Google Calendar 5.x is quite the visual experience. Sure, the relatively unorthodox way it goes about listing events rather than showing you a grid of dates may not feel as Calendar-y out of the box, but boy is it pretty. And now it's prettier. Google has added new illustration to accompany more of your events. Read More
Google has announced that Google News will soon be available in seven new languages - Romanian, Bahasa Indonesia, Bengali, Bulgarian, Lithuanian, and Thai.
The new languages will be available in "the next few days" according to Google. Google claims this will add a potential audience of over 260 million new readers to news, with the native language versions available on the web or the Android and iOS mobile apps.
The Google News & Weather app received a huge version 2.0 release last summer after languishing as a stock Android widget for years, and its popularity has boomed in the meantime, racking up between 100 million and 500 million installs on the Play Store. Read More
Welcome to the future. No, really, it's the future, right here and right now. And not just because we've got mobile processors that can calculate Pi to the ten trillionth digit, or because our video games are starting to look more like movies than games. Nope, what makes me feel like I'm living in The Future(TM) more than anything else is how all that pie-in-the-sky Moore's Law tech gets applied to solving very human problems, like figuring out where the exit is in the Jakarta airport.
Case in point: Google's Translate app is applying the Word Lens visual translate tool, which lets you point your phone's camera to a sign or piece of paper and see the text in your native language, to 20 new languages. Read More
Google Text-to-Speech updates? Psh, boring, right? Maybe it is most of the time, but this update (v3.5.6) brings four new languages including two Chinese dialects. These are, of course, some of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Read More
Last month the beta version of Minecraft for Android added a ton of new features, most notably a port of the player skin feature that's become such a popular part of the original Minecraft game. Just a couple of weeks later Mojang has instituted the changes in the public version of Minecraft: Pocket Edition. Go check it out on the Play Store now if you've already purchased the game, or buy it for $7.
Skins are a big deal. Not only do they allow the greatest amount of player customization after, well, making stuff in Minecraft itself, they also represent the game's first post-purchase revenue stream. Read More
Fancy a bit of customization for your Android version of Minecraft? You'll soon be accommodated by developer Mojang. According to this blog post, the Pocket Edition of the game will get a significant update later this week, with player skins being the biggest addition. If you've played the PC or console version of Minecraft, you know that custom skins for player avatars have become a big part of the game's community aspect.
At least a few free skins will be available, and Mojang will sell more as in-app purchases, with packs of around 20 skins costing one US dollar. But that's not the only way to access the feature. Read More
Duolingo, perhaps the best app for language learning on the Android platform, has added yet another option for prospective students: the native tongue of PewDiePie, Swedish. With the latest update, Swedish joins recent additions Irish and Dutch along with Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, and Danish as options for English speakers. For now, Swedish is in a beta stage, according to Duolingo's website. You can still use it as normal though, they just don't promise absolute stability.
Swedish is spoken by nearly 10 million people throughout the world, mostly in Sweden and Finland. While sentences like Vad var det för ord – var det långt eller kort, var det väl eller illa skrivet? Read More
The latest Minuum update is a good one for people who speak multiple languages. This third-party keyboard's developers have added in experimental simultaneous multilingual support. Now you can type away at the single row of characters at the bottom of the screen and receive recommendations from two or more languages at once.
Since using multiple languages requires downloading separate language packs, the Minuum folks have touched up this part of the interface. In addition to an in-app progress bar, a notification appears that can show you how much of the download remains while you move on to do other things. Read More
Irish is hard. Like, really, really hard - as someone who can generally fake his way through Latin-based languages, I was completely lost when I went to Ireland and found that all the road signs were in what I had previously thought of as "Gaelic." It's a good thing that English was also on the signs. But if you're interested in learning it (or if your Republic of Ireland education demands that you do) you can now get some practice in Duolingo, along with Danish. Which, frankly, makes a lot more sense as an addition. Both are marked as "Beta" courses on the website. Read More
The SwiftKey folks have released a new version of the popular third-party keyboard that comes with support for thirteen new Indian languages bundled in, but it's all still tucked away in beta form. Users who download the 5.1 beta will get access to Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Nepali, and Sinhala (Nepali and Sinhala are not Indian languages but SwiftKey opted to lump them in because they belong to the same Indo-Aryan language family). These languages join Hindi and Hinglish, which are already included in the app.
To get these languages, you will need to join the new SwiftKey Beta for Android Google Group. Instructions are available inside. Read More