Nokia Maps Beta for Windows Phone 7 available: Hands on video

The Nokia Maps Beta for Windows Phone that was made available to Nokia Lumia 800 users yesterday has now leaked as is available to anybody as long as you have a developer unlocked device. Please remember that this is still a beta and not meant to run on anything but the Nokia Lumia 800 and 710 for now. You can directly from here.

I’ll shoot a video hands on and post it soon. So far the application is top notch…

UPDATE: Uploading the hands on video right now..stay tuned..Video is now up after the break:

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Nokia Maps to be available on all Windows Phones

Word coming out of last week’s Nokia World event is that the Nokia Maps application will not be exclusive to Nokia handsets (Nokia Lumia 800 and Lumia 710) but also be available to all other Windows Phone handsets running Mango. I double checked and that is indeed true as seen in the official video embedded below where you can clearly here the PM say that the application will be available to all Windows Phone users. Nokia Maps will be a really awesome addition to Windows Phone especially for users in countries where the Bing Maps coverage is essentially crap and don’t have Local Scout available (Nokia Maps has a lot more POIs in it’s database).

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Nokia Maps for Windows Phone 7

A placeholder for the official Nokia Maps (AKA Ovi Maps) application has briefly appeared in the Windows Phone Marketplace yesterday. As you can see in the screenshots which are contained in the dummy application, the application is essentially a Metro-fied version of what is already available on Nokia’s smartphones. As previously announced by Nokia this one will be exclusive to Nokia’s Windows Phone handsets the Searay and Sabre.

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Nokia Ovi Maps API already works in Windows Phone 7

A post on Nokia’s developer forum dated from the beginning of the month notes that the OVI Maps API will be officially supported in Windows Phone 7 Mango:

This would be good to know for the future use cases; the current Ovi Maps API will be supported in
the oncoming devices. Some changes for code may be needed, also some dedicated features may
be implmented – we will get more information and details on this during the coming months.

But there isn’t anything really new here other than the claim that it will probably be “officially” supported by Nokia because it is already working in Windows Phone 7 pre-Mango right now as seen in the Outdoor Navigation application currently available on the Marketplace and which can use Nokia’s OVI Maps (or Google Maps, OpenMaps etc..) instead of Bing maps. It’s safe to assume that everything isn’t working now and that Mango will most probably improve things. Just click here to check it out.

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Turn-by-Turn voice guided Navigation and Outdoor Navigation for Windows Phone 7

Some of you may already be familiar with the super nice Outdoor Navigation application for Windows Phone 7 developed by GPSTuner but what you may not know is that the same developers have also recently released a Voice-Guided Turn-by-Turn navigation application for Windows Phone 7. To put it simply: Both applications are just awesome and are some of the best mobile apps I have used.

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More details about the Microsoft Nokia partnership

Nothing really news breaking here but Mary Joe Foley has uncovered Nokia’s latest 20-F SEC Form which details the Microsoft partnership announced last month ahead of Mobile World Congress. All the information contained in it was basically already known if you watched the full webcast of the February 11th event. But the emphasis here is really put on the fact that, just like any big business partnership, this is going to be a long journey. Nokia may (or may not) start shipping its first Windows Phone 7 handset at the end of the year but the full transition is going to spread out until 2013.

Stephen Elop made it very clear that 2011 and 2012 are going to be transitional years for the company who has yet to finalized the deal with Microsoft. I personally think that Microsft (and Ballmer) did, in a sense, really overtake Nokia without outright buying it. The Software giant essentially gets most of the Finnish company’s assets like in exchange of practically nothing (besides the $1 billion):

“Nokia would bring assets such as its brand, hardware, productization, global reach, application store, operator billing support, maps and location­-based assets to the partnership. Microsoft would bring their next generation smartphone platform with Windows Phone, as well as search, broader advertising, ecommerce, gaming and productivity assets such as Bing, AdCenter, Xbox Live and Office.”

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First Nokia Windows Phone 7 handset concept revealed

Well, that didn’t take long…Engadget just got their hands on two renders showinb what loks like the first concept of a Nokia Windows Phone 7handset straight from their sources in Espoo. They look mighty good in my opinion and this also goes to show that both companies have be actively working together to bring handsets to the market as soon as possible. One more shot after the break:

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All about the Microsoft and Nokia partnership

Today is a big day for the mobile industry and will probably remember as the beginning of a new three horses races or the end of an empire (Nokia), depending on the future outcome of Nokia’s partnership with Microsoft. Instead of posting every single piece of news about today’s announcement I will simply direct you to the on-demand webcast of the event. I’m already seeing badly reported news popping up on some news sites so please check out the whole event to get all the relevant info. The important things that I want to highlight are the info that I posted on Twitter earlier during the meeting:

1) According to the NY Times, Nokia’s CEO had talks with Google and Microsoft which then led to a short bidding war to secure the deal (hundreds of millions of dollars) Google is obviously the loser today and now we kind of to why Vic Guntodra was so happy about it.

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Nokia and Microsoft Partnership announced!

Looks like it’s a done deal. Nokia and Microsoft have just announced their strategic partnership with Windows Phone 7 becoming Nokia’s principal smartphone strategy. But it get’s even better; Nokia’s Ovi maps will be at the core of Microsoft Bing Maps! We are finally going to have great mapping content outside of the United States! This is a huge deal folks really huge deal.

Nokia and Microsoft Announce Plans for a Broad Strategic Partnership to Build a New Global Mobile Ecosystem

Companies plan to combine assets and develop innovative mobile products on an unprecedented scale.

LONDON – Feb. 11, 2011 – Nokia and Microsoft today announced plans to form a broad strategic partnership that would use their complementary strengths and expertise to create a new global mobile ecosystem.

Nokia and Microsoft intend to jointly create market-leading mobile products and services designed to offer consumers, operators and developers unrivalled choice and opportunity. As each company would focus on its core competencies, the partnership would create the opportunity for rapid time to market execution. Additionally, Nokia and Microsoft plan to work together to integrate key assets and create completely new service offerings, while extending established products and services to new markets.

Under the proposed partnership:

• Nokia would adopt Windows Phone as its principal smartphone strategy, innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging, where Nokia is a market leader.

• Nokia would help drive the future of Windows Phone. Nokia would contribute its expertise on hardware design, language support, and help bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies.

• Nokia and Microsoft would closely collaborate on joint marketing initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the future evolution of mobile products.

• Bing would power Nokia’s search services across Nokia devices and services, giving customers access to Bing’s next generation search capabilities. Microsoft adCenter would provide search advertising services on Nokia’s line of devices and services.

• Nokia Maps would be a core part of Microsoft’s mapping services. For example, Maps would be integrated with Microsoft’s Bing search engine and adCenter advertising platform to form a unique local search and advertising experience

• Nokia’s extensive operator billing agreements would make it easier for consumers to purchase Nokia Windows Phone services in countries where credit-card use is low.

• Microsoft development tools would be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones, allowing developers to easily leverage the ecosystem’s global reach.

• Nokia’s content and application store would be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace for a more compelling consumer experience.

“Today, developers, operators and consumers want compelling mobile products, which include not only the device, but the software, services, applications and customer support that make a great experience,” Stephen Elop, Nokia President and CEO, said at a joint news conference in London. “Nokia and Microsoft will combine our strengths to deliver an ecosystem with unrivalled global reach and scale. It’s now a three-horse race.”

“I am excited about this partnership with Nokia,” said Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft CEO. “Ecosystems thrive when fueled by speed, innovation and scale.The partnership announced today provides incredible scale, vast expertise in hardware and software innovation and a proven ability to execute.”

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Yahoo and Nokia announce Worldwide mail, maps and search deal

Too little too late? I frankly don’t really know what to think of this deal right now especially when you consider Yahoo‘s current position in the mapping and search business so I’ll give you the full press release and let you judge:

Nokia and Yahoo! to bring integrated web services to millions of consumers around the world May 24, 2010

Global strategic alliance enables industry leaders to leverage strengths in e-mail, instant messaging, maps and navigation across PC and mobile devices
New York, NY, USA – Today, Yahoo! and Nokia announced a worldwide strategic alliance to extend the reach of their industry leading online services and offer people rich experiences that keep them connected to their world and the world around them.

Building on more than five years of collaboration, Nokia and Yahoo! ® will leverage each others’ strengths in e-mail, instant messaging and maps and navigation services, to provide consumers with access to world-class experiences on both PC and mobile devices.

As part of the alliance:
- Nokia will be the exclusive, global provider of Yahoo!’s maps and navigation services, integrating Ovi Maps across Yahoo! properties, branded as “powered by Ovi.”
- Yahoo! will become the exclusive, global provider of Nokia’s Ovi Mail and Ovi Chat services branded as “Ovi Mail / Ovi Chat powered by Yahoo!”
- Nokia and Yahoo! plan to work on ID federation between their services, beginning by making it easy for people to use their Ovi user IDs across select Yahoo! properties to easily access the online content and services they need.

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Nokia Ovi Maps for Android & Windows Mobile in the works? [Updated]

In a interview with Austrian magazine Die Presse, Greig Williams, Nokia’s general manager for the Alps and South East Europe, dropped something that nobody really expected. When asked if the company’s Ovi Maps will ever be released on Android and Windows Mobile he answered “That will be the next step.”. Now take this with a huge load of salt folks. The Ovi Maps software and services is one of the big differentiors for Nokia handsets compared to the compation,so I don’t really see why the company will basically shoot it self in the foot by releasing it on Android and Windows Mobile.

UPDATE:Nokia has just denied the story “”have spoken to Greig and he absolutely didn’t make that statement. As I understand it, this has now been, or in the process of being, taken down by the De Presse journalist at their site.”

Source: Die Presse via ElectricPig

Nokia releases Ovi Maps Racing game. Lets you race anywhere in the world!

Nokia has just made available what must be one of the coolest mobile games, Ovi Maps Racing. The game basically lets you race anywhere you want in the world just by selecting a location on the Ovi Maps data base. You can create a race track in your neighborhood for example and start racing right away. Check out the video below to see it in action:

The game is available now for free in the Ovi Store.

Source: Nokia

Nokia N97 firmware update 21.0.045 released

Nokia has just made available a new firmware update for the N97 today. This new update is said to improve call reliability and enable smoother scrolling in menus. To update, plug your N97 in to your PC and launch Nokia Software Updater and then start updating. In other N97 news, Nokia has also released the N97 compatible version of the new OVi Maps navigation app a couple of days ago (simply open the Applications Folder, Software Update client and choose the new Ovi Maps from the list).

Source: Nokia

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