According to engadget (citing TouchPal as well as an internal source), HTC aims to replace Swype with TouchPal as the default input method in upcoming devices, including the new HTC One M9. The official TouchPal Twitter account also tweeted the engadget article about this, further confirming the move. What prompted this move? The CEO of CooTek, the company behind TouchPal, says it's because of their better contextual prediction and language support. If you actually look at the supported languages, you'll...
Google’s Dianne Hackborn Dispels Android Hardware Acceleration Myths
There’s been much fervor regarding Google’s inclusion of “full” hardware acceleration into Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. And this is with good reason—the 2D software rendering in Android 2.x made for a noticeably less smooth experience than competing OSes.
While the inclusion of a greater extent of hardware acceleration into the OS is a wonderful thing, there are many misconceptions surrounding what it brings to the table. First off, Android has had elements of hardware acceleration for tasks such as window compositing for years. This means that all window animations were also always hardware accelerated.
Unlike window compositing, drawing inside of a window has traditionally been accomplished by the CPU in Android 2.x and below. In Android 3.0 Honeycomb, however, these functions could be offloaded to the device’s GPU as long as android:hardwareAccelerated=”true” was placed in the application’s manifest. The only difference with Android 4.0 is that ICS turns on hardware acceleration by default as long as API level 14 or higher is targeted. Thus, hardware acceleration in ICS is no more “full” than in Honeycomb. (Note: You can force all applications in ICS to utilize hardware acceleration in 4.0 through the developer options settings pane—something I have wanted in Honeycomb for eight months.)
OK. Now, hardware acceleration is on by default in API 14+ apps, and we have a way to force hardware acceleration in all apps regardless of the contents of the manifest. All is gravy, right? That’s unfortunately not the case. In the case of the PowerVR drivers used in the Nexus S and even Google’s new flagship, simply enabling hardware acceleration in any process eats up 8 MB of memory—per process! While not much on its own, 8 MB here and 8 MB there will lead to much higher memory consumption that could also lead to much slower multitasking. As a result, the Android team is putting considerable effort into fine tuning exactly what parts of the Android UI will use GPU rendering on the Nexus S.
Long story short? When compared to Android 2.x, ICS brings great features to the table thanks to its increased reliance on hardware acceleration. However, other than being turned on by default, ICS’s hardware acceleration cannot be considered any more “full” than what we already had in Honeycomb. Furthermore, hardware acceleration isn’t the magic bullet that many consider it to be—but it will certainly help!
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Many people are under the impression that once Apple finally launches its smartwatch, the market for wearables will suddenly become mainstream and be taken to the next level. Taking an idea that already exists and making it incredibly successful isn't something new to Apple, but does the Apple Watch have what it takes? The wearable hasn't even shipped yet, but has already won multiple awards and has been featured on numerous fashion magazine covers. Do you think the Apple Watch will be a huge success? Let us know your thoughts.
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