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 →

Photosynth for Windows Phone finally released

After more than a year of silence Microsoft has finally released Photosynth for Windows Phone 7. As you probably already know the iOS version came out in April of last year with a Windows Phone version set to be released soon after alongside the Mango update which finally gave access to the handset’s sensors to software developers. Things didn’t seem to be on schedule though given that there was no WP7 version of the app on sight several months after Mango’s roll out. Today’s the day though so if you have a WP7 handset nearby (that has at least 512MBof RAM) just hit the link here or scan the QRcode after the break to download the app.

Don’t worry about the message that alerts you that the app requires a Gyroscope if your device doesn’t feature one because the compass + Accelerometer should be enough to shoot nice panoramas (the gyro will help you be more precise and also enable you to shoot upwards towards the sky to make a spherical panorama).

Continue reading Photosynth for Windows Phone finally 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:

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LG temporarily abandons Windows Phone

Quick! Everybody abandon ship! The Windows Phone ship is sinking…or maybe not. LG (Windows Phone’s premiere OEM partner..)has simply announced during its latest earnings conferences call that it has no immediate plans to manufacture or ship a new Windows Phone based smartphone. Nothing really shocking here given that the south Korean manufacturer was totally absent from the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango launch last year and hasn’t done anything meaningful to the Windows Phone ecosystem since the initial platform launch in 2010.

LG isn’t totally abandoning Windows Phone and will continue research and development efforts in hopes of a brighter future. The company’s mobile division has been in the crapper for a little while now even with the launch of several high-end Android smartphones plagued by atrocious firmware issues (everything isn’t to blame on Windows Phone..). The LG Fantasy E740 with it’s NFC chipset will remain a prototype for ever.

Continue reading LG temporarily abandons Windows Phone →

Nokia Lumia 800 1600.2487.8107.12072 Firmware released, fixes volume bug: Install it now

The latest major Firmware update for the Nokia Lumia 800 may have fixed the most important issue; namely the buggy power management, but it unfortunately also introduced an annoying audio volume bug than made playing games in particular a real pain alongside other oddities like a super loud ringer volume the first second when a call arrives. Anyway, Nokia has finally put an end to all of this via a new Firmware update: 1600.2487.8107.12072 which has already started to roll out in some regions and that you can manually apply to your handset by following the instructions below (at your own risk):

Continue reading Nokia Lumia 800 1600.2487.8107.12072 Firmware released, fixes volume bug: Install it now →

Skype for Windows Phone is out of beta and publicly available now

Skype for Windows Phone 7 is finally out of beta and publicly available in the Marketplace for everybody to download. This new V1.0 version now includes the ability to search and add contacts, call landlines, ,video calling in portrait mode, friend management capabilities including invite, accept invitations, block, unblock contacts and several other improvements on top of what was already possible in the beta. Only major downside is the fact that application still doesn’t support background notifications so user simply can’t receive a call unless the application is open (unlike all the other Skype version on other platforms or even Tango on Windows Phone) but Skype as already announced that “This is the first of many releases to come for Windows Phone, so stay tuned for even more capabilities in the future“. You can download the Skype app directly from the marketplace here or by simply scanning the tags after the break:

Continue reading Skype for Windows Phone is out of beta and publicly available now →

Nokia Lumia 610 NFC officially announced: Q3 2012 release

Nokia has officially announced the first NFC enabled Windows Phone handset today; the Nokia Lumia 610 NFC. This may sound surprising given that even the company’s high end Windows Phone model, the Lumia 900, which just launched a few days ago doesn’t have an NFC chip in there. Nokia has apparently added its own software stack on top of Windows Phone 7.5 Tango to get this whole NFC thing going. Remember that LG has apparently done something similar with, the yet to be announced, LG Fantasy handset. The Nokia Lumia 610 NFC will be available in Q3 2012 on Orange. Check out the full press release after the break and a video demo of the handset in action:

Continue reading Nokia Lumia 610 NFC officially announced: Q3 2012 release →

Nokia Lumia 800 PR 1.2 1600.2487.8107.12070 UPDATE availability detailed by country

Nokia just put up a website detailing the Nokia Lumia 800 PR 1.2 1600.2487.8107.12070 roll out schedule for each country and operator, similar to the now defunct where’s my update page that Microsoft put up last year for the Pre-NoDo, NoDo and Mango update roll-outs. If you still haven’t done it manually (instructions here) simply hit the source link below and choose you country/region to see when the update is going to be pushed to your particular handset.

Continue reading Nokia Lumia 800 PR 1.2 1600.2487.8107.12070 UPDATE availability detailed by country →

Nokia Lumia Play To DLNA Beta application released

Remember the DLNA drivers I found in one of the earlier Nokia Lumia 800 firwmare? Well they are now put to good use it via the recently released Nokia Play To Beta DLNA application which will allow Nokia Lumia owners to stream their handset’s multimedia content to any DLNA compatible receiver (Windows Vista/7/8 PC, TV etc). The Current Beta version doesn’t support Music streaming yet but this should be available in the official release later down the road. Just hit the source link to register to the Nokia Beta program or simply scan the QRCode below after the break to install it on your Nokia Lumia Windows Phone.

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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.


Nokia Lumia 800 PR 1.2 1600.2487.8107.12070 update rolling out worldwide

Those of you patiently waiting for the PR1.2 / 12070 update to be rolled out to their Nokia Lumia 800 handsets should be happy to learn that it’s has finally hit Europe and the US as I’m getting reports that carrier and non carrier branded handset are receiving the update notification. As a reminder here’s what new in the PR 1.2 firmware and if you can’t wait anymore you can simply update you handset manually by following the instructions I posted here. Also note that this firmware introduces an annoying audio volume bug (sound level is totally buggy when there are more than one audio channel being played at the same time among other things) that should hopefully be fixed in an upcoming update which will also include an updated camera app (with an integrated panorama feature similar to the one found in the Creative Studio app)


Nokia Lumia 800 PR 1.2 1600.2487.8107.12070 update officially announced: Change Log

Nokia has finally made the Lumia 800 PR 1.2 1600.2487.8107.12070 update official today and has announced the roll out of the update (which has already started yesterday). The company ha also released the update’s change log as you can see below:

As this is not a mandatory software update, not every country or network carrier will make it available to their customers. However, all features and enhancements will be included in subsequent software updates. If you have questions if 1600.2487.8107.12070 will be available for you, please check with your local network carrier.

• Enhanced battery standby and talk time performance
• Battery capacity icon instead of question mark on top right of screen
• Improved bass in audio performance
• Soft-key illumination at all brightness levels
• Fixes for device performance issues including self-reboots, freezes and call-ending

Continue reading Nokia Lumia 800 PR 1.2 1600.2487.8107.12070 update officially announced: Change Log →

Nokia Lumia 800 1600.2487.8107.12070 update roll-out has started in some countries

I’m getting user reports that the 1600.2487.8107.12070 firmware update for the Nokia Lumia 800 is currently being pushed out to uses in Singapore and India. Keep in mind that nothing has been officially announced yet (and that those operators may have jumped the gun a little bit) but my guess is that it should officially be pushed out worldwide in the coming days / weeks. UPDATE: Nokia is telling me that some regions may be getting it faster than others but that everything is done to get it out everywhere so sit tight and be patient. For more info about this firmware please refer to my previous exclusive report here.

Continue reading Nokia Lumia 800 1600.2487.8107.12070 update roll-out has started in some countries →

Exclusive: New Nokia Lumia 800 firmware fixes most of the issues

Those of you who have been following me know that I’ve been testing for Nokia the upcoming Nokia Lumia 800 PR1.2 firmware for a little while. Nokia asked me to keep details about the new code confidential until its release but now that the cat is somewhat out of the bag (the firmware has already been pushed out to Nokia Care’s server and discovered by several folks) I’ll give you some more info about what you can expect in build 1600.2487.8107.12070 / PR1.2 :

- The Fast battery drain issue has been fixed
- The lack of audio Bass when listening through headsets has been fixed. There’s a whole lot of bass now..
- The auto-white balance issue with the camera has also been fixed
- The hardware buttons backlights are now always on at all screen brightness levels
- Diagnostics app has been changed to prevent users from getting misleading info about their device
- Focus Mode is now set to Normal by default in the camera app
- The jittery screen issue (bad grounding) has be reduced
- More stuff that I won’t talk about

So, just hold on to your Lumia 800 and don’t give up hope cause Nokia has been working hard on fixing most of the issues that have been plaguing the device since its launch.

UPDATE: Just got word from Nokia that you can expect the PR1.2 / 1600.2487.8107.12070 update to roll out very soon.
UPDATE 2: Just to be perfectly clear: There has been no official announcement yet for the date of availability. So just be a little bit patient.

UPDATE MARCH 9th: The FW is now being officially rolled out and you can manually update your device if you wish to do so. Just follow the instruction I posted here.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and regularly check back here for more info about Nokia’s Windows Phone handsets and future update info. The guys in Finland aren’t joking and really want to see their Windows Phones succeed.


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 Lumia 610 low cost Windows Phone announced

The first truly low-cost Windows Phone 7 (Tango) handset has just been announced by Nokia today in the form of the Lumia 610. This new handset is the first Windows Phone device to be powered by a Qualcomm MSM7X30 SoC clocked at 800Mhz (with an Adreno 205 GPU) and only 256MB ram. The specification are in line with the Chassis specification announced last year at MIX11 and what we came to expect after hearing about the Tango leaks. The specs are the following:

- Networks: WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100, GSM/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
- Speed: HSDPA cat 7: 7.2Mbps,
- Display: 3.7” WVGA (800×480) TFT capacitive touch LCD display with pinch zoom
- Memory: 256MB RAM, 8GB storage
- Camera: 5 megapixels, auto-focus, LED flash.
- Size/Weight: 119.24mm x 62.18mm x 11.95mm / 131.5g
- Processor: 800 Mhz Single Core/Qualcomm Snapdragon S1
- Battery: 1300 mAh
- Talk time: GSM : 10.5 h, WCDMA : 9.5h. Standby time: GSM : 670 h, WCDMA :720 h

The Nokia Lumia 610 will launch in Q2 2012 with the price of 189€

Source: Nokia

Skype Beta app for Windows Phone 7 launched: Get it now!

It is finally here folks! Skype for Windows Phone 7 has now reached the marketplace in its beta form and can be downloaded for free as I’m typing this. The beta version will require that you have a handset running Windows Phone 7.5 Mango or up but has officially been certified to be compatible with the following handsets:

• Nokia Lumia 710
• Nokia Lumia 800
• HTC Titan
• HTC Radar
• Samsung Focus S
• Samsung Focus Flash

I’v just did a quick test and video chat also works on devices without a front facing camera (it uses the main camera on the back instead). Check it out in action in the video after the break:

Continue reading Skype Beta app for Windows Phone 7 launched: Get it now! →