14
Apr
EyeThumb

Google makes cool stuff. There's self-driving cars, that funky street view camera, and those experimental glasses anyone will be able to buy for one day only tomorrow, April 15th. Yet for every product that comes out, there's another in the pipeline that may or may not ever see the light of day. Last month we learned of a patent application for a pair of smart contact lenses that would process blinks as input for wearable devices.

22
Mar
geordi

"Smart contact lens." Get used to that term, even if it makes you cringe - a new patent from Google indicates that at least someone at Mountain View thinks it's a potentially viable idea. Patent Bolt reports on a Google application to the USPTO for "multi-sensor contact lenses," intended primarily as a method for blinking input or input augmentation for wearable devices, or just electronics in general. (Note: this shouldn't be confused with Google's other contact lenses, announced in January as a medical diagnostic device for diabetics.)

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The basic idea is that a number of sensors embedded into a contact lens could be used to detect blinks with incredible accuracy.

18
Mar
2013-03-18_16h44_56

We generally have a rule at Android Police HQ: we don't post about Kickstarter/Indiegogo projects at least until they've been funded. Too often things turn into vaporware and people's money ends up wrapped up in things like Diaspora that never take off. Today, we're making a rare exception to talk about Minuum, because this video starts off as "Oh, that's kinda cool," and quickly shifts to "Holy crap, that's amazeballs!"

As you can see in the beginning of the video, the concept is fairly simple.

03
Dec
2012-12-03_14h24_21

I'm going to do my best to make it through this article without making a Portal 2 reference, but this new SwiftKey feature is not making it easy on me. After recently announcing Flow, the Swype-like gesture input method, someone inside SwiftKey HQ thought to themselves "Well, you know, this is great and all, but man, what's with all this raising-my-finger nonsense? So inefficient!" So now the company is demoing Flow Through Space.

30
Jul
wm_IMG_0343

Samsung's largest life raft smartphone has, thus far, been saddled to AT&T. Phret not phablet phans. Your dreams of using the nation's largest Samsung phone on the nation's fourth-largest national carrier are about to come true (sorry Sprint/Verizon users). T-Mobile has announced that the device will be available on a 2-year contract starting August 8th with pricing starting at $199 on a 2-year Value voice and data plans plus an added $20/month device financing charge.

26
Jul
2012-07-26_14h07_11

In its endless attempts to make searching easier for everyone, Google has introduced yet another way to search via its mobile site at google.com: handwriting recognition. If you go to Google's search page from your phone or tablet's mobile browser and enable the feature via settings, you can now scribble your searches on the screen, even after receiving results. It's pretty fancy!

Of course, this does raise the question of whether this input method is any faster.

07
Jul
unnamed

There's no doubt that Swype is one of the most popular and innovative keyboard replacement apps for Android, albeit for a somewhat niche market. One of the quirks of Swype, though, is that it's basically made for one-handed input, and some users just aren't into that. Enter a new keyboard called Keymonk Keyboard which basically takes the Swype method of text input and modifies it for two-handed input. Check it out:

Weird, right?

28
Jun
swiftkey3logo

Swiftkey 3 recently arrived on the Play Store, and not too long afterwards, the company has posted a statement on its blog letting us know that the app is currently the best-selling paid app on the Play Store. Not too bad, SwiftKey! Of course, the biggest challenge is ahead, as Google announced yesterday that, from Jelly Bean onwards, the default Android keyboard will attempt to predict your next word. Which smacks just a little of SwiftKey's pitch.

30
May
swiftkey3tiny

SwiftKey is a fan favorite keyboard replacement for Android. Enthusiasts, though, know there's always a better SwiftKey out there. The current beta, named SwiftKey 3, is currently being put through its paces by the community, and yet another iteration has rolled out that brings some marked improvements to the input alternative.

Among the improvements:

  • Improved prediction algorithms
  • Better, more consistent punctuation key behavior
  • Smarter Smart Space functionality (which will make it easier to enter email addresses etc)
  • A refined experience in Google Chrome Beta
  • Fixed missing predictions on the longpress of @ and .com
  • Improved gestures
  • Eliminated lag on letter pop-ups
  • Various other minor bug fixes and usability improvements

The update brings extra improvements to an already fantastic keyboard replacement.

02
Nov

A couple of days ago, French company 3qubits unveiled their unique take on what they imagined touchscreen keyboards of the future would look like. Starting with the notion that a full QWERTY layout could never fit properly on a handheld touchscreen device, they set about  creating something entirely different. What they came up with is 8pen, which was released to the Android Market moments ago.

It's pretty crazy. Not quite as crazy as Dasher (free on Android), but indisputably one of the more radical input methods we've seen on Android so far.

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