If you're in the market for a new Android virtual keyboard, you could do a lot worse than SwiftKey, especially since it's just been updated to version 4.1. In the company's ceaseless drive to improve every nook and cranny of the app they've added three shiny new themes: Regal (purple), Pitch (black) and Dusk (navy blue). In addition, both the smartphone and tablet version of the swiping, predicting, multi-language keyboard are on sale for half off. You can pick them up for just two bucks each (£1.49/€1.99) at the moment.
The themes are pretty swanky, and should make SwiftKey more attractive for those users who just have to make their keyboard match their launcher icons (you know who you are).
For jetsetters and workaholics who require a little more than a legal pad to keep track of their billable expenses, Expensify has done solid if uninspiring duty as a mobile companion for some time. Yesterday the Android app got a brand new, Holo-compliant look, making form follow function right out of the land of Froyo buttons. While this update is the biggest change to come to the Android app in quite a while, the core functionality has not been affected that much, with only some new rule filters mentioned on the Play Store page.
Expensify automates expense reports with a variety of handy tools, now all the better for a little visual polish.
Listen up, Android users. If you're using Google Now, don't go to its Settings -> My Stuff and try to modify sports teams or stocks right now, as doing so completely borks the whole app. As soon as you go back to the main screen or click into Search, you will experience a force close. Repeated attempts to restart it will result in a crash as well:
The only thing that works is clearing out Google Search's data in Settings -> Applications, after which you need to re-enroll into Google Now. Changing your Home or Work locations does not seem to trigger the issue - it's just sports teams and stocks.
In this edition of "apps that you probably don't need by will likely buy anyway because they're cheaper than normal," we have some good picks. A music player, a realistic boxing title, a music-maker, and a couple of reverse-tower defense titles are all on sale at the moment.
Update: A lot more stuff has been added since the original post went up this morning. Newer stuff is at the bottom of the list.
Our demographics adviser tells us that there might just be five people on earth who are both regular Android Police readers and Model S owners. But if a quick scan of the office is a valid measure of interest, there's at least a few of you who are excited by the prospect of an official Tesla app, even if a longing glance is as close as we'll ever get to driving one. For you lucky devils who have an all-electric sedan sitting in your four-car garage, take a quick stroll over to the Play Store to get your companion app on.
Let's face it. The patent system is a mess. Applying for a patent can be a process that takes years. Then there's the issue of prior art. Is this patent valid? Was it obvious? Should it have been granted in the first place? And that's without getting into whether or not other devices infringe. It can be a huge cluster of ugly. Enter AskPatents. This new Stack Exchange site has been set up to crowd source the finding of prior art and researching whether or not patents are valid.
The site functions very similarly to other hivemind information hubs like Metafilter or, you know, Stack Exchange.
One small and two major sites that have a long history of distributing pirated Android apps have been seized in a first of its kind operation conducted by the FBI, DoJ, and a variety of U.S. and foreign governments. These sites are:
Each of the taken down hosts is now displaying this FBI seizure notice
According to PC World, FBI agents downloaded numerous copies of paid Android apps as part of the operation before seizing all three domains and executing nine search warrants on August 21st. It's a little unclear whether the FBI and the DoJ will be pursuing criminal action against the site operators or whether anyone was detained.
The Android launcher has always been ground zero for device customization, and most launchers make at least some concession to user options. But TSF Shell, which we've covered before, surely takes the cake for sheer flexibility. The latest update, to Beta version 1.6.0, adds a dazzling amount of new features. Granted, most of these are eye candy - something that TSF never lacked in the first place - but a few of them are genuinely useful. The ability to select and move multiple apps at a time is something I've wished stock and source-based launchers would implement for years.
The mini-docks on the right and left of TSF, as well as the homescreen itself, get plenty of small tweaks and options.
I've written more than a few of these giveaways for products covering just about every aspect of Android development, and written by dozens of authors. But this one... well, this is special, because it's a series of LiveLessons from none other than former Android Police contributor Ian Clifton.
This contest is now over. Here are our winners, selected at random:
Mario II Valenzuela
Congratulations, guys - all of you will be contacted for your information in the near future!
Everyone else - keep participating and stay tuned to Android Police so that you don't miss our upcoming giveaway announcements.