No matter what crazy projects Google works on, Search is still the company's bread and butter. Over the years, it's continued to build up the good old Google Search page with small but useful improvements. The latest of these is a change to the way its built-in dictionary operates, separating it out from the main search function.
Dictionary.com is one of the most popular dictionary apps on Android, with the free version racking up between 10 and 50 million downloads on the Play Store. An updated version of the app has just been released which brings a fresh coat of paint and some welcome new features.
One of the more useful highlights of version 7.0 is the added support for the floating text selection toolbar introduced in Android Marshmallow. This allows users to quickly search for a definition through the app by highlighting a word and selecting the "Define" option from the popup menu. Other nifty features include the ability to explore locally trending words and a list of your favorite and most recent searches.
Knowing one language is for chumps. Oops, I might have alienated a huge portion of our readership right there. But seriously, as someone who can read, write, and fluently speak three languages, I swear by the versatility and opportunities that this kind of skill enables. I wouldn't be here on Android Police if I had stuck to my mother tongue, would I?
But there's a tax that comes with multilingualism: you often find yourself stuck on a word in one language when you just need it in another. And that's why I love multilingual dictionaries: they make it possible to quickly get the word that's been on the tip of my tongue.
Voracious readers and Word-A-Day calendar fans, this one is for you. While the latest update to Google Play Books isn't anywhere near as dramatic as the Material Design refresh six weeks ago, it nonetheless adds a couple of features that regular readers will find useful. First of all, version 3.3 adds a downloadable dictionary option to augment Play Books' instant lookup feature. To apply it, just highlight a word in any book and then tap the contextual "download" button.
Obviously this will be a boon for places where you might not be able to get reliable Internet access, notably during air travel or in a foreign country, but tablet users in particular will be happy to see the offline dictionary.
There are plenty of dictionary apps out there, but Ultralingua is for serious wordsmiths. It contains several dozen complete dictionaries with definitions, conjugations, slang, and even translation into multiple languages.
Move over SwiftKey. A challenger has appeared and it's aiming to bring even better predictions than we've seen before. This one, named Fleksy, touts predictions that are so accurate, you can type without looking at the screen. In fact, the company says that even if you get every single letter wrong, it can still tell what it is you meant to type. This is pretty impressive. Of course that means the developers need to take it one step further...
In the video above the company shows a blind user walking down the street, typing away on his smartphone (begins around 1:28).
As promised yesterday, the Swype team have released an update to the beta version of their keyboard that brings all of the same features as the recent NS4G-exclusive version, including gestures, personal dictionary, and a new feature called Swype Connect.
Swype Connect is a lightweight background service that collects Swype-specific data and ensures the integrity and validity of the installation, while reporting usage details and device information back to Swype's servers. Like most apps that collect such information, Swype Connect doesn't gather anything personal, just basic information that can then be used to enhance and improve future versions.
If you've ever done a Market search for the term "dictionary," then you probably know that there is only one good choice. Fortunately, the folks behind the Merriam-Webster Dictionary have swooped in to save us from our word-defining woes by delivering their own app into the Android Market.
Touting itself as "America's most useful and respected dictionary," the Merriam-Webster Dictionary brings some nice features to your mobile device. Have you ever wondered what a word means, but had no clue how to spell it? With this app, you can do a quick voice search and have your answer easily.