Nokia Drive 3.0 for Windows Phone released

Nokia Drive 3.0 for the Lumia Windows Phone handsets has just been released to the marketplace a few hours ago. Those of you who took the time to read the user manual a little while ago should already what’s included in this newest release:

• Find your way with turn-by-turn directions and voice guidance
• Track your location, speed, and the distance driven, even if not navigating
• Preload maps before traveling and use Nokia Drive offline to save data costs
• Save your most-used destinations to your phone
• Get a warning when you exceed the speed limit
• Get real-time info on traffic incidents and conditions on your daily routes using
my commute

Unfortunately the My Commute feature doesn’t work in some countries yet (only works in the US right now..lame) which is really disappointing given that real time traffic data is now supported nearly worldwide in Bing Maps and Nokia Maps. You can grab it directly from the Nokia Collection in the marketplace or by hitting this link with your Lumia phone or scan the QRCode after the break:

Continue reading Nokia Drive 3.0 for Windows Phone released →

Nokia Drive 3.0 user manual released

If you can’t wait to get you hands on the soon to be released Nokia Drive navigation app for your Lumia Windows Phone you can at least take a look at its user manual which was recently uploaded to Nokia’s servers. The PDF covers all the new features which are going to be introduced in this newest version: Commute, live traffic info, save & view places and automatic switching between day and night mode:

• Find your way with turn-by-turn directions and voice guidance
• Track your location, speed, and the distance driven, even if not navigating
• Preload maps before travelling and use Nokia Drive offline to save data costs
• Save your most-used destinations to your phone
• Get a warning when you exceed the speed limit
• Get real-time info on traffic incidents and conditions on your daily routes using
my commute

Continue reading Nokia Drive 3.0 user manual released →

Microsoft and Nokia add traffic and better geocoding to Bing Maps worldwide

Another milestone has been reached in the Microsoft / Nokia partnership today with the inclusion of Nokia’s Traffic and Geocoding backend to Bing Maps in 24 countries worldwide. It wasn’t long ago when Nokia and Microsoft had also decided to use a similar color them and layout for their Mapping data and starting today Windows Phone users you should finally be able to get the show traffic feature working if they are located in the following countries:

Continue reading Microsoft and Nokia add traffic and better geocoding to Bing Maps worldwide →

Nokia Drive 2.0 With offline navigation and Updated Nokia Maps released

Nokia has finally released the much anticipated 2.0 version of Nokia Drive for it’s Windows Phone line of Lumia handsets today which includes Offline navigation, speed alerts, on the fly rerouting and multiple routes suggestion. This update essentially fixes every single issue I had with the initial version. The dashboard has also been updated to display the time until arrival for example. I just got my hands on it and will shoot a short hands on video in the coming hours so make sure to come back here.

Nokia Transport aka Nokia Transit is also out of beta (hands-on video) and available right now in the marketplace.

Nokia Maps has also been update with several new features and enhancement which I will cover shortly once I finish playing with Nokia drive. UPDATE: Live traffic is available in the following countries: USA, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Belgium, Russia, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Finland, UK, France, Spain, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden, India and UAE. Unfortunately this feature isn’t present in Nokia Drive 2.0. You can grab both apps directly from the Nokia Collections section of the Windows Phone marketplace.


Unified Bing Maps and Nokia Maps design launched

Microsoft and Nokia have just announced the unification of the their mapping services design. This one of the first result of the partnership signed last year between both companies that outlined the integration of Nokia’s Navteq assets into Microsoft’s Bing Maps service. As of today, Bing Maps and Nokia Maps have a unified map elements and color palette and the same Nokia Pure font. Frankly you won’t really notice much of a difference in Bing Maps but Nokia Maps unfortunately looks a bit washed out now. You can compare both offerings directly on you windows phone if you have a Nokia handset via the OS’s Maps application and the Nokia Maps app. Nokia Drive will get the same color treatment in the upcoming 3.0 update coming out in the coming weeks.

Continue reading Unified Bing Maps and Nokia Maps design launched →

New version of Nokia Drive for Windows Phone announced: Offline mode, traffic and re-route support

 

Nokia has just announced a new version of Nokia Drive for Windows Phone (and Meego too I guess) which will finally fix most of the issue that many like me have complained about with the first iteration of the software released back in November. Offline support is finally in with some other changes:

Now Nokia Drive on Lumia gets full offline support, with offline search and routing from calculating a route, to navigation and re-routing. A newly designed dashboard now shows speed limit alerts, as well as the speed you’re travelling at, as well as estimated time or arrival, time to destination and distance to destination. You can also access a list of recently saved destinations through a single tap, and then start turn-by-turn navigation..

No availability date has bee given but I’m sure that we can expect it to see it pop up in marketplace in the coming weeks.

Update: Nokia Public transport will be made available in the coming days while the newly announced Nokia Reading hub will materialize in April (UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Russia)

Using Nokia Reading you can choose your own favourite authors, or select from bestselling novels and an extensive selection of top local books in your own language. The service integrates beautifully with the Lumia in the same “hub” and panorama experience we’ve seen working so fluidly with other services.

Once you have chosen a book, large, clear, smartphone screens like those on the Nokia Lumia make reading an enjoyable experience. It’s great for reading on an underground train or plane, as you can read everything offline after downloading beforehand.

In coming months you’ll also be able to create a personalised magazine page called “my stream” that automatically updates content across the most popular categories, and adds web content from your chosen sites.

Nokia Maps is also getting a update with a new modified layout in the coming days.
Continue reading New version of Nokia Drive for Windows Phone announced: Offline mode, traffic and re-route support →

Nokia Drive on Windows Phone: It’s lacking a whole lot of features

I’m guessing many of you have been wondering why I recently said that Nokia Drive on windows Phone was far inferior to Google Navigation on Android. Well, simply because it’s an undeniable fact. The only thing that Nokia Drive currently has over Google Navigation is the Offline maps but even this is render useless simply because the application currently requires an active data connection to do the routing calculation (Nokia has recently sated that they will “fix” this in a future version..). Everything else is simply superior on Google Navigation or even most of the other GPS navigation offerings out there. Here’s a list of what’s currently missing in Nokia Drive:

- No remaining time until arrival displayed during navigation (it’s only noted during 5 secs on summery screen before the navigation starts)
- No Directions breakdown list: WTF? Even Bing Maps and Nokia Maps have it.
- POIs are useless: You can’t tap on them
- No way to save or favorite a location: only recent destinations/searches are automatically saved in a history list that can be manually cleared
- No traffic data, No Public Transit Data
- No way to have more than one itinerary unless you stop/cancel the current one and manually re-calculate another one (wtf again?)
- Requires an active Data connection to do the routing calculation even-though it has offline maps loaded on the device
- More missing stuff that I can’t remember right now

Anyway check out my hands-on video below (after the break):

Continue reading Nokia Drive on Windows Phone: It’s lacking a whole lot of features →

Google Maps Navigation now available in 11 countries

Similar to the Google Voice Search restrictions that google lifted today, the Google Maps team is proudly announcing that Google Maps Navigation on Android is now available in 11 countries:

There’s nothing quite like driving through Europe in the summer. In the past week, I’ve seen the beautiful Val d’Aosta, the Swiss Alps, the Cathedral in Chartres, and travelled through the Channel Tunnel as I road-tripped from Milan to Geneva, Zürich to Stuttgart, and on through Paris to London. Why the burst of mileage? Well, I’ve been testing Google Maps Navigation version 4.2. Yes, road-testing it around Europe was a grueling process, but somebody had to do it :)

Today we’re launching Google Maps Navigation version 4.2 in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland for Android devices 1.6 and higher. Google Maps Navigation is an Internet-connected GPS navigation or ‘satnav’ system that provides turn-by-turn voice guidance as a free feature of Google Maps.

Source: Google

Google Maps Navigation now available in the UK


UK Android users rejoice! Google Navigation Betahas been update to version 4.1.1and now brings the full navigation functionality to the UK. According to early reports it is working on Android 1.6 and up. For more information head over here. All you have to do to get it is launch Google Maps on you Android handset and you should be prompted to download the 4.1.1 update.

Source: Google

Nokia launches new OVI Maps with Free turn-by-turn navigation in 74 countires


Here’s some big news folks, Nokia just launched their new OVI Maps navigation application featuring free turn-by-turn walk & drive navigation for its handsets. Sounds familiar? Yes Google did the same thing with Google Navigation for Android 2.0 not long ago. But this is the real deal this time around, unlike Google offering which is only available in the US and needs an active connection to work (maps are stream live to the Android device) the new OVI Maps offers support for 74 countries, in 46 languages, and traffic information for more than 10 countries, as well as detailed maps for more than 180 countries and the whole maps are stored on your device!
Head over to Nokia’s annnouncement website here for more info and videos. Nokia is also promising to offer a streeview like feature in the future. Here’s the list of compatible devices:

Nokia X6, Nokia N97 mini, E72, E55, E52, Nokia 6730 classic, Nokia 6710 Navigator, Nokia 5800 Xpressmusic, Nokia 5800 Navigation Edition, Nokia 5230

The N97 version shoud be out on Jan 28th but no news about the N900 yet.

Source: Nokia

HTC Droid Eris to receive newer Android version update and Google Navigation

Droid Eris
According to HTC the Verizon Droid Eris is going to updated to a newer version of Android and Google Navigation early next year. It remains to be seen if this is going to be Android 2.0 or something else. Now that Google Navigation is out on Android 1.6 it is possible that the Droid Eris will only get a newer 1.6 build. But Android 2.0 or higher is still a possibility now that we know that Android 2.1 ROMs are already out in the wild for the HTC Hero.

Droid Eris is getting an update to a newer version of Android early next year. Google Navigation support is coming your way ;)

Source: HTC

Google Navigation officially released on Android 1.6

google-maps-navigation
This was really unexpected, Android 2.0‘s most talking about features, Google Navigation, is now officially available to all Android 1.6 (Donut)devices.

A few weeks ago we launched Google Maps Navigation (Beta) as a free feature of Google Maps on Android 2.0 devices. Today we’re expanding availability of Google Maps Navigation to devices running Android 1.6 (Donut) and higher, such as the T-Mobile myTouch 3G and the G1.

Unfortunately HTC Hero‘s (Android 1.5) aren’t compatible yet (but are rumored to get an Android 2.0 update in the future). You can download Google Navigation now in the Android Market.

Source: Google Mobile Blog

Disassembled Motorola Droid pictures make us sad

Following yesterday‘s HTC HD2 teardown here comes the naked Motorola Droid. Some dudes do have a lot of time (and money) to waste I guess. It’s nice to see the guts of our new shiny smartphones sometimes though.

Source: PhoneWreck

Motorola Milestone (Droid) heading to Canada early 2010 on Telus

droid_by_motorola_frontopen_vzw_eye_hr
Looks like our Canadian freinds will have to wait a little bit before putting their cold hands on the Motorola Milestone / Droid. Motorola Canada is announcing today that the Android 2.0 flagship phone will be available early 2010 on Telus. No word on the price though & it should be noted that Google Navigation won’t be available (it’s currently on US-based).

TORONTO, Nov. 10 /CNW/ – Motorola Canada today announced it will bring its first Android(TM)-powered device, the much-anticipated Motorola Milestone, only to TELUS customers in early 2010. Motorola Milestone, powered by the newest version of Android, sets a new standard for what a smartphone should be with a richer mobile web experience, superior messaging and top-of-the-line multi-media features in an innovative design that could only come from Motorola.

Milestone features the best of both worlds with a full QWERTY keyboard and touch-screen capabilities, as well as the opportunity for users to customize their mobile like never before with widgets and the freedom to run multiple applications at once.

“With Motorola Milestone, Canadians will no longer be limited in what they can do with their smartphone,” said Rick Gadd, vice-president, Motorola Canada Mobile Devices. “They will experience the web the way they’ve always wanted on a mobile device, with lightning fast speeds and pages that show them more.”

Get the web, get it faster, see it better

Milestone takes the power of Google Search(TM) beyond the web right into the phone. Search and retrieve applications, contacts, songs, and more right from the home screen. With local search, Google(TM) makes location-based recommendations according to where the user is.

Experience the mobile web like never before. Milestone’s 3.7″ WVGA display offers a clearer, more brilliant screen with twice the resolution of its competitors. Quick and nimble, Milestone is always ready for lightning-fast browsing with its superior processing speeds, Flash 10-ready HTML browsing, and premium 3G+ connection speeds. Navigation has never been easier with double-tap and pinch and zoom.

“TELUS’ new 3G+ network gives Canadians access to a world-class selection of mobile devices such as the Motorola Milestone,” said David Neale, senior vice-president of Product and Services at TELUS. “It is TELUS commitment to offer Canadians the most comprehensive and advanced smartphone line-up available so that we can meet their needs to stay connected, informed and entertained wherever they go. That’s why the Motorola Milestone will fit perfectly in our TELUS smartphone selection.”

Source: Motorola

Motorola Droid reviewed, hated & loved

500x_drooooooid__007
Gizmodo just posted their Motorola Droid review and just like all Droid reviews we’ve seen the complain about the camera quality & the fact the Android 2.0 still feels ackward sometimes.

The camera is complete garbage. It takes 10 years to start up, 2 to focus, and another 4 to actually take the goddamn picture. And there’s no distinct visual feedback to let you know a photo’s been snapped. And the photos suck. That pumpkin shot, in decent lighting, is as good as it gets. Like I said in the Android 2.0 review, I don’t know if it’s the hardware or the software, but it’s inexcusably bad.

Keep in mind that this review is aimed at the US readers especialy the conclusion:

These things are true about Droid: The camera’s not great; the keyboard isn’t mindblowing; Android 2.0 lacks the polish and multimedia prowess to completely match the iPhone. What’s also true is that a killer design, Google’s services, Android’s exploding app ecosytem, powerful multitasking, a stunning screen and Verizon’s network still make it the second best phone you can buy right now, after the iPhone.

Thankfully for us the world doesn’t revolve around the iPhone. You know there are phones like the Nokia N900, HTC HD2, Nokia X6 etc…The Droid is still a awesome phone though and congrats to Motorola.

Source: Gizmodo

Second Motorola Droid TV ad looks like a Transformers 3 trailer

Droid ad
Verizon and Google are throwing some big money to promote the Motorola Droid:

At least it looks 10x better than the Windows Phone ads

Source: BGR

Android 2.0 reviewed & loved

Android 2.0 home
Gizmodo just posted a full blown review of Android 2.0 today. It was obviously don on the Motorola Droid which is currently the only Android 2.0 phone. The overall impression is that Google‘s updated mobile OS is a step in the right directions. Nothing really stands out besides the nicely integrated Voice Command function and Google Navigation applications. Every other features was already available before on devices like the HTC Hero and Motorola CLIQ (Social media integration, Exchange support etc..) everything else is just UI tweaking. It’s definitely the best overall mobile OS right now (without OEM customization).

Software is inextricably tied to hardware in many respects, and nowhere is that more true than performance. Droid, the first Android 2.0 phone—and the only one we’ve used—is ridiculously capable, with an ARM Cortex A8 TI OMAP3430 processor that’s basically the same as the chips inside of the Palm Pre and iPhone 3GS. Point being, it’s got heavy duty processor firepower.

So it’s absolutely inexplicable that while it’s overall the fastest version of Android yet—most apps fly open instantly, run zippily and practically zoom from one to another, even with a couple running in the background—very basic user interface elements, like the main pop-up menu on the home screen and sliding over from one desktop to another, often stutter or lag (with no apps running up front, and just a couple of widgets on the desktop). At this point, it’s clear that these performance hiccups are an Android problem, not a hardware deficiency. It’s maddening to hold a badass phone like the Droid and watch it handle menus like a pussy.

The iPhone 3GS doesn’t have a TI OMAP 3430…

In time, Android very well could be the internet phone, hands down, in terms of raw capabilities. And while it’s not as easy to use or polished or seamless as the iPhone—or to some extent, Palm’s WebOS—it’s way more usable than most other smartphones, and keeps evolving, way faster than anyone else, continually closing that gap. Android 2.0′s potential finally feels as enormous as the iPhone’s, and I get kinda tingly thinking about it. I can’t say Android 2.0 is ready for your mom yet, but it’s definitely ready for anybody reading this.

Not a single mention of Windows Mobile in the whole review…geez

Source: Gizmodo

Motorola Droid headed to Europe as the Milestone with Mutli-Touch but not Google Navigation

Motorola Milestone
Motorola Germany as announced the GSM version of Motorola Droid, which will be named the Motorola Milestone, on O2 and Vodafone. Unlike the US version this one will support pinch-zooming in several applications (Browser, photo album etc..) The device will also feature the MOTONAV navigation applications instead of the newly launched Google Navigation (this shouldn’t come as a surprise given the Google NAV is currently only a US service). Conclusion: The US gets Google Navigation and Europe gets Multi-Touch support.

A previous video posted here also demonstrated multi-touch zooming in the browser (scroll down to the last one).

Source: Motorola Germany via BGR & Engadget

Another Motorola Droid review

droid_by_motorola_frontopen_vzw_eye_hr
Chuong from Pocketnow posted his full review of Motorola Droid‘s smartphone yesterday. His starts with a full hardware tour that you can see here:

He then takes a look at the phone’s camera which he finds disappointing (like in the previous review). Photos taken on an iPhone look better and the video quality is severely lacking IMO (Slightly worst than a Samsung Omnia II):

The highlight of the device is the Voice command feature coupled with the new Google Navigation app:

Google Navigation:

Conclusion:
Android 2.0 may not offer all the power and robustness that pro Windows Mobile users have grown accustomed to, but for many people the platform does its purpose–and does it well in offering a refined, cohesive user interface that blends the hardware and software together in an elegant package. It is more open than the iPhone as a platform, combines the best from Windows Mobile, the Palm Pre (Synergy), and connected features from the MOTO BLUR and the HTC customizations on the Hero to enable native Exchange support. The device is the right step in Android’s evolution and offers a more cohesive UI and user experience compared to the aging Windows Mobile platform. Android is definitely designed for touch and you can see that throughout the entire OS.

The device is one of the best on the market today. Strong software, potent hardware that makes Android zippy and not feel sluggish, and great marketing buzz from Verizon and Motorola will probably make this one of the more successful products on the market today. Welcome back, Motorola, to the big leagues. This is definitely Motorola’s come back phone, Verizon’s iPhone and Pre competitor, and Google’s emergence into a basic corporate-capable operating system.

Pros:
-Multiple Exchange accounts supported
-Gorgeous FWVGA cinematic 16:9 display
-Large display at 3.7 inches doesn’t feel too big thanks to the widescreen format
-Loud speakers
-Google Maps with Navigation offers free turn by turn voice guidance for GPS navigation
-Faster browser than on previous generations of Android OS
-Contacts well integrated with communications (like Palm Synergy)
-Google Voice support is awesome!
-Google Voice Search for Internet searching and GPS navigation so you don’t have to type
-Touch friendly capacitive touchscreen is bright even in direct sunlight

Cons:
-GMail and Email apps can be confusing, should integrate into one app
-No Exchange email searching
-Enterprise support
-Some apps may not be compatible
-Requires a GMail account for full features to be operational
-Camera photo quality could be better

Read the full review here