Sometimes you've just got to sit back and marvel at the ingenuity of some Android developers. While Motorola was busy putting expensive infrared sensors all over the front of the new Moto X to enable a few gesture controls, developer OnTheGo Platforms was adding it in with something that just about every smartphone already has. Behold, BrainWave, an app that lets you play, pause, and navigate your music like a frickin' Jedi.
Once you've got the app set up, BrainWave "looks" through your phone's front-facing camera for a series of commands delivered via your right hand. Place your hand palm-down about a foot over your phone to pause or resume.
Thanks to Kickstarter and Indiegogo, there's no shortage of quirky (read: gimmicky) wearable products to throw money at. I won't pretend to understand what makes a product appealing to people, but at last I'm not the only one here at Android Police who has been baffled by some of the projects that have found crowdfunding success. So with this confidence-inducing introduction out of the way, I present to you Fin, a Bluetooth ring with gesture support that looks to be just shy of practical.
Here, let me explain myself. If you haven't yet watched the video above, here's the opening:
"You know, we've always been using our hands and fingers, for counting, taking notes, and various other stuff.
Using a virtual keyboard may not feel as natural as a physical one, but it's only the worst way to input text with a touchscreen except for all of the other ones. Swype has had the most success in revolutionizing how we enter text, as all of the major Android keyboards have since introduced gesture-based typing in subsequent upgrades, but it's far from perfect. That brings us to FlickKey Keyboard. It's a sliding keyboard that, by grouping letters into square groups of nine, aims to reduce how far across the screen our fingers need to slide.
Tapping a square enters the character in the middle.
Android's lock screen hasn't really changed since 4.2, but app developers keep coming up with new ways to wow us. Case in point: Cover. This alternative lockscreen replaces the default screen with a selection of quick-launch app icons, not unlike some of the manufacturer skins out there. But unlike TouchWiz or Sense, Cover automatically learns which apps you use at what times, and it comes with a ton of impressive UI features.
First of all, Cover lets you "peek" at the apps on your homescreen with a swipe gesture, allowing you to take a quick look at multiple apps without actually switching to any of them.
You might just be seeing a new version of Google Maps in your Play Store downloads today - Google has updated the app from version 7.3 to 7.4. There's not a whole lot of new stuff going on inside, certainly not compared to the cavalcade of UI changes that happened earlier this year. A few tuned gestures, a few refreshed UI elements, and that's about it. APK downloads below.
If you're a regular Maps user, you'll notice that the one-finger zoom gestures have been reversed. In the newly-updated app you double-tap, hold, then drag down to zoom in (the reverse was true before now).
Lets face it, email just isn't sexy. The Gmail app has done a lot to pretty things up, adding in fancy swiping gestures and associating pictures with each contact, but the experience is still somewhat clunky. There are alternatives, such as the stock Android app (pretty basic), K-9 Mail (the kitchen-sink approach) and Dextr (innovative, but very limited) - but all have their drawbacks. Evomail is the latest kid on the block, and it hopes to make managing email a task you actually want to do.
Evomail began as a Gmail client for iPad, and it grew to support both the iPhone and services other than Gmail.
Google+ user Дима Прокопенко has just given us a tantalizing, more complete look at the Moto X, posting a Rogers "Tech Experts" demo video that shows off some of the hotly-anticipated device's unique features.
Before we get to features, it's worth noting that the video indicates a Rogers launch "in August," as an exclusive for the Canadian carrier.
The video also shows off the Moto X's always-on voice commands, allowing users to query Google Search with their voice regardless of whether they're in the search app.
The Moto X will also lack an LED notification light, favoring instead "Active Updates," which "quietly" light up the display with the time and an icon related to your notification.
Swype is far from an unfamiliar face in the mobile world. It has served some of the finest Android phones as an included keyboard, permitting one-handed writers to swipe out words rather than peck away with their thumbs. During this time, it was unavailable as a separate download, and using it was somewhat of an exclusive experience. It has since entered the Play Store, and it's now making the jump up to version 1.5.6 less than a month later.
The update increases the accuracy of word predictions and brings in a host of general improvements and bug fixes. Given how often people have to use their keyboards, these small touches can amount to a much better experience.
Have you ever walked past a bank and wished you could rob it? We've all seen enough television shows and movies depicting just how much fun it would be were it not for those pesky repercussions. Be thankful for Android. Daddy Was A Thief allows you to safely rob all the banks you want on your way home from work.
Daddy Was A Thief is a quick pick-up-and-play game with simple gesture-based controls. You can swipe up to jump and down to break through floors. You'll smash in and out of rooms, stealing gold coins from banks, casinos, and helpless old ladies.
Pantech is looking to pull itself out of the low-end budget phone ditch by bringing some pretty awesome non-touch gesture recognition to Android. Imagine this: you're working on a car, cleaning the kitchen, painting... anything that where you're hands are going to dirty or wet and you don't want to touch your phone. You receive an incoming call -- what do you do? How cool would it be to simply wave your hand over the device to answer? No touching. No getting it wet or dirty.
Sure, that sounds cool, but now you want to see it in action. You're in luck!