If you've ever found yourself lost in Singapore or Hong Kong, then I'm sorry. I hear that if you run into the wrong part of town things can get... bad. It's a shame you didn't have Google Navigation to save you the trouble of ending up somewhere you shouldn't be. The good news, though: future wanderers won't have to suffer your potential strife, because Google Nav should now be available in the aforementioned places.
OK, everybody, it's patent time. Get your coffee. And preferably, keep sharp objects out of arm's reach.
As you may have heard by now, Apple now has a patent on touchscreen maps that was granted just a few days ago. The patent in question (which we'll call the '033 patent) can be found here. It's a real page-turner. I'm kidding, no it's not - it's a patent. It's about as exciting as a treatise on the effects of the 18th century transatlantic textile trade on horse carriage upholstery.
This is the app roundup. The game roundup from this week can be found here.
As part of the unveiling of Android 4.2 yesterday, Google introduced a brand-new input method on the stock Android keyboard called "Gesture Typing." Basically, it's Swype. If you don't know what Swype is, check out this video. Basically, you drag your finger to type instead of tapping. Here's Google's version in action:
While I'm not a fan of the Swype-style typing, a lot of people do seem to love it, and it's cool that Google is now providing a tertiary input method (alongside normal typing and voice typing) on the stock keyboard.
Skitch, a popular annotation and sharing app, received an update to version 2.0 today with a redesigned interface, a handful of useful markup tools, and improved Evernote integration.
For those unaware, Skitch is an app that allows users to "communicate visually with friends, co-workers, or anyone." Essentially, it can draw in resources like notes, photos, screenshots, or maps, and then add markup to convey ideas or highlight important aspects of the document for later reference or sharing.
Back when ICS was released, it brought a whole new stock launcher, leaving old-style GB launchers in the dust. One such launcher - ADW - just received a massive update in the Play Store, bringing it back from the dead.
This is basically a full re-write of the launcher, but it still offers many of the features that made ADW and ADW EX so popular back in the day, including icon themes, gestures, widget resizing, and more.
Smartphone-controlled lighting. That is one of the true signs that the future is now, ladies and gentlemen. And Philips is leading the charge with its [slightly expensive] Hue light bulbs. So, how do these bad boys work? Let's cut to video:
It's pretty simple, actually. So, when you buy a Hue starter pack (... $200), you get three light bulbs, and a wireless bridge device. The bridge, acting as a, well, bridge, links the light bulbs to your existing wireless router.
This is why it's great that Google unbundles core apps from the OS. While it might take a considerable amount of time before the newest version of Jelly Bean rolls out to your device, current Android 4.1 users can upgrade Google Search right now and get access to the latest improvements to Google Now. The list of fun new features includes additional cards (like Stocks, News, Concerts, and Packages), as well as voice actions, including the glorious ability to add events to your calendar with via speech.
We know a lot of our international readers have been eager to get their hands on the Play Store's content ecosystem. It turns out Google is just as eager for that as you are. In addition to movie rentals, users in Canada, the UK, France, Spain, and Australia will be able to purchase movies outright and watch them forever.
Said Google on the matter: