaxy Note 3 that does two things - strengthens connectivity and improves sound quality. Though Verizon hasn't provided a proper software version number, the build hitting devices is apparently VRUBMJ7.
We've received an official statement from Verizon on the ongoing Nexus 7 LTE / Verizon saga, a story that has gone silent in the months since Verizon promised the device was being certified for the network. Today, we've finally been given official word from Big Red on what the problem is, and let me say: you're not going to like it.
According to a Verizon spokesperson, during certification it was discovered that the Nexus 7 had a "systems issue" that presumably would have caused it to fail Verizon's testing.
Don't let anyone ever tell you that your opinion isn't worth anything. In fact, your thoughts are so valuable that Google is willing to pay you for them. Well, there are two caveats - you must live in the US, and you have to be fine with being paid in Google Play credit. But hey, when it comes to Android, that stuff is as good as cash.
Users can spend Google Play credit on digital content in the Play Store, including apps, games, music, books, magazines, and videos.
You might have missed it in the tidal wave of news when the Nexus 5 was released, but Google also posted two new colors of the Nexus 7 zip case in the storefront. They were both listed as 'coming soon,' but now they're live.
The official zip case can now be had in gray, yellow, or black. Note that the gray case is listed as gray/white because the interior is white.
It's fair to say that Android went through some chaotic years in the beginning. The pace of development was frantic as the operating system grew at an unprecedented rate. An as-yet undetermined future led to decisions that were made to conform to existing hardware and architectures, the available development tools, and the basic need to ship working code on tight deadlines. Now that the OS has matured, the Android team has been giving more attention to some of the components that haven't aged quite as well.
The Chameleon Launcher turned some heads when it more than doubled its goal on Kickstarter last year. The final product wasn't quite as amazing as we hoped it would be, but Teknision did at least deliver the app to Google Play. It appears that Teknision is moving on now – it has been acquired by a company called Synacor. Never heard of it? Don't feel bad – you are not alone.
Swype may have just gained new split and mini keyboard options, but the SwiftKey folks have been sitting on something even more visionary for quite a while now. Their "Layouts for Living" program adds many layout options - split keyboards, movable pop-up keyboards, etc. - to what is already one of the most popular Android keyboards out there.
The video above highlights thumb, compact, and full layout options.
It's often the case that one piece of software will introduce a groundbreaking feature, but others will expand on it, eventually replacing the original. When it comes to Android, Swype and SwiftKey come to mind. But the latter has yet to vanquish the former, nor has the addition of gesture-based typing to the stock keyboard, and Swype has now been updated with a host of new features that show just how much of a heavyweight this contender remains.
AT&T is continuing to push its LTE network into more places as it races to catch Verizon, which got a head start in the LTE era. Today Ma Bell has announced 14 new markets with 4G LTE access. Is your town among them? Only one way to find out.