In the last couple of days, I've been closely interacting with Harald Mueller, the developer behind Android Wi-Fi Tether for root users, a free and open source tethering app for Android. Android Wi-Fi Tether is pretty much a de-facto app when when it comes to tethering on Android devices that have native Wi-Fi tethering disabled (thanks, carriers), and is what I consider one of the most important apps in our supposedly open ecosystem.
Google debuted its official music store this week, and it's clear that the company has made a serious effort to bring to market a product that is geared towards consumers and artists alike. But can it crack a market that's already well-saturated (not to mention lead by the juggernaut that is iTunes)?
Tonight, TouchType Ltd. released a much-anticipated update to SwiftKey X, the text prediction authority among replacement keyboards. The update brings a ton of improvements, from UI tweaks to performance and language changes, and even prediction enhancements. Perhaps more important than all of that, however, is the fact that SwiftKey X 2.2 has full Ice Cream Sandwich support, and an enhanced multi-touch framework, keeping the keyboard replacement ahead of the curve.
Specifically, the update brings the following changes:
- Full language localization for major European languages (English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Portugese)
- Intelligent typing support extended to 35 languages, including Arabic and Hebrew
- Enhanced multi-touch framework for faster typing
- Prediction and correction enhancements thanks to a more efficient Fluency engine
- Graphic enhancements, including a better settings menu, alternative character selection and sharing features
- Enhancements to the keyboard to change the height in both portrait and landscape modes
- New Dvorak and Colemak layouts for those who wish to depart from QWERTY
- Reduced memory use
- Full Support for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
If you aren't already a fan of SwiftKey X, these enhancement should go a long way in convincing you.
Today brings more good news for Google TV owners with the release of the cloud-powered Google Music app. As Jurek Foryciarz, Product Manager of Google TV puts it:
The app syncs with your Google Music account in the cloud, so there is no need to stream from a computer or download songs to the TV. Simply download the Google Music app for Google TV from Android Market, login with your account, and enjoy your entire music library through your HDTV and home theater system.
The Google Music 4.0.9 update (remember the pre-release version 4.0.1 we leaked last month?) is live in the Android Market. The app now integrates with the new Music-enabled Market and has a brand new, much improved ICS-like UI.
Update: For those outside the U.S., here are some download mirrors:
Note: If you are using the leaked Music v4.0.1, you will need to uninstall it first, as it was signed with a different Google key.
In what is undoubtedly one of the coolest mods I've seen in months, developer picard666 has released an interactive Mario lockscreen for MIUI. So awesome, in fact, that words can't properly describe it. Take a look at the "diagram":
The top cloud shows the current time, and the two clouds below show calls and messages (left and right, respectively). To unlock into calls or messages, you take control of Mario and have to make him hit the corresponding coin box - a coin pops out (optionally with the accompanying sound), then your phone launches the appropriate app.
Kairosoft, maker of the many popular Story games (such as Game Dev Story and Grand Prix Story), has released a new game called World Cruise Story. As with the other games, the title really says it all: your objective is to manage a cruise liner from top to bottom in order to meet objectives and make money, much like old-school games such as Sim City or Roller Coaster Tycoon.
The creators of such marvels as My Beach and Celtic Garden, DualBoot Games, have outdone themselves this holiday season with Christmas HD - what I believe to be the most intricate live wallpaper I've seen on Android in a long time (ever?).
Customizable lights, gifts, tree topper, snowflakes, garlands, and a Christmas countdown are just the tip of the iceberg. Wait till you see your own photo above the fireplace, your family's names embroiled on the stockings, and a note to Santa signed by the same guy or gal who's looking back at you in the mirror every morning.
How many task managers that keep track of To-Do items can we need on Android? The creators of Taskos, which in itself is a task list manager, thought we were in such dire need for one more that they had to one-up even themselves and create Any.DO.
Any.DO has a completely new interface that is so slick that you will find yourself wondering whether you're running an Android app at all.
Ancestry.com subscribers now have another way to access their family tree, as the company has released the first beta version of their official Android app. At the moment, it's read only, meaning you can't modify information via the app, and the team has yet to implement many other necessary features such as searching for specific people in your tree.
The official description:
First beta release of the Ancestry app. Please submit feedback to email@example.com.