Speaking two (or more) languages is cool. Typing in two or more character sets is decidedly less cool. Bilingual speakers who know, say, English and Spanish can have an easy enough time typing since they share a (mostly) common Latin alphabet. However, English/Hindi speakers may have a harder time bouncing between scripts because they use entirely different character sets. Enter Google.
In addition to providing a regular Hindi keyboard (below, right) which takes up multiple pages of letters, this app also offers a transliteration keyboard. For the layman, transliteration involves converting text from one character set to another, though not actually translating the words themselves.
"Updates for everyone!" she said, as the improvements seemingly fell from the sky. Suddenly, she realized the updates weren't actually for everyone, but rather Google's Field Trip app, as well as Play Books. While she was embarrassed at her initial mistake, no one actually appeared to notice as they all stared silently at their digital devices, exploring the new goodies bestowed upon them.
That's a small excerpt from a wonderful story about a girl and a pair of Google apps, which is ironically very appropriate for today, because both of those apps just happened to be updated. Call it fate. Call it a lucky guess.
The ongoing saga of Falcon Pro and the great Twitter token shortage of 2013 has taken yet another turn. No, Twitter hasn't stopped being a jerk-face. Developer Joaquim Vergès has reset all the tokens for Falcon Pro in an effort to free up unused ones. This should (temporarily) solve the problem of new users being locked out.
This means that when users download the new update, they're going to be forced to log back in to Twitter. Because there are actually fewer than 100,000 active users, there should be enough access tokens to go around. Popular wisdom states that it was returns, former users, and pirates that were soaking up a large chunk of the tokens.
AccuWeather is one of the leading apps for getting more information than you could ever possibly need about the position of the sun, clouds, and the statistical likelihood that precipitation will fall from the sky. It has not, however, been the leader in Holo interfaces among weather apps (the Weather Channel beat it to the punch last week). Today, it catches up, though, with a brand spanking new UI.
It's not just menu bars and Roboto that are being added for this interface overhaul. The company has also improved the widgets, allowing them to be resizable. Which, you know, all widgets should be.
There are a lot of security apps for Android that go a little ways into overkill territory. Whether you're talking about superfluous task managers or "virus scanners" that may provide some minimal protection while generating more fear than is warranted, Android has a persistent problem with companies applying a Windows-era mentality on a completely different OS. Secunia PSI, however, takes the cake for being one of the least effective apps on the Play Store.
Here's how it works: Secunia scans your apps for possible vulnerabilities. Not actual infections, mind you. It just checks to see if the currently installed versions of your application match any known security holes.
Google's Chrome browser for Android got itself a nice little update today that brings a couple of new features, as well as an improved overall experience:
There are actually a few notable changes here, but the biggest might be the ability to play audio in the background.
Pushover, a "simple push notification service" that essentially allows web services, scripts, and a lot more to send notifications to your mobile device, got an update recently to version 1.6 (and soon after, 1.6.1), which brought on a couple more nifty features.
Namely, the update brings support for DashClock, the popular clock/information widget that has gained immense support in its first few weeks of existence. Now DashClock can show you how many Pushover notifications are waiting for you.
The update also brings support for the lauded Pebble Smartwatch, allowing the gadget to receive forwarded notifications, provided you've got the Pebble app, and the watch is paired with your phone.
Passbook is one of the few features on iOS that I feel a bit envious of (even if it doesn't do payments like Google Wallet). Apparently Samsung had similar thoughts when it was announced, because the company unveiled a brand-new in-house platform this morning called Samsung Wallet that does basically the exact same thing.
Samsung didn't provide a launch time frame for the service, but we're guessing this was just a taste of the new software features we'll be seeing in the Galaxy S IV announcement on March 14th.
Wallet works quite similarly to Apple's Passbook platform, in that Samsung has announced a number of launch partners who will have items like gift cards, loyalty cards, discount cards, and boarding passes integrated for use in the app via barcode.
Adobe has kind of a scattershot mobile strategy. On the one hand, it released six apps back in 2011 for tablets that ranged from okay to awesome. On the other hand, it killed off five of them last year. The tablet versions cost $10 each. Pricey for an app, but Adobe knows how to bring it's A-game. Today, it's bringing it again with a phone version of Photoshop Touch. A distinct piece of software for $5.
Nearly all of the features of the tablet version are available here, including layer support, selective editing, and an array of touch-friendly gestures and menus that made the original app so dang nice.
From the moment it was released, Poweramp has been one of the most beloved music players on Android. While it doesn't have that Google cloud magic, the developer has done a great job of keeping the app fresh with updates. This most recent update really piles on the goodies, too.
The developer has added some neat features for users of a few select devices. If you're on Android 4.2, Poweramp now has a proper lockscreen widget. There is also experimental support for Samsung's MultiWindow mode, which is cool if you've got a Galaxy Note II or some versions of the Galaxy S III.