What happens when Google's open-source program manager Chris DiBona reads one too many false claims about the nature of open source software? He takes to his soapbox on Google+ to put everyone in check.
That's exactly what happened a couple of days ago after DiBona read yet another article pounding the nature of open source, citing that it's "inherently insecure." Like any advocate for a cause would do, DiBona immediately set out to uncover the truth about security in an open source environment, paying particular attention to mobile operating systems, including Android and iOS. Read More
Who's ready for some Friday morning hotness? Alright, it may not be that hot, but probable new features are always welcome in my book. Looks like the Big Goog has been awarded a new lockscreen patent, which could bring some new features to our good buddy pattern lock.
Pattern lock is no stranger to Android; in fact, it has been part of the mix since the beginning. With this new patent, though, the old dog may be learning a couple of new tricks, like custom gestures to launch specific apps. Read More
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. Read More
Today brings more good news for Google TV owners with the release of the cloud-powered Google Music app. As Jurek Foryciarz, Product Manager of Google TV puts it:
The app syncs with your Google Music account in the cloud, so there is no need to stream from a computer or download songs to the TV. Simply download the Google Music app for Google TV from Android Market, login with your account, and enjoy your entire music library through your HDTV and home theater system.
Google Music is old hat. Sorry, guys - it's true. Streaming? Amazon's Cloud Player and iTunes iCloud both have it. Locker storage? Amazon gives you a decent amount, too - and they might even increase it if they feel Google Music is one-upping them. Purchase options? Apple and Amazon both have more music you can purchase digitally, including titles from Warner Music Group (which Google Music does not have), where many major contemporary artists are signed. Read More
The Galaxy Nexus, aka the biggest tease in the world of mobile this year, is so close that we can almost feel the Verizon variant in our grabby little hands, but alas, it's not out just yet. Google wanted to send us a reminder today, just in case we've forgotten (yeah, right) in the form of a new Galaxy Nexus commercial and ten accompanying how-to videos.
Their message: "Simple. Beautiful. Beyond Smart," and that's exactly the way we like it. Read More
Update: The Music section of the Market is now live! (Link). Access to Music in the Android Market (on-device) will be rolling out over the next few days on the server side (there is no new version of the Market to get the Music section). A new version of the Music app is out as well, check it out here.
Update 2: Here's the full video of the Google Music event held in Los Angeles today (if the embedded timecode doesn't work, skip to 29m30s for the start of the event):
Just minutes ago, Google announced the launch of the long-awaited Google Music storefront. Read More
One of the most interesting features in Ice Cream Sandwich is, without a doubt, the new Face Unlock that lets you unlock the phone using your face and the front-facing camera. Before we go any further, please read the following bullet points, as I'd like to clear a few things up:
- The question of whether Face Unlock can be duped by a photo was raised by many almost immediately after the feature was announced, to which Google responded with "give us some credit".
The Kindle Fire, Amazon’s content-subsidized tablet, has been arriving to the delight of people all across the U.S. The heavily-skinned Gingerbread Android device has left many questions in the minds of the Android and Gadget community. For instance, will we be able to install apps outside of the Amazon Appstore? How about using adb? And, of course, the most important question of all - can the Fire be rooted?
If you remember, Amazon said it wouldn't do anything special to prevent rooting or interfere with those who want to customize their devices in other ways (although the status of the bootloader is unknown at this time). Read More
In case you were wondering or had any doubt at all, the CyanogenMod 9 wheels are now in motion (as promised), and in a few months (likely weeks for nightlies) delicious ICS will drip onto 68+ supported Android devices, some completely forgotten by carriers and manufacturers. If you ask me, that's the best thing that could happen to them anyway - what do carriers know about keeping their devices up-to-date with Android, right? Read More