There are no shortage of keyboard replacements on the market. Between SwiftKey, Swype, and the various manufacturer-skinned versions, you can't help but have three or four options on your phone. Today's latest entrant, iKnowU, still manages to stand out with the ability to predict entire phrases and highlighting of the next letters it thinks you're going to type. Pretty impressive.
Swiftkey 3 recently arrived on the Play Store, and not too long afterwards, the company has posted a statement on its blog letting us know that the app is currently the best-selling paid app on the Play Store. Not too bad, SwiftKey! Of course, the biggest challenge is ahead, as Google announced yesterday that, from Jelly Bean onwards, the default Android keyboard will attempt to predict your next word. Which smacks just a little of SwiftKey's pitch.
If you have an EVO 4G LTE from Sprint, you may want to take a closer look at your unit before your initial 3014 days are up if you're still within that timeframe. Some users over at XDA are reporting that their devices are experiencing light bleed around the home button when the button is lit up and the display is darkened. If you want to test out your unit, the app Dead Pixel Test can help.
Paper Camera, one of the most successful camera apps on the Android Market, got an update to version 2.0 today. You may remember our preview of version 2.0 earlier this month, 2.0 being the update which promised to add video capability to the already awesome app. Well, JFDP Labs LTD has made good on that promise, and thrown in a few other tweaks as well.
At the moment, only the Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy SII, Galaxy Note, Droid 3, and Transformer Prime have official video support, but JFDP advises that other devices "might have some degree of support."
Besides added video capabilities, Paper Camera has also received support for Android Beam, allowing users to transfer images seamlessly between devices powered by Ice Cream Sandwich.
There is no shortage of launcher replacements for Android, but once in a while a new one comes along and takes the launcher experience to a new level. Such is the case with TSF Shell Pro, a new launcher currently in development by a team of developers who call themselves C3D. TSF, their brand, stands for The Special Forces, and special they are - just take a look at what the team cooked up.
Offering a simple, no-nonsense entry into the replacement dialer game, ShSh Software gives us TAKEphONE - a plain, unassuming alternative to Android's stock Phone app.
At A Glance
TAKEphONE is by all accounts a simple dialer replacement. When I say simple I mean it has three main screens, each with subtle variations in their settings menus. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as it keeps the app lightweight and easy. I will say, however, that the app could use some polish.
Tonight, TouchType Ltd. released a much-anticipated update to SwiftKey X, the text prediction authority among replacement keyboards. The update brings a ton of improvements, from UI tweaks to performance and language changes, and even prediction enhancements. Perhaps more important than all of that, however, is the fact that SwiftKey X 2.2 has full Ice Cream Sandwich support, and an enhanced multi-touch framework, keeping the keyboard replacement ahead of the curve.
Specifically, the update brings the following changes:
Full language localization for major European languages (English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Portugese)
Intelligent typing support extended to 35 languages, including Arabic and Hebrew
Enhanced multi-touch framework for faster typing
Prediction and correction enhancements thanks to a more efficient Fluency engine
Graphic enhancements, including a better settings menu, alternative character selection and sharing features
Enhancements to the keyboard to change the height in both portrait and landscape modes
New Dvorak and Colemak layouts for those who wish to depart from QWERTY
Reduced memory use
Full Support for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
If you aren't already a fan of SwiftKey X, these enhancement should go a long way in convincing you.
Continuing on the quest for the perfect dialer to replace Android's stock phone application, I've come across Contapps Contacts & Dialer, an app I had never heard of until I began scouring the market. For a free dialer app, it has a lot to offer, and I'm surprised that it isn't more popular.
At A Glance
Contapps is a dialer replacement that is simple, practical, and well-designed, with enough extra features to make it feel new.
Joining the vast crowd of dialer replacements in the Android Market, our hunt has brought us to Angel Dialer, an uncomplicated app that effectively replaces the stock Android dialer, but which may have compromised necessary functionality for a no-frills implementation.
At A Glance
While Angel Dialer takes a concerted stance against superfluous features, its simplicity is not always a plus. While its features work, and it provides the same basic functionality we've seen before, it is lacking a few things that would take it up a level, and make it a decent dialer replacement.
I'm not sure I would personally ever do that (wait, I'm sure - I'm shrugging just thinking about it), but let's say that you really love the look and feel of the the iOS desktop UI found on Apple's iPhone, with the launchpad, rounded corners, folders, trembling icons with little X's, etc. However, you also love the flexibility that Android offers. Can both be combined? The answer, as it turns out, is yes - Espier Launcher, which just landed in the Android Market (probably immediately infringing on a few dozen Apple patents).