A few months ago we reviewed an interesting app called Texty. This app connects an Android phone to a computer through Chrome, and allows the user to send text messages straight from said browser. This is useful when you are working on your computer and you do not wish to move your hands away from your comfortable ergonomic keyboard and start pecking away at a small 3-4" screen. CrossTxT performs a similar function, but in my opinion, is far superior to Texty.
Android versions of the popular Opera browser have just received some huge updates today. Both Opera Mobile and Opera Mini now sport feature sets that should make them among the most sought-after browsers on nearly any Android device.
Opera Mini, which compresses pages on Opera's servers before delivering to you (for better speeds on phones with slow data connections) now has the following:
Pinch to zoom
Improved panning and zooming performance
New UI optimized for tablets
Refreshed user interface
Open link in background
Meanwhile the more traditional Opera Mobile browser (for when your data speeds are just peachy) got the following upgrades:
Adobe Flash support
New UI for tablet devices
Much faster and smoother panning and zooming
Improved text-wrap on zoom
Smart-tap: auto-zoom and highlights links if ambiguous link click
Remember tabs from previous session
You can see Opera's promo video of the new updates in action in the clip below:
These have been much-anticipated updates for two of the speediest and smoothest browsers in the Market, but we are still looking forward to absent features like User Agent switching and full-screen mode.
Dolphin HD, one of the most popular Android browsers, has been pretty unusable on large tablet screens due to choppiness and lag caused by the CPU having to work with a much bigger area. For example, when we got a demo unit of the Galaxy Tab, the problem was quite apparent to the point of Dolphin being downright frustrating on relatively complex sites.
Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" came to the rescue with hardware acceleration capabilities, which allowed shifting all the UI processing from the CPU to the GPU.
If you're anything like me, you text constantly. There are times, however, that I put my phone down and hop on the computer to do some more in-depth tasks or just enjoy some good, old-fashioned big-screen browsing. When I'm doing that, it's usually a pain to receive a text message, have to dig out my phone, open the messaging app, and use a tiny keyboard to reply, even though I'm sitting at a much larger, easier to use keyboard.
There's a new kid on the browser block, and it looks like he may be giving the others something to think about. Although it's been on the market for roughly a month and has between 10,000 and 50,000 downloads, this is the first we're hearing about Maxthon for Android. Take a look at the feature highlights:
For those of us who regularly encounter a blizzard of emails, Gmail's Priority Inbox is a godsend. Previously exclusive to the desktop and Android devices, Priority Inbox has been expanded to support any HTML5-capable mobile web browser.
The process is simple. First, you have to have Priority Inbox set up for your email account (if you haven't already done so). Once this is done, load up your compatible mobile web browser and waddle on over to gmail.com.
Android users have been clamoring for an official online Android Market solution for ages, and today, El Goog finally delivered with the Android Market Web Store. Once the issues with the "Sign in" button (clicking it returned an 'Invalid Request' error) were fixed, we didn't think twice about delving in and giving it an in-depth look. Read on for our first impressions!
The front page of market.android.com (aka the Android Market Web Store) is simple, clean, and sexy - just the way we like it.
The impossible has happened: thanks to a new software update, the Xperia X10's Internet and Maps applications are finally multitouch-capable. And as if that weren't exciting enough for X10 owners, the update also introduces support for bi-directional languages (i.e. Arabic, Farsi, Thai, and Hebrew) - a nice addition, though definitely not as high up on most users' wish lists as a version of Android more recent than 2.1 (or 1.6, if you're using AT&T's edition of the device).
Having your app unceremoniously pulled from the Market just a few short hours after it launches can certainly be discouraging, but the developers behind Kongregate Arcade didn't let that stop them from trying again.
Indeed, Kongregate Arcade has returned to the Android Market, albeit with a few tweaks intended to please Google. Most importantly, the app no longer downloads game data to users' SD cards; instead, the information is stored in the standard browser cache (Kongregate Arcade is actually a WebKit-based browser with some heavy modifications).
For anybody who is still using their mobile browser to get weather information, Google has made a neat addition to their mobile site. By searching "weather," you'll see the new widget, and in addition to the same information you'd see regularly, it now has a slider that allows you to see an hour-by-hour forecast of the day. Temperature, wind speed, precipitation, and humidity will change, as will the background of the widget to reflect the time of day.