Show of hands: how many Android Police readers are still using Android 2.3 or lower on a phone or tablet? According to the latest distribution numbers, it's under one in twenty of Android users worldwide - the rest have upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) or later. (We don't talk about the whole Honeycomb thing anymore.) That being the case, it's understandable why the developers of SwiftKey have decided to stop supporting those older machines with the latest beta version of the custom keyboard app.
The upcoming, unnamed BlackBerry slider phone running Android has leaked almost completely at this point. The short version: it's an Android phone with some BlackBerry apps, services, and a freaking slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Because BlackBerry.
BlackBerry's keyboards were held in the highest esteem by "productivity-oriented" mobile users for years because of the comparative slowness of T9 and the general lack of software keyboards until the iPhone arrived on the scene. Even then, touchscreen keyboards had plenty of evolving left to do - support for advanced multitouch, swiping, auto-completion of words, and increasing overall speed and responsiveness.
Most people don't enjoy the thought of using a mobile device to fill in data on a spreadsheet, but it has to happen from time to time. We want an application that knows how to make the process as quick and painless as possible. The latest update to Google Sheets takes a couple of big steps in that direction with a smart auto-fill feature for quickly adding information based on patterns. There is also a new keyboard selector that automatically picks a keyboard mode based on the contents of the current cell. A quick look under the hood also reveals that comment support isn't far off.
For having technically retired, @evleaks still leaks a lot of stuff. Case in point, he's just posted a few more promo pics of the BlackBerry Venice, an Android-powered phone from the once-dominant Canadian smartphone maker. We've also got a supposed release window too—November on all major U.S. carriers.
Music creation on Android has been given a major boost as of Lollipop 5.0 thanks to latency reduction, and IK Multimedia (best known as the manufacturer of the popular iRig series of professional musical adapters for phones and tablets) has decided to take advantage of it. The company has released two new Android apps, iGrand Piano and iLectric Piano, meant to give players a portable and highly technical way to create the sound of famous brand-name pianos.
That experience won't come cheap: each app is a whopping $20, and they don't even include the full range of simulated pianos and keyboards (20 are included with each app, and you'll have to use in-app purchases to buy the rest).
A couple of days ago Evan Blass posted what looked like a render of the upcoming Galaxy S6 Edge+ - Samsung's new flagship expected to be announced at the Unpacked event on August 13th - wrapped in a gadget that doubled as both a phone case and a Blackberry-style physical keyboard. We passed on the story at the time, but more evidence has come to light that makes it seem a bit more plausible. Here's the original tweet from Blass:
I love me some Microsoft keyboards - for my money their layout and key designs beat Logitech any day. The company's latest entry into the mobile accessory market is a Bluetooth keyboard designed to be as tiny and compact as possible, folding lengthways into a rough square just 5.8 inches across and less than half an inch thick, about the same size as a CD case. Fold it open and you've got a full six-row keyboard ready to be paired with a phone, tablet, or even a full desktop computer, and Microsoft claims that the Universal Foldable Keyboard is made with Android, iOS, and Windows in mind.
This morning, a company called NowSecure published an exploit claiming to affect SwiftKey on Samsung devices that they assert could impact "600 million+" devices. Well, maybe.
While we cannot verify the true seriousness of the security flaw were an attacker to successfully manage to exploit it, we were able to verify something substantially more important to end user safety - it does not affect the SwiftKey app, only the built-in Samsung IME which is partly developed by SwiftKey.
The idea of portable, folding keyboards has been around for a number of years now - I recall having one from Boxwave many years ago that I used with my Dell Axim x51v pocket PC. It was totally useless, but man I felt cool popping those two things out at coffee shops to do...whatever I did back then. I can't recall, to be honest with you. But that's not important. What is important is that the folding keyboard is back, better than ever, and we have some to give away.