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Android Market Passes 1 Billion App Downloads, Nearing 100,000 Apps (And Picking Up Speed)

TechCrunch published an interesting article yesterday on AndroiLib. The most interesting fact in the article is that AndroidLib estimates that the Market has passed 1 billion app downloads (the live ticker is now at 1.061 billion, as shown in the image below). It’s pretty impressive, and it’s somewhat surprising that we haven’t heard word of this from Google (then again, they don’t usually formally announce this stuff – most of the statistics we have on Android come either from public events or analysts).

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Swiftkey Keyboard For Android Now Available In The Market As A Public Beta. Swype Begone - It's That Good!

Swiftkey For those of you who don’t like your stock or alternative add-on keyboards on your Android device, have I got good news for you: the Swiftkey beta is now available in the Android market.

I’ve been using Swiftkey through a private beta for the past few weeks and there’s one word I have to describe it: fantastic. I replaced my Swype keyboard with Swiftkey and haven’t looked back since.

Predictive Text

One of the best features of this keyboard is the predictive text.

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Shazam For Android Goes Premium - This Is How A Paid Version Launch Should Be Done

Have you ever been out in public, heard a song, liked it, and wanted to know the name of it? Well, there’s a very cool app that’s been around for a while called Shazam. You simply fire up the app when you hear the song, press TAG, and voila! The app identifies (or tags) the song title and artist for you and provides ways to purchase the track via an online store or find it on YouTube.

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Follow-Up: Astro File Manager Goes Pro, Removes Ads

Yesterday we published a piece regarding Astro File Manager’s now-mandatory ads. Earlier today, the developer of Astro (Metago) released Astro File Manager Pro. It comes in at $2.99, and its  only “Pro” feature at the moment is that it removes ads from the application.

image 

Some users may feel this is a cheap-shot. I disagree. Metago has taken the high ground in regard to the paid apps philosophy, here’s how.

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Top Android Apps Every Rooted User Should Know About, Part 1: Apps 1-8

Ok, I’ve Rooted, So Now What?

Aside from allowing the installation of popular ROMs developed by the Android community, rooting your phone also comes with the benefit of being able to install apps that require root permissions.

Finding such apps can be a hassle, so we’ve done some of the leg work for you and come up with a detailed rundown of our top 8 root-only applications.

TitaniumBackup Titanium Backup

Cost: FREE (Full Version: $3.99)

QR code for https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.keramidas.TitaniumBackup

The thought of losing all the apps on your Android device likely evokes a slight sinking sensation in your gut.

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HTC Aria Now Able To Side Load Apps Thanks To Sync Update

Nobody was happy to learn that the HTC Aria would be locked down in the same way as its predecessor, the Backflip, and be unable to install non-Market apps. Fortunately, HTC has given Aria owners a sort of “fix” through an update in their desktop client.

The newest version of HTC Sync for Aria (which you can download for Windows here) gives users the ability to load an APK onto their phone, which means they now have access to a host of new apps that are not available on the Market.

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Astro File Manager: Now with Forced Ads!

Before I start I’d like to make on thing clear – I think ASTRO File Manager is a superb file management application and I have nothing against their developers or the app itself!

If you’ve used an Android phone, you probably know what Astro File Manager is. Briefly, it’s a file management application that lets you organise, edit, and manage the files on your SD Card. Not only that, but it also comes bundled with extra features such as application backups, task manager, SD Card Usage monitor.

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Google App Inventor Promises App Creation For Android Without Programming Knowledge

Google’s push for developer support knows no bounds. While they have previously used free phones to encourage developers to work with Android, they are now using an entirely different tactic – making everyone a developer.

App Inventor

How will they go about this? Through the just-announced App Inventor. Already in beta form, the program is designed to allow anyone to create fully functional apps for Android, without any programming whatsoever.

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Trillian To Bring Cross-Platform Chat To Android

Trillian chat

Chat on Android is about to get a whole lot better. Cerulean Studios, developers of cross-platform instant messaging client Trillian, are finally bringing their creation to Android. It’s certainly time – their iPhone application has been available for some time, while their Blackberry application is already in beta. Unfortunately, the first beta is still a few weeks away, but you can look forward to these great features:

  • Connect to Facebook Chat, Windows Live, Yahoo!, AIM, ICQ, Google Talk, Jabber/XMPP and MySpaceIM
  • Synchronize your contacts, avatars, status, accounts and more with your Trillian-enabled desktop or mobile apps
  • Get notified easily with Android notification system integration
  • Contact list sorting, grouping, metacontacts support, privacy settings and various ways to organize
  • Set status, avatar and display name quickly in one simple screen
  • Tabbed chat windows with bubble view, photo transfer, buzz and emoticon support
  • Support for Android phones as far back as version 1.6 – works with your good old T-Mobile G1 or the newest HTC Evo 4G or Motorola Droid!
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Swype Voice Input Button Coming Soon - Already Present On Samsung Galaxy S And Motorola Droid X

One of Swype keyboard's most glaring omissions, especially apparent to those of us with Android 2.1/2.2 is the missing voice input button.

The voice input button, present on the stock keyboard when typing in any text field, lets you utilize Android's speech-to-text capabilities and works surprisingly well. I sure missed it when I installed Swype.

And I'm not alone - over 2000 votes have been cast by Swype users, making it the #1 requested Swype feature - the next one down is only around 600 votes.

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