Saturday, February 13, 2010

Android This Week: Swype Hits the myTouch, But No Droid 2.1 Yet

Touchscreen phones — and their onscreen keyboards — are all the rage these days, and this week one from Swype found its way onto the Android-based myTouch 3G from T-Mobile. Users type on the Swype keyboard using a continuous swiping motion (hence the name); the technology then uses predictive text to figure out the intended word. Expect to see Swype begin to appear on other Android phones in the future.

Motorola (s mot), makers of the Droid, got that device’s owners excited this week with a post on the company’s Facebook page that said a big update to Android was coming. Version 2.1 — which, among other things, enables multitouch and includes the first appearance of Google Goggles — is currently only available on the Nexus One. But Motorola has subsequently pulled information of the Droid update off the web, and is telling interested parties that it jumped the gun. The company isn’t saying it won’t release 2.1 for the Droid, just not now. Perhaps it will announce a time frame for the update at the Mobile World Congress next week.

In the meantime, this week brought the launch of Google Buzz, for which Google also launched an iPhone (s aapl) and Android client. On the Nexus One, the Android Buzz client also brings new features to Google Maps that allow people to locate their friends who are nearby. Another nice feature that Buzz adds to Android phones is the ability to make updates by voice. Google Buzz can be installed on Android phones by pointing the browser to the Buzz page.


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