Nokia Maps, Drive +, Transit,City Lens updated and rebranded to HERE. No longer exclusive to Nokia Lumia handsets

Today’s a big day for all Windows Phone 8 users with the start of MWC in Barcelona and Nokia’s Keynote which just ended a few minutes ago. The big news besides the introduction of the Nokia Lumia 720 and Lumia 520 is the updated and rebrand of Nokia’s mapping services which will now all sport the HERE name. This means that Nokia Maps is now Here Maps, Nokia Drive + is Here Drive + etc.

But it get’s better: they are now available to ALL Windows Phone 8 users in US, Canada, Mexico, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain! That’s right folks, Nokia has decided to make a really bold move today to help the Windows Phone ecosystem. You no longer need to own a Nokia Lumia handset to have access to these awesome applications.

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Nokia supporting Windows Phone 7 Lumia phones with new features and apps

Nokia is about to release a bunch of new (or not so new) application and updates in the coming days for its line of Lumia handsets as a way to appease current owners who may feel shafted by the fact that their handset won’t be upgradable to Windows Phone 8 but will instead get Windows Phone 7.8 which should include several unannounced features besides the new WP8 start screen.

Nokia Play To which was released as a beta a little while ago should hit the marketplace fairly soon while Nokia Drive 3.0 is set to be released this summer. The much anticipated Camera Extra features will be made available in June/July depending on your region.

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Nokia Maps 2.0 and Nokia Transport Beta 2.1 released

Nokia has released updated versions of Nokia Maps and Nokia Transport /transit yesterday for all you Lumia owners out there. Nokia Maps 2.0 now adds the ability to sync your favorite destinations and places across platforms (Nokia Lumia, Nokia Belle, Nokia N9) and with the mobile web version m.maps.nokia.com for iOS and Android. Users can now also add reviews and photos to POIs directly from their handset. Another new features is the ability to pin direction to a place directly on the phone’s start screen similar to what will be added in Nokia Drive 3.0 soon.
Last but not least, Nokia Transport Beta has been updated to version 2.1 and now includes several new features like detailed line view (taping on a transport line will give you a detailed view of all the stops until your have to commute or arrive), improved search, and multiple tile pinning allowing you to pin your favorite destinations so you can easily get the fastest route to it wherever you are.

You can grab Nokia Maps 2.0 directly from the Marketplace and Nokia Transport Beta 2.1 by scanning the QRcode after the break.

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Nokia Transport 2.0 beta for Windows Phone released

Nokia has just released the beta version of Nokia Transport 2.0 application (known as Nokia Transit in the US) for its Nokia Lumia handsets today via the Nokia Beta Labs website. This newest version includes the following changes:

-Find nearby stations, departure times and even types of transit lines available around your location.
Improved search:
- Remember your last search query
-Change your search without leaving the journey view
Improved performance
- Faster display of upcoming journeys
- Faster journey request

Want to try it out ? Simply scan the QRcode after the break with your Lumia phone and don’t forget to register to the Beta Labs service to post you impressions or report bugs.

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Nokia Lumia Camera Extension features unveiled

The much anticipated update to the Nokia Lumia 800 and 900 camera has finally been officially unveiled in a press event in Honk Kong two days ago. As you probably already know the latest Tango roms already include some new improvements including a video quality settings added to the video recording settings menu. The upcoming Camera Extension feature will added several shooting modes that have already been hinted at in the latest firmware bits but have yet to be fully exposed to the end users: Action Shot, Self Timer, Panorama and Smart Group Shot.The latest mode named smart group shot is the most interesting one given that it will be the first ever commercial implementation of a feature that has already been teased by RIM for the upcoming BB10 OS named Timeline Lens (which was developed by Scalado and originally named “Scalado Rewind”. In this SmartGroup shot mode the camera will be constantly shooting pictures at a high burst rate during a short period of time and then face detect the human beings in the pictures. This will then allow the user to manually tweak the final image by choosing the best possible face expression of the people taking the pose. You can check it out in action in the video after the break:

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Nokia branded Windows Phone Marketplace has always been in the works

In case you have missed it; Most of the latest Nokia Tango ROMs for the Nokia Lumia 610, Lumia 710, Nokia Lumia 800 and Lumia 900 have traded the regular Makretplace Tile with a new Nokia branded one. This may come as a surprise to most people but those of you who have been following me know that Nokia and Microsoft have been working on a Nokia Branded Marketplace ever since the partnership was put in place more than a year ago. I actually made a post about it when I found out some interesting words in the partnership press release and several job offerings which described the existence to two unified application stores.

The Icon change is probably only the begging so it remains to be seen if others items or section of the Marketplace will offer Nokia specific features exclusive to the Lumia handset. It should also be noted that the Nokia Collection section has strangely vanished from by Nokia Lumia 800 (running Mango) just yesterday so there must be something going on in the background right about now.


Nokia announces Exclusive applications and games for Lumia handsets and other Windows Phones: Angry Birds Space, EA Mobile games, Groupon, Paypal,

Nokia is all in with Windows Phone and today’s software partnership announcement is one more proof of this. The company has announced several partnership that will net Nokia Lumia owners with exclusive applications in the coming weeks and months plus the birth of a new development team at Rovio in Finland (makers of Angry Birds) to develop and port all of theirs games to Nokia Lumia handsets and even other Windows Phone devices. Nice isn’t it? Here’s a  list of what coming:

PGA TOUR – The PGA TOUR app will be available exclusively to Nokia Lumia owners from June 2012. Developed in partnership with Nokia, the app provides scores and player information and also interactive, augmented coverage of the action from the events on a hole-by-hole basis.

ESPN – The exclusive ESPN Sports Hub will receive a number of updates over current months, bringing greater personalisation options, such as panoramas dedicated to your favourite teams. A Windows Phone version of the ESPN Fantasy Football app will launch exclusively on Lumia this autumn.

EA Mobile: FIFA, Madden, NBA Jam, Tiger Woods, Mirror’s Edge and Yahtzee coming to the Windows Phone platform (not exclusive to Lumias apparently)

Rovio – The company is building a dedicated development team to create titles for Nokia Lumia and the wider Windows Phone ecosystem, with the goal of publishing all future Rovio titles – including Angry Birds Space – on the platform as quickly as possible.

“Nokia is one of our longest-standing partners, and Windows Phone and Lumia are of strategic importance to Rovio. We are very committed to bring our games to Lumia devices, and are looking forward to delighting our fans on the Windows Phone platform,” said Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio.

Groupon – Groupon is working on an extensive upgrade of its Windows Phone app, bringing a new augmented reality deal-finder function. It will be exclusive to Lumia owners for six months following its launch in Summer 2012.

TripDots – This is a an app that helps motorists optimise their fuel efficiency, awarding achievements as well as cost-savings in a wider social game while maintaining people’s privacy.

PayPal – Nokia and PayPal are working together to create a Windows Phone app to allow secure, fast and easy payments through PayPal wherever you may be.

AOL Entertainment HubExclusive to Nokia Lumia owners for six months from launch, this AOL app brings the cream of AOL’s content to Nokia Lumia owners. That includes the ability to play any of its 55,000 SHOUTcast radio stations, streaming albums with Listening Party. movie trailers and more.

TIME – the world’s largest weekly circulation magazine comes to Windows Phone. The app will deliver content from Time.com to mobile making full use of the UI’s possibilities, such as alerts for breaking news, the ability to share news items with your contacts in the People Hub and Live Tiles.

NewsWeek – NewsWeek is creating a Windows Phone version of The Daily Beast, its digital content partner. Designed for consuming the latest news while you’re on the move, the app allows you to access the latest stories in seconds. It also includes access to The Cheat Sheet – a one-stop shop for leading stories across the globe.

Continue reading Nokia announces Exclusive applications and games for Lumia handsets and other Windows Phones: Angry Birds Space, EA Mobile games, Groupon, Paypal, →

Nokia Transport Beta for Windows Phone 7 released: Hands on video

The beta version of Nokia Transport for the company’s Lumia line of Windows Phone has been released 2 days ago and is freely available to download as long as you have a compatible handset (Lumia 800, Lumia 900, Lumia 710 or Lumia 610). The first thing you will have to do is register to the Nokia Beta Labs program (link after the break) and then install the application on your handset by scan the QRCode below. So what’s Nokia Transport ? Well, it’s a pretty handy application that packs local public transport information for 460 cities in 46 countries enabling you to get transit and commute directions all in one place. It also features the following:

-Easily find public transport stations/stops, addresses, and points of interest.
-Choose from multiple routes and follow the list of directions for buses, trams, underground, or trains.
-View earlier and later departure times to make smarter travel choices.
-Save favorite routes from different locations as a tile on your phone homescreen for instant access from anywhere.

Nokia Transport also integrates Nokia Maps to help you find your way when you are on foot. Check out my short hands on video after the break:

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Nokia Transport and Nokia City Lens coming to Nokia Lumia Windows Phones

Nokia is currently putting the finishing touches to the Windows Phone version of Nokia Transport and Nokia City lens (known as Nokia Live View on Symbian and Meego) for their Lumia range of handsets. Both applications were briefly demoed at CES this week and seems to be of the same quality as the Nokia Maps application.
As its name indicates, Nokia Transport is a commute / Public transport navigation application that features the following functionalities:

- Choose from multiple routes and follow the list of directions for buses, trams, underground or trains.
- Smart navigation for walking helps you reach your destination door-to-door.
- Check the next departure times for any stop in your city and easily save your regular commutes to favourites.

Check it out in action below:

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