Pixlr-o-matic – Photo Effects App for Android

image Pixlr-o-matic is cool app for Android from Autodesk, which converts your pictures to a retro-looking snap. You can play around with different shades, effects and frames for your photos and once you’re satisfied with the end result, save it back to your SD Card. You can also directly share your masterpiece to your faviorite social networks through the share option.

The publisher of the app states that there are there are 25,000 possible finishes for any image, given the different choices you can apply. The picture on the right  is one I played around with using Pixlr-o-matic. That’s just with playing with the app for under a minute. Neat, wouldn’t you say?

Another  feature of this app is you can either take a new photo using your camera, or just work on an existing one from your phone’s gallery. So you don’t really need a super-duper camera on your phone to work with this app. Just load a few photos on your SD-Card and get play around with Pixlr-o-Matic’s magic.

QR code for Pixlr-o-Matic on the Android MarketThis is one app you should try out at least once, given the price point of the app, which is free. Get it from the Android Market using this link, or scan the QR code on the side using Google Goggles or any other QR code reader on your phone. This app requires at least Android 2.1 or above on your device to run.

Plan your trip in advance and “Download map area” on Google Maps

I’m sure all of us have been stuck without a map service, due to the lack of a data-plan or network coverage while travelling. Google Labs has just released a feature called “Download map area” available on the latest version of Google Maps for Android which allows you to download the maps for a certain area in advance. With this feature, once you download the Maps for the area you are visiting, it’ll be downloaded to your phone or tablet and you can access it even if you don’t have data-coverage where you’re visiting.

There are some limitations to this feature which are listed below:

  • Once you download the maps for the area, you’ll have access to the basic tiles and landmarks for that area stored on your phone. You’ll not get the satellite view of this area
  • Another drawback is that if you want to search for places, you’ll still need a data connection.
  • Google Maps automatically deletes any maps which you’ve downloaded which are more than 30 days old. So you’ll have to re-download the maps if you plan to visit this area again.
  • One last frustration is that it allows you to download only a 10mile radius around a point offline, so if you’re planning on a going around a larger tour, you’ll have to download multiple areas on your phone.

Even with these limitations, it’s better than not having any maps of the area on your phone and you’re out of network coverage! Get the latest version of Google Maps for Android and test drive this feature. Let us know what you think of it.

Source: Google Mobile Blog

Google Translate for Android

It’s been a year since Google’s Translate was launched. The latest addition to the service is the ability to translate a conversation on the fly.

Currently,  Conversation Mode can be used only when translating between English and Spanish. In conversation mode, simply press the microphone for your language and start speaking. Google Translate will translate your speech and read the translation out loud. Your conversation partner can then respond in their language, and you’ll hear the translation spoken back to you. Because this technology is still in alpha, factors like regional accents, background noise or rapid speech may make it difficult to understand what you’re saying.

You can check out the Official Post over here at the Google Translate Blog.

Translate supports 53 languages, from Afrikaans to Yiddish, and voice input for 15 languages. You can download the application, available for devices running Android 2.1 and above, by searching for “Google Translate” in Android Market or by scanning the QR Code below.

For all the latest apps and updates follow us on Twitter. We’re @MyPortableWorld

All not so peachy in Xperia X10 Land

The Xperia X10 recently got updated to Eclair (Android 2.1). The update didn’t bring out much, apart from different home screens, HD video recording and the benefits of eclair. There’s still no multitouch support on the beautiful 4″ screen!

It gets worse though. Users have been reporting problems since the update. I personally have had the phone reboot 10 times in a day! That’s a proper #fail moment(s).

Check this thread out on the XDA developers forum. Turns out the update might just be faulty. I noticed that the battery was getting searingly hot after the update. THAT is the issue. The update fries the system because of higher power usage, which kills the battery, which kills the phone. The only thing that can be done is to take the battery out and let it cool a bit.

Have you guys noticed any issues? Have you gotten in touch with the Sony Ericsson care centres? Any issues at all? Do let us know by commenting below, or catch us on twitter, we’re @myportableworld.

Personally, I think Sony needs to up their game, as this is absolute crock. A massively delayed update that’s still faulty? That’s BS! I’m sorry SE, but you guys deserved this.

A peek at the XPERIA X10 update

The Sony Ericsson product blog just posted two new videos that show off some major enhancements on the way for the XPERIA X10.

First is the new HD video recording that supports continuous auto-focus. When filming objects in landscape or at a distance, the X10 focuses on that object. Focus remains in a relatively seamless transition to macro/up-close objects and remains continuous when going back to the object in the distance.

The X10’s custom interface has also been upgraded. The homescreen now features 5 panes on the home screen rather than 3, and each screen has been expanded to support 5 rows of icons rather than 4(will support 20 icons per screen vs. the standard 16). The new call widget also seems like a nice touch.

According to the blog, the long overdue Xperia X10 update is supposed to start rolling out by the end of October.

Android gets some Skype Love – finally!

Skype for AndroidSkype for Android was just released today on the Android Market. Using this app, you can call other Skype contacts for free, or buy credits for cheap overseas calls.

If you are already a Skype subscriber, all you need to do is to log in using your existing account, and all your Skype contacts appear on the phone. You can chat with them or call them up straight from the app. You can also add new contacts using the Android application. If you’ve bought Skype-out credits, you can also dial out a VOIP call to a land-line or mobile phone. If you’re planning to buying some Skype credits, be warned that if you don’t use them in a certain amount of time, Skype expires them – so buy only as much as you need.

Scan this code using the phone to download Skype
Scan this code using the phone to download Skype

With Skype, you can make VOIP calls using Skype using your 3G or WiFi connection. It seems that if you are a US user, you can make calls only using WiFi.

You’ll need Android 2.1 on your phone to install it though. Even with that version, some phones are not supported in this release of Skype. It doesn’t work on the Samsung Galaxy S for one. When I tried installing it, I couldn’t get past the log-in screen. I hope they roll out a fix soon.

You can download Skype for free from the skype.com/m or from the Android Market by scanning the QR code on the right.

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SwiftKey – Out of Beta & Most Downloaded Paid App on the Android Market

SwiftKey has finally made its way out of beta status last week and since then,  the full version has been available on the Android Market. Since its official announcement it has spent the past week  as the No. 1 downloaded paid application on the Android Market.

For those of you not familiar with SwiftKey, it is an Android keyboard replacement app. It is localized in 7 different languages and learns as you type using what they call the Fluency Prediction Engine. Might be a bit of a drag initially, but it really does improve with use. More about SwiftKey HERE.

In case you’re unfamiliar with how it works, take a look at the video and you’ll see why the beta hit over 100,000 downloads within a few days of its release.

All changes made since beta are available to read at SwiftKey’s blog, and consist mostly  of killing off any  last minute bugs.

SwiftKey is currently on sale in the market for 99 cents, but the sale ends tonight. Effective Friday morning, the price will jump up to $3.99.

[MARKET LINK]

Motorola Defy – water resistant, scratch resistant and dust proof

Most smartphones these days are pretty delicate, wouldn’t you say? Are you  on the lookout for an Android smart-phone which can take up the roughest of use? Check out the Motorola Defy which claims to be water-resistant, dust proof and scratch resistant. The phone features a Gorilla Glass display which is one of the the toughest screens available for phones these days.

Here’s a quick specification list of the Motorola Defy:

  • 3.7 inch Edge to Edge toucscreen display with a resolution of 480 x 854 pixels
  • Android Eclair 2.1 with enhanced MOTOBLUR
  • Speakerphone and CrystalTalk™ PLUS, with dual microphone intelligent voice amplification and noise filtering
  • For Storage, the phone features 2GB internal shared memory, 2GB microSD card and 512 of RAM
  • 5 MegaPixel Camera with LED flash
  • Web Browser enhanced with Adobe Flash Lite 3 ( this is not the full Adobe Flash 10.1, but a lighter version)
  • 1540 mAH battery
  • Connectivity options: Bluetooth, WiFi, DLNA for content sharing

Seems like a good package overall. This phone will be coming soon to the T-Mobile network in the US in time for the Holidays. The bad news is that this phone, being a T-Mobile exclusive, may not be available outside of the US. For more information on the Motorola Defy head over to the product page on Motorola’s site. We’ve got some pics of the device right after this video:

Take a look at some photos of the Motorola Defy:

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Multitouch on the Spica i5700

The Samsung GT-i5700 is truly a remarkable phone, cheap yet powerful, small yet versatile; in short ‘Kick Ass’ !
After the 2.1 update, when Samsung came out with the news that there would be no Froyo update for the Spica, i was crushed, we all were ….
A few days later after exhaustive googling, i finally found a forum dedicated to only the Spica, making custom mods and lots of new stuff !
This was Samdroid, a community of Android devs releasing amazing mods with the latest features.
The incredible guys at Samdroid led by @LeshaK (Do forgive me if i leave out someone important!) recently came out with a Samdroid Kitchen mod where you can select the components you want from the Kitchen and cook your own Samdroid mod !
Recently another member on Samdroid – Gabriel-LG came out with his version of Multitouch drivers for the Spica which was soon built built into the kernel available for download from the Kitchen ! In fact, they even have an experimental Froyo mod available for download !

Follow these steps to install a custom Samdroid mod with Multitouch drivers on your Spica !

WARNING  – THIS METHOD CAN BE DANGEROUS  AND RISKY AND WE TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY IF YOU END UP BRICKING YOUR PHONE, VOIDING YOUR WARRANTY etc.

For those of you running original firmware or firmware other than Samdroids,

Prerequisites

  • I assume that by now you are running Android 2.1 with any firmware form JC3 onwards
  • Odin Multi Downloader v4.03.exe and spica.ops Download from here
  • Spica drivers. If you have the Samsung New PC Studio, just install the software and connect your phone after the installation. This should take care of all the drivers, but make sure that NPC is not running when you are flashing yourSpica ! Same for those of you with KIES. If you still don’t have the drivers, you can download it from here.
  • You need to be running a Rooted Kernel with Recovery. To do this, you need to download “i5700_LK2-08_PDA.7z” from here or here.
  • You need the Multitouch Kernel from SamdroidMod Kitchen v.2. Go to this link, select “Light Package” -> “Kernel [LK2.09.6 (Upd SamdroidTools -> Multitouch on/off)” -> Cook (You can add other stuff from the options if you want as well). This will give you a Samdroid mod zip file.
  • Make sure your Spica is fully charged

Now follow the instructions below

  1. Back up all your data and switch off your phone.
  2. Remove the μSD card and copy the Samdroid zip file you cooked from SamdroidMod Kitchen v.2. to the root folder of the μSD Card (Don’t forget to backup your data first!). Insert the μSD card back into the phone.
  3. While your Spica is turned off, hold “Volume Down”, “Camera” and “End Call”. This will cause your phone to enter into download/flash mode.
  4. Run Odin Multi Downloader v4.03.exe (You need to “Run As Administrator” for Win7 and Vista)
  5. Click on OPS and select the spica.ops file that came with Odin Multi Downloader v4.03.exe (Should show as 85 bytes)
  6. Click on PDA and select “i5700_LK2-08_PDA.tar” (Extracted from “i5700_LK2-08_PDA.7z”). You may need to click Reset Files once before Odin will clear previous settings.
  7. Now, connect the Spica to your PC. (The first box will show up yellow and the message box will now show the “Added” and “Detected”)
  8. Click Start. Wait for the flash to finish until the following screen appears. The device will reboot during this time and enter recovery mode. To be safe, wait for the process to finish entirely, which shall be indicated by a ‘PASS’ replacing the ‘RESET’ message.
  9. The recovery mode will look something like this and have a bunch of options.
  10. Select “Apply any zip from SD card
  11. Select the Samdroid zip file obtained from the kitchen which you copied onto your μSD card.
  12. It will ask you fo confirmation to install – Press the Home key. After it completes select the first option (Reboot) and restart the phone (This will take a while, so be patient. Could take up to 10 minutes)
  13. The device will reboot once more and that’s it: you have successfully rooted your Spica, installed Samdroids custom rom with a Multitouch Kernel. Go to Settings > About Phone on your device and scroll down to verify the new kernel.
  14. Select the App drawer(Main Menu) and run “Samdroid Tools”, check if the Multitouch option is there and unchecked.
  15. Test the Multitouch on Google Maps or on Gallery 3d(Does not work on the old Gallery!)
  16. This ROM gives you not only Multitouch but also root, wifi-tether, recovery, Apps2SD and quite a few new features. Be sure to check them all out on the Samdroid forum!

Congratulation (I Hope) !! you are now running a Samdroid Custom ROM with Multitouch and lots of other goodies !!!

Now that you have Multitouch on your Spica, you might want to try a CyanogenMod firmware based on Android 2.2 (Froyo)  from HERE.

NOTE– You might need to be registered with Samdroid to look into their forums or download some files.

Edwin, Speech to Speech – for a hands free Android

Edwin is an Android speech-to-speech voice assistant & utility. Ask it the weather, make calls, SMS, tweet and tons more! Speech recognition and text-to-speech together! Imagine your phone being like the computer from Star Trek? Ask it a question and back comes the answer.

The app is geo-aware, so when you ask “What is the temperature”, the app speaks back the temperature at your current city, and when you ask “Where’s the closest Pizza joint”, you get results back closest to your location. If you’re really lost, you can even ask Edwin where you are!  Like most other voice recognition apps, Edwin isn’t accurate all the time and may get you unexpected results, but it’s an indispensable app to have running while you’re driving your car, and need to perform hands-free search and can’t read search results off your phone.

Edwin requires Google’s Speech Input application on your phone. My Motorola Milestone didn’t ship with that app by default, but the installer for Edwin pointed my browser to the right URL to download the Speech Input app and got it installed. You’ll also have to be in data coverage range ( GRPS, 3G or WiFi), as the Google Voice recognition app requires a data connection and Edwin also will require a data connection for online operations.

Scan this to download Edwin
Scan this to download Edwin

You’ll need a mobile running at least Android 2.1 to get Edwin working. To download Edwin on your phone, search for ‘Edwin’ in the Android Market app, or scan the QR code on the right with your phone’s camera.

We’ll leave you with a video of Edwin in action: