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.
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.
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.
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).
Update 8/21/14: Google today made the feature official by announcing it on the Inside Search blog. Head over to Search -> Settings -> Voice -> Languages to pick your languages.
Anyone who uses more than one language on a regular basis has probably felt some degree of annoyance with Google's voice search system on Android. You have to dig way into the settings to change the language, and there's no way to mix and match.
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.
We cover many Gmail updates around these parts, but the most important aspect of any email client remains the ability to read it. Today Google has announced support for an additional thirteen languages, bumping the total number up from 58 to 71. The change should benefit speakers from many corners of the globe, as the list shows languages from Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America.
The thirteen new languages are:
- Azerbaijani (Azeri)
- Chinese (Hong Kong)
- French (Canada)
This support applies to the web version of Gmail, both on computers and mobile devices.
A mobile keyboard is only as good as the number of languages it supports. Keyword: supports. The keys we press on our keyboards may seem pretty simple to get right, but sometimes manufacturers don't ship devices with everything functioning and available out of the box, including entire languages. In those cases, the sooner an update arrives, the better. So HTC is making over 40 Sense Input languages available on Google Play, speeding up and simplifying the way it can push out future updates and language packs.
The Google update fairy is making her rounds today, and one app to feel the effect of her wand is Google Translate. The new features are pretty straightforward, but for many of you, that won't make this release any less exciting.
Translate now supports handwriting in thirteen new languages. Instead of typing in characters, you can now scribble away and watch as Google recognizes your characters in Arabic, Bosnian, Cebuano, Gujarati, Hmong, Kannada, Maltese, Mongolian, Persian, Punjabi, Somali, Tamil, and Telugu.
It's often the case that one piece of software will introduce a groundbreaking feature, but others will expand on it, eventually replacing the original. When it comes to Android, Swype and SwiftKey come to mind. But the latter has yet to vanquish the former, nor has the addition of gesture-based typing to the stock keyboard, and Swype has now been updated with a host of new features that show just how much of a heavyweight this contender remains.