Earlier last month, we posted an exclusive story about Google's explorations into a product called "Workshop," which would allow users to customize snap-on cases and live wallpapers for their Nexus phones. The effort would be a major step-up in what has historically been an inconsistent lineup of accessories for Google's devices.
From information made available to us, it appears Google plans to continue upping the offerings when HTC's nine-inch Nexus tablet becomes official.
Auto-correcting keyboard Fleksy made headlines last month with its interesting support for Samsung's Gear 2 smartwatches, but don't let it be said that they're neglecting the standard Android app. Today the company is updating its unconventional keyboard to version 3.0, notably adding the "Fleksy Store" to the premium version. This store will offer themes for users to buy via in-app purchase. At launch (sometime this morning, US time) there will be six themes available, and anyone who's purchased the keyboard gets a free bonus theme.
Apparently, segmenting your customized software into easily-updatable Play Store apps is a popular trend. HTC is the latest to get on board, presumably because the person who makes the keyboard work is tired of waiting on the whole Sense team to put an over-the-air firmware update together. HTC published extra language packs back in April, and now Sense users can get timely updates for the keyboard as well.
You know the drill: this will only work on compatible HTC hardware, so don't even try it on other phones or tablets.
About two years ago, we asked you the same question we're asking today. But two years ago is a long, long time in Android terms. A lot has changed in that time, and there are substantially more software keyboards to choose from (respectable ones, at least) than there were then. At least, I think so.
SwiftKey is likely still the most popular third-party keyboard on Android, that much we can probably assume, but I have to wonder: how much headway have Google, Swype, GO, Fleksy, and others made in the last two years?
Sometimes auto-correct is more annoying than it is useful (hyperbottomcheeks978 is a username, dear keyboard, and no I don't want to save it to my dictionary just to prevent you from nagging me about it for the remainder of this conversation). Fortunately for users of the Xposed framework, there is a new module out that will allow you to toggle auto-correct on and off just by double tapping on any text box.
For the relentless proof-readers among us, we've got a quick tip pointed out today by Reddit user SuperNanoCat. When writing in an editable text box on Android, users can highlight a word or chunk of text, then press and hold to drag it around.
This feature has actually been around for quite some time, possibly as far back as Ice Cream Sandwich, but it's a feature most users have only used accidentally.
Come on, you can't be serious. This has to be a joke, right? No? Fleksy is actually making a tiny software keyboard for the Gear 2? Okay then.
Fleksy claims that its Messenger keyboard is the first one to be featured on the Gear 2, and we're not going to argue. Touching on the inevitable difficulty of typing on a screen 1.6 inches across, the press release says that "Fleksy’s sleek design and unparalleled prediction engine makes it virtually effortless." If you say so.
Good news: if you've been holding out on buying the premium version of SwiftKey for some reason, it's now officially free. The former trial version is gone from the Play Store, leaving only the once-paid version of the keyboard for all to download and use.
SwiftKey told us that moving forward it's going to focus on having the release cycle halved, so oft-requested features will make it into finalized builds much faster.
Human capacity for speech seems infinite, but after writing a steady stream of text messages, emails, and posts over the years, things start to get repetitive. PhraseExpress has spared Windows users sentences, paragraphs, and pages worth of mundane conversation since its release, and now the software is ready to do the same for Android.
The Autotext PhraseExpress Android app has the ability to save any number of text snippets (though the free version is limited to 25), organizing them into a folder hierarchy similar to bookmarks.