Google Translate App For Android Now In Conversation Mode

Have you ever felt the need to ask for directions in a foreign country where nobody speaks in your tongue? Google has just introduced an interesting new ‘Conversation Mode‘ on their Translate app for Android that will make such conversations simple.

Using the conversation mode, users can speak in their native tongue that will then be translated and read out aloud in the chosen language. The app will further take voice inputs from the person you are speaking with and translate it back in your native tongue.

The feature is still in the alpha mode and only available with English-Spanish mode for the moment. However, expect all the bugs and the number of supported languages to increase soon enough.

Apart from being used as an ‘interpreter‘, this feature also has several other use-cases. Writes one commenter on the Google blog,

“This could be an awesome tool for deaf people. As someone who is deaf and speaks/lipreads, I’ve long dreamed of having a handheld device that would convert all spoken conversations around me into text.

I just tried this in English to English mode with one person, and it worked! The only issue is that it’s not continuous; you have to keep hitting the “reply” button to keep the conversation going.”

Google Translate Android app

Skype Issue With Untethered Jailbreak Fixed On New Beta Release

For those of you who have been working with the iPhone Dev Team in their beta testing of the new untethered jailbreak solution, you must be aware of some issues that prevented Skype from working correctly with Redsn0w untethered jailbreak. The Dev team has now released a new beta software – the sixth such release – that apparently fixes these Skype issues.

Users who already have a jailbroken iPhone running the beta 5 version can run the latest version directly over this version. These users have to “run beta6 and deselect every checkbox”. The Dev team has acknowledged a few other bugs that are still present on the beta test version – primarily with the Wi-Fi Sync app crashing the JB Monte process. We expect these issues to be sorted out in the next release.

Also, the Dev team has pointed out that a Windows version shall be released “only if we can make it less painful“. No time frame has been given for the completion of this.

New Beta For RedSn0w Untethered Jailbreak With Bluetooth Enabled Released

The iPhone Dev Team has released a new untethered jailbreak solution for beta testers. The new download comes with a couple of improvements. Firstly, Bluetooth – which was disabled in the jailbreak software until now, has now been enabled. Also, the Dev Team has noted that any sandbox related issues must be fixed in the new version.

While this version is closer to a public release (you may recall that the Dev team had indicated that if beta 4 goes well, the next version could be a public release), it is still advisable to go ahead with this download only if you have already tested the older beta versions. Interestingly, a basic version of Redsn0w for Windows too is apparently available although the Dev Team points out that this version is very slow at this point. A test release should be out when the Dev Team manages to speed this up.

Group Video Calling On Skype Business Version Releases

After rolling out group video calling to consumer clients on desktop and mobile platforms, Skype has now rolled out the feature to the Business version of the VoIP service. The new feature will allow 3 to 10 business users to connect via Skype to engage in video conferencing. The Business version of Skype lets enterprise administrators to deploy Skype to employees besides turning on or off the various features that Skype comes with. The group video calling feature is available on Skype Business accounts at a price of $8.99 per user per month. Long term subscription plans also come at a discounted price.

Skype has also revealed a few other interesting details in their media report. They note that 37% of Skype users have used the service for a business purpose at least once. Also, 41.5% of Skype minutes in the second half of 2010 was consumed by group video calling. Quite clearly, Skype sees a lot of promise in this new feature in 2011.

Apple Mac App Store Releases Via Software Update

Keeping up with their earlier announcement to launch the Apple Mac Store on January 6, Apple has announced that this new App Store for the Mac platform is now available for use on any computer running Mac OS X Snow Leopard. The App Store currently holds close to a 1000 different applications – free and paid. With the new Mac App Store, users can surf and buy new applications using their iTunes account.

The apps currently available on the Mac App Store platform include those from third parties like Ancestry and Boinx as well as in-house apps like iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand – from the iLife ’11 suite. Productivity tools like Pages, Keynote and Numbers will also be available at a price of $19.99 each. Unlike earlier speculations, Apple has not announced anything on the iWork ’11 front. You can check out the Mac App Store via the software update or by clicking here.

Amazon Kindle App For Windows Phone 7 Launches

After weeks of anticipation, Amazon has finally released their Kindle ebook reading application on the Windows Phone 7 platform. The application, that seems to have been made public just hours ago, will be free to download and measures 1.36MB in size. The Amazon Kindle app for WP7 will give users access to over 750,000 Kindle books that includes new releases and close to 107 of the 111 best sellers from the New York Times list. Amazon also notes on their app description that 550,000 of these books will be priced $9.99 or lower.

Given that the app was only recently released, there are no comments as yet. But if you are looking to download the app or read more about the application, you can do so by clicking this link. As always, let us know your views on this app in the comments below.

MyBackUp – An Android App To Backup And Restore Rooted Phones

Users looking to root their Android phones will frequently encounter instructions to backup and restore their phone contents. While these steps are not too difficult at the outset, it can be scary particularly if you are not a geek. A recently launched Android application makes this process easy.

MyBackUp is a free to download app that comes with a 30-day trial period. Using the application, the user may backup content from applications, contacts, bookmarks, SMS messages, music playlists and a host of other content from their phone to their SD card or to the company’s online servers. Data stored on the company server can also be accessed by logging online to the developers’ website.

Once the trial period is over, users will need to purchase a full version of the app at a price of $4.99. If you have a rooted phone, you can check out the app by using the QR code below.

MyBackUp QR

GreenPois0n iOS 4.2.1 Jailbreak Launch Shortly

The Chronic Dev team has announced that a new version of their Greenpois0n jailbreak software shall be released soon. This is expected to enable users of iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS (with new bootrom), iPod Touch 2G (MC model) and older and iPad to jailbreak their devices. But this release is not exactly groundbreaking considering that this is a tethered jailbreak tool – a similar solution already exists from the iPhone Dev team.

In any case, Joshua Hill from the Chronic Dev team has tweeted stating,

“Updated version of greenpois0n coming whenever I finish adding these new sandbox patches, sorry this has taken so long”

Like the publicly available version of RedSn0w, this new version of Greenpois0n too is expected to make use of the Limera1n exploit to jailbreak the iOS. Limera1n, as you may recall, is the bootrom exploit that was discovered by George Hotz, known widely as GeoHot. We will let you know when the tethered jailbreak solution from the Chronic Dev Team is released.

Google News Subscription Service For Android Publishers

According to a recent article on the Wall Street Journal, Google is seriously wooing old media publishers looking to reach out to their readers on digital media with a new “digital newsstand” subscription service that will let these publishers make money from their readers on Android platform.

While the proposal may sound pretty similar to what Apple has been trying to do with the iOS platform, Google appears to be more aggressive. The company has offered additional benefits to publishers that include sharing valuable demographic data of what kind of users download the apps. This information is likely to help the publishers plan their marketing efforts in a better way. Also, Google has proposed to take a smaller cut on revenues compared to the 30% that Apple has traditionally charged publishers.

For what it’s worth, Apple too is learned to be gearing up for the challenges. The company has also offered to share user information to publishers though at the moment, this feature is likely to be opt-in instead of the opt-out functionality that publishers demand.

RedSn0w One-Click Tethered Jailbreak For iOS 4.2.1 Released

Those of you who need to jailbreak one of the latest generation iDevices like iPhone 4 or iPod Touch 4G would have to be running a tethered jailbreak solution (the untethered version is still under testing). The iPhone Dev team have just added a bit of sophistication to this tool by introducing a one-click support to the software. Using this latest version, you may bypass the several screens that one may come across while tethered booting.

The one-click jailbreak tool offers a few command line arguments that can perform tasks such as

-j to ask redsn0w to “Just boot now”
-i <filename> to specify your reference IPSW
-o for old-bootrom iPod touch 2G and iPhone 3GS
-b <filename> to specify your own boot logo png

Do note that you will need a copy of RedSn0w (the tethered version) and IPSW on your hard drive. You can find the relevant files for download as well as the instructions on the Dev Team blog by clicking here.