The much anticipated SwiftKey Flow Beta has now arrived and ready for all to download and try. I’ve been playing around with it for a couple of days now and even though it’s in beta, it’s been very solid for me. I’ve had a couple of mistakes here and there, but nothing too major. It is by far my favorite keyboard to use as of now and I’m excited to see how much better it can get.
The Oppo Find 5’s spec sheet has popped up and is making its way to the US. The specs seem right up there with the current powerhouses and with an off-contract price of just $499, it is definitely something some people may look into. The device has a 5″ 1080p display, Qualcomm’s latest quad-core S4 pro processor, 2GB’s of RAM, Android 4.1.2, a 2,500 mAh battery and 16 GB’s of on board storage. Most importantly, the device will work on T-Mobile’s and AT&T’s HSPA+ network.
Will this off-contract device be something any of you guys willing to give a shot? Hopefully we’ll get some pictures of it soon!
According to some research recently done by Canalys, the distribution of wealth from app sales is pretty heavily skewed towards the top. According to their findings, a group of the top 25 developers rake in about 50% of all money made through Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store. They reportedly made $60 million over a 20-day period at the start of November 2012. Even more interesting is that 24 of the top 25 are game developers. (Pandora was the 25th with its radio application)
QThru, the provider of a mobile point-of-sale platform, announced today new apps for Android and iOS that will enable users to shop and checkout at physical stores using only their smartphone. The app gives you the ability to scan barcodes of items to add them to your shopping cart, then use a function called Q-Code to pay via a kiosk with the total transmitted to the account you have connected with the app. Beyond the in-store experience, the app provides other functions, like the ability to create shopping lists, find deals, create favorite items, research item details, and track total spending. QThru also indicates the app has a custom scale solution to handle purchases of produce or other items by weight.
Read the full press release below and then hit the download links to install the app on your device before heading out to find a participating retail store.
If you’re already tired of SoundHound, and you feel Shazam is a little too antiquated, then you’re in luck. Rhapsody has entered the song-match app game with their new app called – wait for it – ‘SongMatch’. While the app is free and does not require a Rhapsody subscription for the basic app which gives you tracks, artist info, and track listings, the real upside is if you do have a subscription. If you’re rocking a Rhapsody subscription, you can instantly launch playback of the song or album when a match is found. Rhapsody also creates a special SongMatch playlist in your account based on your prior matches. Anyone out there tired of the other song-match apps willing to give this a try?
A trio of Google’s apps received updates today, joining Google Search or Google Now on Jelly Bean devices. Google Translate received a major update, now providing the ability to recognize Chinese, Japanese and Korean using a device’s phone. The capability is limited to horizontal text only for now, but we can only imagine the ability to translate vertical text must be in the works. Google also added eleven new languages, Afrikaans, Croatian, Czech, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Slovak, Slovenian, Ukrainian, Welsh, to the list that can handle handwritten text.
HTC has released some excellent phones over the last year, but word on the street is they are planning to up the ante in early 2013. Several sources have begun mentioning a mysterious flagship phone with the code name of “M7”. According to the tipsters the M7 will come equipped with a 5-inch HD display (probably the same 1080p monster found on the Droid DNA), a Qualcomm APQ8064 quad-core processor, and a 13-megapixel camera, all wrapped in a high quality uni-body aluminum shell that HTC has become known for. The device is said to be slated for a Q1 release date, and HTC is currently working with parts suppliers to ensure a delivery of 4 to 5 million units. It sounds like HTC is working hard to turn around its falling financial numbers.
Today’s update to the Google Search app brings some much needed speed tweaks to Google Now and adds even more scarily useful predictions to its “cards.” The update will probably continue to freak out those of us who are constantly surprised by how much the Goog knows about us but it’s also likely to help holiday travelers. It can now bring up your boarding pass (currently United only) when you need it, give you a heads up about the weather at your intended destination and let you know about events nearby. It will also let you search via the camera presumably in much the same way as Google Goggles. The update also adds new voice actions like “what song is this?” and “scan a barcode!” And it now officially lets you know your monthly walking and biking distance totals.
I guess no one is going to accuse Google of resting on its laurels, eh?
Android 4.2 brought Multiple user account support, which is a welcome addition. It’s only available on tablets since they are more likely to be used by more than one person in the household. This means yourself, your wife, your son, and your daughter can all use the same tablet and keep their own settings and app data. You can even set a pin or pattern to individual lockscreens to ensure privacy. For starters, this is only available on the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10, so if you own one, you will want to most likely utilize this feature. In a matter of minutes, you can get everyone up and running. Hit the break for a video highlighting the few simple steps.
Fed Ex just delivered a package from Motorola, and it was definitely a surprise since I wasn’t expecting a review unit. I knew if wasn’t a device since it was so light, so I opened it right away to find out what it was. In the box I found a bunch of silver tinsel, a bag of red and black jelly beans from Jelly Belly, and a picture card of the DROID RAZR HD display with a text message conversation about the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update. As you know the update is rolling out this week to DROID RAZR HD and DROID RAZR MAXX HD users.
I know jelly beans and tinsel doesn’t cost a lot of money, but this was no cheap endeavor when you consider these were sent Fed Ex to many media outlets. Motorola is certainly proud they have been able to deliver Jelly Bean to their latest devices ahead of most of the other manufacturers. Hopefully this will be a trend that continues (and improve). So lets see, Key Lime Pie should be announced next May. Does that mean I can expect a pie on my doorstep shortly thereafter?
By now, you’ve probably heard of the Chameleon Launcher for tablets. Well now they’re looking for a few good testers (25 to be exact) to put the launcher through its paces on select phones. The main draw with the launcher is the context-based UI used to change the home screen. These contexts can be defined in different ways such as time of day, IP address, or location. It’s not quite like live tiles, but at the same time, your home screen won’t be static all the time.
The devices they want to test the launcher on are:
They’ve more than likely targeted the big boys for this test to make sure hardware wasn’t an issue. If you’ve got one of the devices listed above and are willing to assist by giving feedback, and not solely interested in just having the app early, then click through the source link below for more information.
Those of you who are on T-Mobile’s network and have been itching to get your hands on the sexy Samsung Galaxy Note II smartphone are in luck as it has announced on heck of a promotion. The nation’s 4th-largest wireless carrier is offering an “Unlimited Cheer” promotion— in the form of a contest where the winner gets a free Galaxy Note II. All users will need to do is follow T-Mobile on Twitter or Foursquare, pay attention to where T-Mobile checks in and then be the first to check in at the store. Sounds simple enough, right?
The contest will be going on from right now until Thursday, December 20th at 11:59pm so if you’re interested in getting more details, just head on down to T-Mo’s Facebook to find them. Good luck and may the force be with you.
Sphero, our second favorite little robot, is one of the most creative ideas for a smartphone in the past few years. Some really dedicated Android users in Union Square, New York wanted to test out what they could do with the little robot ball by choreographing an entire light and dance show with 28 Sphero balls. It’s impressive, to say the least. If you want to see the coolest light show this year accompanied by Trans-Siberian Orchestra, hit the break below for the video.