Swype is a downloadable keyboard that allows you to “type” on the screen without having to lift your fingers for each letter. You touch the first letter, then slide your finger to the next, until you get to the end of your word. The app will predict your word, usually getting it right on the first shot, but if it questions the keys you swiped, it will let you confirm the word. Words with double letters have no need for finger lift or sliding off the key - it figures that out for you. So, you spell the word “looking” as if it were “loking” and it will come up correctly as “looking.”
Swype ran as a beta test on Android for most of this year, but it currently closed. There is no indication of when the app will be made available officially. As such, the app has become quite the sought-after gem. But, if you’re good at digging around online (like we are), you can download the beta test now and try it on your phone. Follow the instructions below to download and install Swype Beta for Android.
The stock music player on Android won’t win any awards for design, and though drag and drop syncing is about as easy as it gets, a lot of customers would prefer a more elegant solution.
There are dozens over music players in the market, promising everything from additional file format support, to applications that mimic the look and feel of the iTunes player on an iPhone. Some apps, like DoubleTwist and iSyncr also provide desktop syncing applications to make transferring playlists and songs easier as well.
I’ve tried a handful of media players, and while they’re all nicer looking (and more functional) than the stock application, I never felt like any one applications stood out from the rest. Then I saw that Winamp (remember them?) released an Android music player that promised wireless syncing between your computer and phone. So I decided to dust off my Windows Winamp client, and take their Android application for a test drive.
Google hasn’t released any official press releases on this. In fact, I wouldn’t expect to see one. It will probably be dropped into a casual conversation by some Google higher-up in the next few days. But the Android development team has dropped a semi-official statement on their Twitter page about it.
This brings the Android Market much closer to the Apple App Store, which is nearing the 300,000 app mark.
To some, this is an important accomplishment. The Android Market just about a year ago had about 10% of today’s number of apps, or less, growing at a faster rate than Apple’s App Store. Still, Android Market has a long way to go, both in the number of apps as well as the quality of apps.
After the “what is root and how do I do it” question, the next question I hear is often “What task killer should I install?” The short answer to this?None of them.
Task killers are an odd animal because it’s something that most reps will offer to install for you, and if you install it you WILL notice an increase in battery life. But those same results can be had without installing a task killer, and task killers often cause more problems than they solve, especially for the average consumer.