Spend any time using your phone or tablet and it’s hard to avoid using the keyboard. Whether knocking out a quick email or typing URLs into your browser, there’s a limit to what you can get done without having to type. And chances are that the keyboard baked into your copy of Android is nothing to write home about — there are few stock keyboards that really cut the mustard.
Sitting at my desktop or using my laptop, I’m a fairly accomplished typist — I’m probably not the fastest in the world, but I’m certainly faster than average. The same cannot really be said when I’m using my Android devices — touchscreens offer a completely different way of interacting with a device and it proves, on the most part, to be a slower form of typing. This is why I find myself on a constant mission to track down the perfect keyboard. If you’re on a similar quest, and whatever your preferred style of typing — one-handed, two-handed, gesture input, just a forefinger — this roundup of the pick of the crop should help you find a keyboard that suits you.
I remember the time I had a PDA, 11 years ago, and how thrilled I was about editing Word and Excel documents straight from my handheld device. I lost my excitement when I realized the mobile applications didn’t offer the same features as the desktop ones. More than a decade later, our phones and tablets have more processing power than computers did back then. Today, we can surely expect them to offer similar features, no matter the device they’re running on.
Applications such as Google Drive and QuickOffice are useful when it comes to basic text editing and computing, but they don’t provide the same features and experience as the full Office suite. Not only do these often lead to compatibility issues, they also prevent you from accessing advanced features such as Excel macros, custom PowerPoint animations and automated footnotes in Word. CloudOn tries to solve the problem by running Microsoft Office on an actual computer and letting you control it from your phone or tablet. Let’s have a look at what the app has to offer and see if it can really replace a computer to use Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
A while back I did a roundup of Multimedia App for Android Tablets. You may have noticed that missing from that list were music apps, but fear not; I have not forgotten about music apps — as a matter of fact I love music. There are so many great music apps for Android tablets that instead of lumping them in with other multimedia apps, we decided to dedicate a roundup strictly to them. Here, we’re going to look at streaming, discovery, syncing, and even playing apps that work very well on your Nexus 7, 10 or other Android tablet.
If you have been following Android.Appstorm over the past couple of months, you must have noticed that we feel very strongly about Android tablets, and specifically Android tablet apps. We cried out to Google asking them to get serious about tablet-optimized apps discoverability in the Play Store, several writers on our team have rounded up tablet apps in a multitude of categories, and I personally maintain numerous Playboard channels axed towards spotlighting the best tablet-optimized apps.
Suffice it to say that tablet app discovery has been a personal cause for us, for the simple reason that we know there are thousands of excellent options out there, but Google had failed to make them visible which in turn had everyone thinking there aren’t any. So you can imagine how elated we were to see Google at I/O introducing new features that focus on tablet apps discovery, from a developer and a user standpoint. While the announcements weren’t the most impressive out of the I/O keynote, and they should have come a year ago, they do mean a lot to us at Android.Appstorm that we can’t help but make a stop to explain to you why you need to get excited.
I’ve been trying to use my tablet more often lately, and love trying out new habits with it, such as browsing Reddit (yep, I’m just getting hooked), reading graphic novels and managing my finances more efficiently. As it turns out, tablets are great for keeping tabs on where your money goes — the form factor lends itself to easy perusal of charts and graphs that show your spending habits. Today we’re going to take a look at some of the best apps available for watching over your wealth.
Plain text files are great because they are low on file size, but they are extremely limited when it comes to presentation. To that end, noted blogger John Gruber created a simple markup language called Markdown, which allows for easy formatting for writers and increased readability when displayed. The syntax used in Markdown is simple to learn and use, and can be processed by a number of programs. So what’s all this got to do with your documents?
Most text editors for mobile devices typically allow either plain-text editing or rich document editing, which are both cumbersome to deal with when it comes to posting your content on the web. With Markdown, you can create formatted text documents that are as light as plain text files, read them using any plain text editor and display the content with headings, bold and italic text and active hyperlinked text. And now, you can do this on the go with Draft.
How can you not love Pixlr? I’m certainly a fan of the series of photo-editing apps. Originally, I was impressed by the desktop version of Pixlr-o-matic, and then by Pixlr’s free online Editor. Nowadays, however, Pixlr has moved with the times, and has added its own app, Pixlr Express, to the massed ranks of mobile editors available for download on both Android and iOS.
Pixlr Express is free in the Play Store, which is surprising, given its apparent wealth of features and editing competence. At the time of writing, well over ten million folks have installed this freebie, so the assumption is that Autodesk, the developer, is doing something right. Does Pixlr Express provide genuine competition to Adobe’s paid-for Photoshop Touch, or is the lack of price-tag attached to Pixlr Express indicative of a lack of quality? Time to find out…
I still remember having a few heated debates back in 2008 with social media advocates about the future of Twitter. At the time, although I had an account on the service, I had never used it. Instead, I was a firm believer that Jaiku — which Google later bought and used as a stepping stone for Buzz and Google+ — would prevail because of its native support for conversations. Twitter was a chaotic mess, with no way to follow a conversation back. But oh how things change!
In 2009, I had abandoned Jaiku and moved to Twitter. But when I switched to Android 2 years ago, the sheer amount of Twitter clients had me befuddled for months until I settled on the official app. Then I got bored, tried several alternatives again, used some for a while, dismissed others quickly… And up to this day, I don’t think there is one Twitter Android client to rule them all, so I use the official Twitter app on my phone, Falcon Pro on my tablet, and Plume on my Android TV stick. Read on to find out why.
Reddit is slowly working its way to becoming one of the most popular social networks on the internet. It has achieved this by the unique, democratic system it uses to display content, where the most popular content is front and center. While the website has always been a pleasure to use on a computer, there was unfortunately a long period of time where viewing Reddit on mobile deivces was not even worth it due to the lack of a complete experience.
Things are different now as Android users have several different Reddit applications to choose from. However, two applications seem to stand out the most, Reddit News and Reddit Sync. The reason these applications have become so popular is that they were developed and are actively maintained by Redittors, which is a great advantage when it comes to user interface.