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.
Google is rolling out support for 18 new languages for Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides today, bringing the total up to a whopping 65. Users can switch back and forth between languages as often as they want, and collaboration is supported across languages. The new additions are supported on mobile devices as well, so shoot your long distance friend an invite and give the new languages as go.
The new languages are:
- Chinese (Hong Kong)
- French (Canada)
- Spanish (Latin America)
To change the language on your computer, simply click the gear icon within Google Drive and select Settings.
If you've ever wanted to learn a language but don't want to be tethered to a PC or stuck in some classroom, this might be your lucky day. Rosetta Course has just launched on Android, and you can try it out for free. You are welcome to choose from more than a dozen languages to explore, but only the first few lessons are available without paying up.
Rosetta Course uses a combination of text, images, and speech to help you learn the ins and outs of a new language.
Well, it's a start. While the Skype app for Android still has a bizarre and uncomfortable habit of forcing landscape mode, today's update at least allows users to use the portrait orientation if they're making a call. That's nice. Especially since the positioning of front-facing cameras on devices like the Nexus 7 make landscape video chats extremely awkward. Now if only we could get this for the rest of the interface, that would be great.
Under the hood of Google Now, powering all those beautiful cards that pop up when you search for certain things, is Google's Knowledge Graph. In what might be the company's most ambitious project ever, Google aims to categorize and classify all information so that when you search for, say, Jeff Goldbum, the search engine knows you might also be interested in information about Chaos Theory or survival tips for raptor attacks.
In a post to its official blog that's sure to excite users across the globe, Google has just announced that Voice Search is now available in thirteen new languages. The list of newly included languages, which range from Basque to Swedish, brings the total number of supported tongues up to 42.
In the post, Product Manager Bertrand Damiba explains just what it takes to add a new language to Voice Search – first and foremost, Google must collect "hundreds of thousands of utterances" from volunteers to bring speech recognition up to par.
Open the flood gates and let the Play Store news come in this morning! It looks like Google has updated support of its web store at play.google.com for at least 20 new languages. One of our esteemed tipsters pointed out today that the languages list has gotten bigger. Much bigger. We checked it out for ourselves and it's true.
Left: Old list of languages. Center, Right: So many more languages!
Late last night, the Android team pushed out a set of changes to the Android app publishing interface that developers use to upload and maintain their apps. The new features, while completely invisible to the end-users, are absolutely fascinating to app developers.
Each app now has a Statistics link, which consists of the following:
- a Google Finance-style Flash chart of all installs, the time period for which you can adjust as you see fit
- Android versions (conveniently placed side-by-side with the same stats for all apps in the Market)
- specific device models
- countries where your app is downloaded from (also side-by-side with countries for all apps in the Market)
- languages used on the phones with your app on them (also compared to the global stats)
Have a look at some screenshots, then, if you are a developer, hurry to your own publishing console and check out those sexy stats for yourself.