As we close on 2014, and approach 2015, it doesn’t hurt to take a step back and reflect on what was accomplished and what didn’t work out so well during the year. 2014, without a doubt, showed off some great new tech like Android Wear, and virtual reality is finally showing tangible signs of life. Even Apple decided to finally do something new (for itself) and make a reasonable phone size.
2014, as it’s winding down, is also showing some rather dangerous indications of what might be in store for Android OEMs in 2015. Sharp declines in sales, market stagnation and ridiculous patent warfare may bleed over into the new year, and I doubt anyone is going to come out victorious in the end.
A week ago we received hints at a new standalone Google Hands-Free application from a Google+ post. Now, thanks to Google search, we’ve found a new hint towards how this new app will fit in with the Android OS. Users can open up the Google Search App and search for “hands free.” They will be greeted with a card in the process of opening, but it will stall out until an action is taken and the process is cancelled. We still don’t know when the app will be released, or any of its features, but it seems like Google will release it to the world any day now.
Source: Android Police
The Go Dev Team continues to innovate and this time they’re entering the virtual keyboard arena with their latest iteration, Go Keyboard. At first glance, I almost dismissed it as just another keyboard, however, I believe the application brings quite a few new features to the game and just might be worth taking a look at. The software aims to make you a quick, better and smarter typer using its accurate dictionary, smooth key strokes and multiple languages and layouts. You can import contacts easily and there’s even support for fantasy text output and support for Emoji in any application that you can type in. Switch from a number of themes and skins with ease so as to stay out of the ever too often visited stale department.
Further features like auto-memory and correction when typing, multi-touch support and slide input (Swype like) all assist in accurate and easy input. And to top it all off, the Go Dev Team added gesture support to make things easier. You can swipe left or right to activate a cube like effect to switch keyboard layouts and swiping down closes the keyboard entirely. Hit the break to check out some more screen shots, snatch the QR code and to see all the languages supported in this release. Don’t forget to let us know what you think of it in the comments below. Does it compare to popular keyboards like Swype, Betterkeyboard and Thumb Keyboard? We’ll let you be the judge.
I have come across apps claiming to be exactly what I need. Very few few ever live up to that promise. Thinking Space doesn’t claim that and I couldn’t tell you if it does or not. Why, you ask? Mainly because I only had it loaded for five minutes before I knew Thinking Space Pro was my better option. Don’t get me wrong here, the free version is awesome. However the paid version does do exactly what I need. Did I confuse you a little there? I’m sorry, we will try to avoid that kind of play on words in the future. (Maybe.)
I am in college and I have a lot of .pdf files for school on my Tab 10.1, (It is my soul in school, without it I would be doomed.) and most of them are converted power points. So when I study, I need to have all of them as well as my notes in one place. Instead I have to search for them with Astro File Manager or load them in through Office Suite Pro 5. Neither option is hard at all, but it is time consuming searching through multiple files just to find the one I need. Thinking Space Pro allows you to inbed them all into one “mind map,” now they are all right at your finger tips, for easy studying. Read on past the break for the screen shoots and links to download.
The Droid Charge, one of the most popular phones on Verizon’s network, has found its way into TalkAndroid’s house, so what are we to do with it? Review it, of course! We were able to get our grubby little paws on Verizon’s pride and joy, and we must say, we’re impressed. The 4.3″ Super AMOLED Plus display is gorgeous, with deep darks and vibrant brights. The interface is snappy, and, while the benchmark tests don’t come back as astounding, you would never know it. Touchwiz is present, but heavily saturated with the Droid feel we’ve come to know and love – mainly from Samsung.
All in all, Samsung did a great job with this device. The physical aspects of the phone are great as well, with a slick back and a form factor that makes it steady, although some may complain it’s too big. However, this writer found it to be well-built and worth his time.
Be sure to hit the break to see the unboxing and review videos, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments.
Quick note – keep your eyes peeled over the coming hours, as we may have some big news involving a Droid Charge… the suspense!
We had a chance to get our hands on a new Samsung Conquer 4G on Sprint, and we would like to share it with you. The phone is considered an entry level device, although we here at TalkAndroid are giving it the thumbs up to be called mid-range. With a 1GHz CPU and the overall snappiness of the device, this phone deserves a little more “oomph” than “entry level”. The overall feel of the phone is good, and the fact that it comes with stock Vanilla Android as the UI excites the heck out of this writer.
If you’re wanting the full rundown of the device, hit the break for both the unboxing and review videos, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments.
With how fast Android has been advancing, anti-Android pundits like to point out that your device will be outdated merely a week or two after you buy it. What does that say about your device in 10 months? Does that make it archaic? The HTC Evo 4g was released to the public on June 4th, 2010. This was in the middle of possibly the most heated stage of the “Android vs iPhone” war. The iPhone 4 was just around the corner, Android was starting to really pick up steam, and the Evo 4G was marked with the typical “iPhone killer” (stupid phrase) even with the expected iPhone 4 coming out just later that month. The device received rave reviews, numerous awards (including a rather prestigious award from Popular Mechanics), and few criticisms. It set the standard for devices with large screens and brought about a new wave in how people view smart phones. Suddenly the standard 3.5 inch screen that the iPhone taught the world was the norm wasn’t as appealing. 4+ inch screens became the new black with the Evo leading the way (Yes, Verizon supporters, the Droid X was released in response to the Evo). Of course, all new technology is amazing when it’s initially released. The shelf life and its use months later, however, are what set the device apart from the pack.
At CES 2011, talkandroid was there and got to play with the impressive Motorola Droid Bionic. It is a sweet little device, as you can tell in our Hands-On video here. To add to it’s awesomeness, some others got to run some benchmarks on it, and not surprisingly, it put up some kick butt numbers in comparison to other “top devices” currently on the market as you can see below.
There’s many tools out there to benchmark an Android device, but Quadrant seems to be the favorite, scoring the Droid Bionic 2284 putting it well above other previously released Android smartphones.
Check the full test video from CES below.
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At CES, Verizon has been more than busy, what with the announcements of all those new 4G phones. Big Red is now busting into the LTE space with their new devices (which we have individual hands-on videos with, all found below):
We were invited by Verizon to come into an exclusive private meeting room to take a look at all 4 new phones side by side, and get a comparative look at all of them. Be sure to hit the break to catch a video and check out a photo gallery of all 4 devices, and let us know your thoughts in the comments!