We all remember the T-Mobile Sidekick. It was the phone to have back before smartphones were a normal, everyday thing. It was the phone that did all the smartphone-y things first. It was built for one main purpose, though; messaging like a demon. It was all about staying in contact with your friends, shooting out emails, and texting all the time, no matter how fast you were driving. It did that job, and it did it damn well. Now that Danger Incorporated is dead, though, can there still be a Sidekick? Well, since Andy Rubin was part of the mastermind team behind Danger and is now heading up the mastermind team behind Android, it's safe to say a worthy successor is possible.
We Android fans love our input methods. Luckily there is no shortage of options, with keyboards ranging from the standard Gingerbread keyboard all the way to wacky ones such as 8Pen. Despite all the competition, and the fact that it isn't even available on the Android Market, Swype is one of the most popular custom keyboards around. It makes the tedious act of touchscreen typing that much smoother by letting users glide their thumb from letter to letter rather than tapping.
There are a number of imitators on the market today that try to implement this swiping method of text input, and HTC Sense 3.0 is said to be bringing another into the mix.
For all 5 people who are actually using the gTablet's stock UI instead of a custom ROM that is miles ahead of it in features, ViewSonic released a new over-the-air (OTA) update that finally adds Adobe Flash, along with external docking station and USB keyboard/mouse support and a few other things. The full list, found on ViewSonic's news page, is reproduced below:
- Adobe Flash support
- External docking station support
- USB keyboard and mouse support
- International cities available in Weather
- Spanish and French language support
- Energy saving screen lock
The update notification should pop up automatically upon your gTablet's next boot and won't require a wipe, so don't be afraid to flash away.
If you've been watching the Eee Pad Transformer promo video and salivating over that awesome keyboard dock with 2 USB 2.0 ports, an SD card reader, and a secondary battery that doubles the tablet's battery life, what you're about to read may serve as a splash of cold water in your face.
While we knew that the keyboard dock was optional (but only if you paid really close attention, because based on the videos and the tablet's name, it wasn't the most obvious fact), an East Coast retailer PC Richard & Son just spilled the beans on the pricing of said accessory - it'll cost you $150.
I don't think that these guys ever sleep! Yesterday we told you about GO Score and now we're back with yet another app from the GO Dev Team: GO Keyboard. Already touted as the "best and most popular keyboard in the Android Market", the numbers speak for themselves - it has a stellar 0 star rating out of a massive 6 downloads!
Seriously, though, it incorporates the most common features of other Android keyboards, like skinning, "accurate dictionaries", autocorrect, text prediction in multiple languages, and more. Currently supported languages are English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese but, with the current version only at 0.0.6, something tells me there will be a lot more languages and features to come.
Well-known budget electronics manufacturer ASUS has a big splash-page promo up on Best Buy's website right now for the upcoming Eee Pad Transformer, the manufacturer's first Honeycomb (Android 3.0) tablet, and it's not exactly subtle:
It's a fair comparison - both will probably break their hinges around the same time
The (unintentional) irony here being that ASUS's product aren't exactly known for their top-notch materials (I'm not saying their products are faulty - just a little flimsy). Still, the Transformer is a kind of neat idea - we'll have to reserve judgment on how ASUS's execution of the concept fares in the real world.
At the end of CES, right after the barrage of almost 100 Android tablet announcements, SwiftKey teased us with a new version of its popular keyboard, specifically targeting tablets. The company later officially announced the new product, complete with a Tron-like, mysteriously glowing UI. The split-key design, especially useful for larger tablets, looked like a real winner to tablet owners.
Today, the first beta of SwiftKey for Tablets v188.8.131.52 was released to VIP members in the SwiftKey forum, and, of course, I immediately took it out for a spin. The current release, which you can see below, has 2 layouts - 1 normal and 1 split-key, but compared to the version in the official announcement, has weird alignment issues and lacks any arrow keys (I checked - there was no setting to enable them, like in the newest beta for phones).
We learned a couple of months ago that Bluetooth had been unlocked for Nook Color on a developmental level, but not until today has it been available for users. Developers fattire and verygreen have collaborated on a CM7 SD card bootable ROM that will let you sync your Bluetooth keyboard or headset to the "eReader." As trusted dev dalingrin noted earlier in our comments, the Bluetooth functionality has also been committed to the CyanogenMod 7 nightlies and is now available.
It has hardly been perfected yet, as early reports are saying that the Bluetooth range is currently ranging from one to five feet, but the fact that these ambitious devs have taken this eReader one step closer to having full tablet functionality is quite impressive.
The Swype Beta for Android received an update (to version 184.108.40.20684) today and, in addition to tweaking some of the features that users found to be the most annoying, it brings support to some popular Android devices that previously had no official way of getting the popular trace keyboard.
Perhaps the biggest news from this new version is that the following display resolutions are now supported: QVGA, WQVGA, WSVGA, and qHD. Of course the Atrix has a qHD display so it should now be Swype-ready. The addition of WSVGA resolution is a little confusing, as the primary devices in this category are the Galaxy Tab and the Nook Color.
If you have a Playstation 3 and have ever surfed the web or chatted with a gaming buddy, you may already be familiar with one of the most annoying text entry systems known to mankind. Pushing a directional pad (or joystick) to select letters may have been fun when entering the Super Macho Man code in Mike Tyson's Punchout, but this isn't 1987, and you expect an easier method of typing. Of course, Sony (and third party vendors) will be happy to sell you a pricey keyboard peripheral, but do you really want to buy yet another accessory for your gaming console?