It's almost become trite to hear that Google has bought another company that deals in photo editing software. Yet, here we are again. Today, Vic Gundotra announced on Google+ that Nik Software, creators of the impressive Snapseed app that we saw demoed at CES this year, will be joining the Mountain View team.
While there's no indication yet just which Google product will see the benefit of this new talent, it can only mean good news.
So here's a novel idea: when a device reaches its end of life, manufacturers should provide users with a way to keep the flame burning. In a nutshell, that's what Lenovo has done with the Ideapad K1.
Here's the gist: the company is finished with this device. They no longer sell it, and it's clear that, past the most recent update (Android 3.2), they no longer plan to support it. So, they made a smart move: they built stock, unmodified Ice Cream Sandwich for the the K1, and released it to the public.
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.
Archos may not make the most headlines for its series of mid-range tablets, but occasionally, one of them deserves a mention. The Archos 101 G9 is a strong contender for your money if you're on a tight budget. The savants among you may want to hold off for a Galaxy Note 10.1, or whatever Google is cooking up for its tablet line. Still, with prices starting at $270 for the 8" 8GB version to $330 for the 10" 8GB version, it's difficult to ignore.
Hot on the heels of the Droid Razr's leaked fastboot files, two more Motorola devices can now be restored to stock configuration in case of emergency.
Motorola's Atrix 2 and Droid Bionic have both had their fastboot files leaked in recent days, providing a bit of insurance for daring users and developers alike. The Atrix 2's files are available here, while the Droid Bionic's fastboot set can be found here.
Google Android software engineer Jean-Baptiste Queru has just let loose a factory image of the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, meaning developers now have an official software build to recover from bricks and to tinker with to their hearts' contents. You can find the image, ITL41D, here. The post also indicates more Verizon Galaxy Nexus goodies will be coming later, so we'll keep you updated as more is released.
In a recent "Competitive Comparison" graphic, Verizon has labeled Samsung's Galaxy Nexus as having "No OEM Customization," ostensibly as a selling point against the competition.
It's interesting that Verizon would go so far in labeling the Nexus' UI as such, but it may hint that VZW is at least vaguely aware that some consumers prefer a stock experience, and consider it a strong enough selling point that it should be included in a comparison chart.
For those who are anxious to get their hands on Ice Cream Sandwich, another bit of Android's newest iteration has slipped out. This time, we've got the ICS keyboard. While it doesn't include the live voice-to-text functionality we were impressed by at Google's announcement (though there are options related to the microphone button in the keyboard's settings), it does bring some nice improvements to the table over Gingerbread's keyboard.
Did you recently do something horrible to your Droid Bionic? Tired of staring at that red Motorola logo? This freshly released recovery file will have your bionic running like new in no time.
Interestingly, Motorola has changed the recovery file format from the tried and true SBF file to the XML based FXZ file. There's isn't a huge difference between the new and old file format, but according to Brief Mobile's head honcho, Kenneth Pennington, FXZ is "more transparent and customizable." So there's that.