Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bing for Android released for Verizon customers only.


Unless you live in the U.S. and is a Verizon customer, Bing is not yet available to everyone. Not that I need Bing on my Nexus One, but I will never understand such moves from Microsoft, Google and the other major players. Why not just make apps available to the world? Why is that the different app stores do not have a uniform view and offering? Why does it have to be location based?

That said, Microsoft Bing app "features the Bing image of the day, complete with clickable hotspots". Also included is the ability to do voice search, image search and more. No words yet from Microsoft as to when Bing will reach out to the rest of us non-Verizon customers.

Read more here.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Check out the StreamTV Elocity A7.

This is one cool of a device. The StreamTV Elocity A7 is the first Android tablet running Froyo scheduled to be released in October at the very cool price of $399. I'd love to get my hands on the Elocity.The device has a 7 inch screen, capacitive touchscreen, front facing camera, HDMI port, a 1ghz processor. Between a Dell Streak and the Elocity, the choice is obvious. Check out the pictures and short video posted on Engadget.


Try Fennec Alpha for Android.

Fennec Alpha has reached version 2.0 and is now available for download. Just visit this link on your phone. Since this is a beta version, you will certainly run across a few bugs. Don't keep them to yourself and let Mozilla know about them @ https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Skyfire for Android updated

Skyfire Beta was updated yesterday to version 2.3.1. and is available free on Android Market.

Fixes for 2.3.1:

Fixed streaming performance issues for Droid X and Droid 2 devices
Proper streaming support for HTC EVO.
Improved overall streaming performance for all Froyo devices.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Go under water with Google earth 1.1

Yes, the new Google Earth 1.1 for Android lets you explore the oceans covering three quarter of the planet. Available free on Android Market, depending on your location. Google Earth is not available for me. I downloaded it while in Frankfurt earlier this year. However, I lost it after performing a hard reset of my Nexus One last month. Beside the under sea exploration, devices running Froyo offers Flash balloons so you can watch videos right in those balloons. I would love to try that to see how it affects my Nexus One performance.

"The “Explore the Ocean” layer, which features hundreds of photos and videos from more than 100 contributors who are excited to share their stories of sea."

Google Earth 1.1 runs on Android devices running version 2.1 of the OS. The Flash version works on 2.2 devices only. 


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Flash Player 10.1 out of beta, available for Nexus One only.

This morning, my Nexus One  is showing an update available for Adobe's Flash Player 10.1. This update also puts Flash out of beta.

Flash Player lets you " browse the full web and access all your favorite online videos, games and apps."

According to reports on the web, this update is available to the Nexus One only. I think it should not take long to see Flash Player appear on other Froyo devices.

Flash Player is available free on Android Market.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Introducing Voice Actions for Android.

Yesterday I blogged about Swiftkey issuing an update that added voice support to its soft keyboard application. It's a great addition that lets you simply dictate your emails instead of  typing it. Now it's Google's turn to announce an application that uses a similar voice technology called  Voice Actions.

Voice Actions lets you control your phone using spoken commands. Want to send a note to yourself, say "notes to self" and Voice Actions brings up Gmail with your spoken words in the email body ready for you to send. To send a text message, speak the command "Send text to [contact][message]". You can also use Voice Actions to conduct a search, but that feature was already embedded into Google Search. With Voice Actions, Google is simply extending the service to other applications on Android phones running Android 2.2 (Froyo).

How to use Voice Actions? More after the break.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Flip phone to start Google Gesture Search.

Version 1.2 of Google Gesture Search was announced yesterday. The new version contains a new feature that lets you flip your phone to start Gesture Search. According to Google, "this eliminates the need to activate Gesture Search from a home screen shortcut." Sensitivity can be adjusted in the applications settings.

I did play with it a few minutes ago. So, in the settings you have the option to Disable, Hard to trigger, normal and easy to trigger. After a few seconds trying it, I've configured the "Double Flip sensitivity" to Disable.

See Double Flip at work:

SwiftKey Keyboard updated, gets voice recognition.

I have been using SwiftKey on my nexus one for a while now and it's there to stay. For those who know me are aware that I'm not a fan of on-screen keyboard. It took me some time to get myself acquainted to the default Google default keyboard. It was still a pain for me to type short emails or text. The default keyboard was not particularly good at guessing my next words; causing a lot of frustration. So I decided to start the hunt for a new and efficient keyboard. At that time I came across two, namely Swiftkey and Swype.

I tried the latter first and very quickly gave up. It was already hard for me to use a soft keyboard and Swype made it worst for me. With Swype you have to trace your finger across the keyboard to type and you don't even have to be accurate. That sounds cool, but I just could not adapt to it. So I gave up. But Swype is a cool product that I recommend you try.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Skyfire updated to version 2.3.

The folks over at Skyfire has released an update for the one browser that supports Flash on Android. See the list of enhancements below.

Enhancements in this release: Video playback: We improved our video streaming reliability, thus you should see a much lower occurrence of video timeouts with this new version. More enhancements are in the works, so video reliability will continue to get better.

YouTube: On July 23, YouTube changes many of its APIs and YouTube support on Skyfire became intermittent. Resolved.

Desktop/Mobile switch: When switching between Android and Desktop mode of a page we better preserve the original page URL to reduce confusion due to page redirects.

Video startup time: Video playback start time improved as much as 5 seconds.

Fixed in this release:
Startup Crash: For some users, Skyfire would intermittently force close startup. Fixed.

Battery optimization, especially when Skyfire is in background

Samsung Galaxy S: Better support for Flash 9 to co exist with Skyfire Toolbar.

Find on page: functionality fully working now

Exit Skyfire in Android 1.5: On Motorola Backflip a HTC Magic it is now possible to properly exit Skyfire a long-pressing the 'back' key.

Read more @ http://www.skyfire.com/skyfire-2-3-for-android-release-notes/

Skyfire 2.3 is available free on Android Market.

Posted from my Nexus One.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

BlindType: Type anywhere on the screen. kind of.

BlindType is another soft keyboard being developed for Android that wants to improve your typing experience. As the name suggest, you could be soon typing on your phone without looking at the screen. Since the software has not been released yet, it's hard to tell how it really works. According to BlindType website:

  It is a revolutionary system that:

  • Eliminates touch typing  frustrations 

  • Allows for super sloppy typing 

  • Helps you type easier and faster   

  • Constantly adjusts to the user's "perceived" keyboard and typing style

  • Just type the way you are used to - no gestures, nothing new to learn! 

Have you ever been able to type on any kind of keyboard without looking at it? I can't. It seems to me that you'll need to at least know your devices' keyboard layouts for BlindType to work efficiently. See for yourself: