We haven't heard much about the HTC Knight (or EVO Shift 4G, as it may be called) lately, but HTCPedia Shop recently came into possession of some photos of the device - albeit wearing some aesthetically questionable cases.
The phone itself, though, actually looks very slick. Clearly, design points were taken from the EVO 4G, which in my opinion remains the best-looking Android device on the market. As has been previously reported, the Shift 4G will be graced with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, HTC Sense, what appears to be a 3.7" screen, and Sprint's fabulous (if you live in an area with coverage) 4G - as can be seen by the WiMax logo in the pictures.
Having finally seen the Android 2.3 Gingerbread release happen, I can't tell you how happy I am. All I can say is that this is better than Christmas and New Year's Eve combined!
Amidst all this holiday spirit and joy in the air, one amazing person (Peter Alfonso of Bugless Beast) has already ported the Android 2.3 keyboard to rooted 2.2 devices. Be sure to thank him kindly for the following Android 2.3 keyboard port. I should warn you, however, that at this point the keyboard does not have a proper functioning dictionary, auto-correct is not working, and multi-touch is not active.
As you may have seen, Google took the covers off Gingerbread today and released the new SDK, which allowed me to immediately jump into an emulated Gingerbread instance. After playing with the new UI for a while, I've taken a bunch of screenshots, which you can find below, along with some of my notes.
Before I dive into the Gingerbread screenshots, here is a side-by-side comparison of the same Settings screen in Donut (1.6), Froyo (2.2), and Gingerbread (2.3):
From left to right: Donut, Froyo, Gingerbread
As you can see, not much has changed since Froyo, except for most of the elements getting darker and/or greener.
To end our relatively calm and Gingerbread-less Friday, I present to you The Evolution Of Android - a stop motion animation created by YouTube user droidsans. It's kind of like our Meet Andy: Android's History In A Nutshell, except it's not. And it's got a twist at the end. Can you guess what it is?
My favorite part was when Andy spit it (I'm still not telling you what "it" is - watch the video) out - thanks for making our Friday night a little more fun, droidsans!
[Bonus] To finish the night off, here is an Apple keyboard autocorrect fail:
It seems that the creators of 8pen have been listening intently to user feedback on their radical new input method (see our original post for a video demonstration), because yesterday they released a rather nice update. One of the main issues of contention that Android users had with 8pen was that it was not free, and simply took too long to get used to to trial fairly within the Android Market's 24-hr refund period. It appears that 3qubits have either made enough money from 8pen already, or are planning to pursue a different revenue model, since this update removes the entry fee altogether.
Does everyone remember the new keyboard called 8pen that arrived earlier this month and took the Android community by storm, both negatively and positively? I don't think I've ever witnessed so many widely different opinions about whether a keyboard is completely useless or a work of a genius until 8pen came out. Brian, for example, loves it, and I absolutely despise it.
There is one reason to install and use this rotary keyboard, however, and it is a good one. Even better, it comes in the best kind of comics - the fffffuuuuuuuuuuuuu kind.
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. Will it oust Swype as the go-to slide-type keyboard?
As if Samsung's Epic 4G and HTC's EVO 4G weren't enough to keep Sprint's customers happy, an anonymous tipster just let XDA-developers in on another device that might be headed to the nation's third-largest carrier: the HTC Knight. He didn't exactly provide a heap of information about it, but he did give XDA the following excerpt from an XML file, presumably part of an instruction manual:
3. Make sure to activate your device before you operate the handset by setting up the Google account on the device. 4. To view the contacts on the device, select “Contacts” and push “Menu” button, select “Display group > All contacts > OK”.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: stock Android is the way to go. I hate it when manufacturers add custom UIs, bloatware, and unnecessary lag to our beloved Android operating system, so, naturally, I was overjoyed to hear that the T-Mobile G2 would ship with a stock build of Android. Early reviewers seem to agree with this, and overall, they seem to think highly of the device. Let's take a look at some of those reviews that have been posted so far.
CNET's Bonnie Cha found the G2's design to be "clean and very professional," although she also said that she wouldn't exactly classify it as sexy, despite our own Artem Russakovskii's earlier comments.
Reviewed version: 2.0.4 Requires: Android 1.6 or newer Cost: Free
I have fat fingers. There. I said it. With my old Sanyo Katana, it wasn’t a problem because I would just multitap and tap and tap to enter text. But when I finally made the jump to a smartphone, I quickly ran into a stumbling block with the virtual keyboard.
The HTC Hero has a pretty compact screen, especially in portrait orientation. Trying to hit letters on that tiny virtual keyboard drove me crazy, particularly since I usually touch type and find hunting and pecking my way across a QWERTY keyboard difficult.