After being purchased by LINE from Microsoft and Nokia, MixRadio has ditched its beta tag and hit Google’s App Store. The music streaming service tries to offer a more personalized approach to your music by learning what you like and playing things it thinks you’ll like. Other apps have tried to do this with mixed success, so it’ll be interesting to see if MixRadio can pull it off.
The app has also announced a partnership with HTC that will curate music news to BlinkFeed on HTC devices. As the service learns what music you like, it will display relevant info and news about artists and genres you like in your news feed. It’s a pretty nifty use of BlinkFeed that hopefully works as well as it sounds.
Anybody up for trying out a new music streaming service?
Come comment on this article: MixRadio leaves beta, announces new partnership with HTC
MixRadio, the popular UK-based music streaming service, has finally made its way to the Google Play Store after being a Windows Phone exclusive for years. After being sold by Microsoft to Japan’s LINE, it’s no surprise that the application is now available on both Android and iOS.
If you’re not familiar with the service, MixRadio aims to give you personalized suggestions based on what you normally listen to. The more you listen, the more the service will learn from your listening habits, and be able to better suggest tracks from its impressive catalog of over 35 million songs. You can create mixes from your favorite artists or listen to already curated playlists.
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MixRadio will also allow you to download up to four of your favorite mixes for offline listening. Oh, and did I mention it’s completely free? This can be both good and bad for consumers. The only way to listen to music right now is with ads, though hopefully there will be a subscription option available in the coming months for users who don’t mind paying for a better experience.
If you’re the type who likes to constantly discover music and are looking for a free alternative to other services like Spotify or Pandora, MixRadio may be a great option for you. Head to the Google Play Store link below to download MixRadio for free.
It’s been a while since we took time out to list our favorite smartphones, which means we’ve had to make more than a few updates to our buyer’s guide. Big players like LG, HTC, Samsung and Motorola have unleashed a flurry of updates to their previous lines, and in most cases the devices are better for it. The G Flex2 has restored our confidence in LG’s curvacious form factor, piling on strong internals and improved specs. Samsung stepped up its game for the with the gorgeous Galaxy S6, while HTC built on the success of its One line to bring us the M9. Motorola added LTE to the Moto E for 2015 and partnered with Google to launch the super-sized Nexus 6. There are plenty of options for all budgets and power requirements, so cruise through the gallery or head over to our buyer’s guide for help picking out your next daily driver.
Hopefully you’re ready to put a lot of ours in a new Android game, as Snake Rewind is now available to download on the Google Play Store for free.
You may be familiar with the original Snake, a staple on Nokia devices, created by Taneli Armanto. In collaboration with Rumilus Design, they’ve brought Snake Rewind to the Google Play Store.
They’ve made the game much more current, allowing you to rewind your snake after you die, and even going as far as to add boosters and leaderboards. As you might expect, graphics have been overhauled, too. With all of the new additions and new graphics, Snake Rewind is a gorgeous game that you’ll be playing for hours, trying to compete for the top of the leaderboard.
If you’re not sure about Snake Rewind, be sure to check out the trailer and gallery below. It’s a beautiful game, but profoundly addicting.
Come comment on this article: ‘Snake Rewind’ now available on Google Play Store
It’s been a long time coming, but some of the last vestiges of Nokia’s phone business are going away. Microsoft has started converting Nokia’s stores and service centers into “Microsoft Resellers” (catchy, we know), complete with the colorful branding that you’d expect from a regular Microsoft store. It won’t have the sheer variety of hardware, so you shouldn’t expect to pick up a laptop while you’re getting your phone fixed. However, the transition is still a big deal if you live outside of North America — this may be the first time you’ll visit a Microsoft shop, and your first chance at trying certain devices. As sad as it may be to see Nokia’s name disappear from street corners, this is good news if you feel like you’ve been missing out on Microsoft’s latest tech.
Source: Microsoft Conversations
In between messing up its partnership with OnePlus, or making statements about how it is “putting a bullet through Google’s head,” Cyanogen does find some time to look for more investors. Back in March the company, which is led by Steve Kondik and Kirt McMaster, announced its series C funding from investors like Twitter, Qualcomm and Rupert Murdoch. Today the company announced more investor money, this time from Foxconn.
The series C funding is Cyanogen’s third injection of cash from outside investors. The money is generally given on the basis that the company has started to prove itself and that its business plan is sound.
What isn’t so well appreciated is that Foxconn has its own smartphone brand.
The new “strategic investment” from Foxconn brings to a close Cyanogen’s series C funding. There is no current announcement about any possible series D funding. As it said when it announced the previous series C funding, the company will use the money to “accelerate talent hiring and the development of its open OS platform.”
If you haven’t heard of Foxconn, you will have surely heard of some of the products it manufactures: iPad, iPhone, Kindle, PlayStation, Xbox and so on! The keyword here is manufacture. Foxconn is a Taiwanese contract manufacturer that assembles products for the likes of Apple, Blackberry and Microsoft.
What isn’t so well appreciated is that Foxconn has its own smartphone brand. Next to all those iPhones that are rolling off the assembly lines, there are Android smartphones sold under Foxconn’s InFocus brand.
Could there be a possible link between any future phones that Foxconn makes and the use of Cyanogen? Also, Foxconn is in the rebadging game. It designs and builds devices for third party companies who then just stick their own badges on the units. A prime example of this is the Nokia N1. Although it carries the Nokia name it is actually all Foxconn’s work. If Nokia was ever to get back into the smartphone market it could very well use the same method. A Foxconn designed phone with a Nokia badge… and maybe running Cyanogen!
What do you think? Would you buy a Foxconn built Nokia smartphone running Cyanogen OS?
A new report has surfaced indicated German automakers Audi, BMW and Daimler have partnered with Chinese search giant Baidu in an effort to buy the Nokia Here business unit from Nokia. The mapping unit appears to be valued at more than €2 billion ($2.2 billion USD) according to the reports, but more importantly will help the automakers stave off Google’s entry into the self-driving car market. At least, that is what the automakers are hoping.
In order to eventually produce self-driving cars, manufacturers will have to secure a solid set of maps to be used by the vehicle’s computers. Google’s digital maps are some of the most widely deployed and used, but Nokia’s Here maps have received praise since their release. Google makes their Maps product free and according to sources, “The greatest threat to the automobile industry would be if Google developed an operating system for self-driving cars and made it available free to everyone.”
The automakers appear to be looking at the history of what Google did with the smartphone market. As companies like Microsoft and Apple appeared to be poised to take over the market in the early days, Google snapped up Android and then released it for free to device makers. The rest, as they say, is history as Google’s Android has gone on to dominate the market with around an 80% share around the world.
Sources indicate the deal could close within two weeks.
source: Business Insider
Come comment on this article: German automakers on route to buy Nokia Here
Uber wants to buy another mapping technology: Nokia’s Here, and it’s bid $3 billion for it according to The New York Times. Who else wants in on the action? Apparently a handful of German car manufacturers including Audi, BMW and Mercedes Benz, and Chinese search engine Baidu’s lending some cash to the move as well. While Google Maps is probably the most popular service here in the States, that isn’t exactly the case abroad. NYT says that globally the Finnish electronics company’s navigation system commands an 80 percent market share for in-car GPS.
From the sounds of it, the reason Uber’s even interested is that Here could aid Uber Pool’s car-pooling to link passengers with drivers. The trio from Deutschland’s intentions are a little clearer: the idea is to aid in the development and guidance of autonomous vehicles because leaning heavily on Google isn’t particularly attractive given Mountain View’s own self-driving car efforts. That, and if those three own Here they can charge licensing fees should they choose to let other companies use it.
[Image credit: Associated Press]
If Facebook’s maps for mobile have suddenly gotten a whole lot more (or less) accurate, there’s a reason. The social network is now sourcing its location data from Here, Nokia’s soon-to-be-sold mapping division. According to TechCrunch’s sources, only the mobile web version is using the new information, but Facebook is currently testing whether to roll Here’s Maps out to all of its standalone apps like Messenger and Instagram. It’s hoped that, with more accurate geolocation data, the company can offer advertisers even more minute control over who gets what product thrown in their face. Of course, Facebook is also one of the companies that is believed to be considering buying Here outright. Given this news, however, we’d imagine it being a lot less likely — after all, why buy the cow if you’re getting the milk for free?
For an entire generation, the name Nokia will stir up a lot of emotion. From the iconic 3210 to the symbolic N95, the pre-smartphone years were Nokia’s heyday and a large majority of current smartphone users will be able to recall using a Nokia handset in their past.
For me personally, I almost exclusively used Nokia handsets until the late noughties and when the iPhone came along, Nokia’s decline was total (albeit, it took a few years to completely fail). Since February 2011, the infamous burning memo and the decision to adopt Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform, Nokia enthusiasts and most of the tech world have asked why the Finnish company didn’t adopt Android.
Moving swiftly past the Windows Phone years and ever since Microsoft bought Nokia’s devices and services division last year, we’ve heard rumours that Nokia would introduce mobile devices running Android sooner rather than later. And that’s exactly what happened with the company introducing the Android-powered Nokia N1 tablet in November 2014. However, the N1 isn’t quite the Nokia we know, as it’s a tablet that Nokia has licensed their name to, rather than made themselves.
Last week, the Nokia Android rumour reared again with a new report suggesting we’d see Nokia release a new Android-powered smartphone at the beginning of 2016, when the clause in the Microsoft deal preventing it from making devices expires. However, shortly after, the company issued a statement denying any move to enter the market but conceding that it would consider brand licensing like it has done with the N1.
Android as a platform is everything that Nokia’s Symbian platform once hoped to be and the brand licensing deal has endless possibilities for the Finnish manufacturer. Developing a smartphone takes years of R&D, testing and QA – not to mention, significant capital – and hence, it’s unlikely that we’ll see a Nokia-made Android smartphone very soon. That being said, Android is definitely the kickstart that Nokia needs if they’re going to re-enter the smartphone business.
Look back at Nokia smartphones in the latter stages of Symbian and the Windows Phone era and one thing is clear; Nokia’s problem was always its software: Symbian’s inability to develop into an iPhone-challenger and the failure of Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS to capture the market. Yet Android can solve all of these issues.
Related: Nokia N1 Tablet Review
Far from running an OS that requires significant investment to develop, Nokia would gain a mature platform and a partner in Google, who would probably love to count Nokia amongst the Android OEMs. Back when they announced the decision to move to Windows Phone, then-CEO Stephen Elop said they ruled out Android as its hard to differentiate, but Nokia Z Launcher has done just this: it’s made a complex smartphone platform simple to operate while remaining as powerful as Google intended.
At the same time, the Nokia name is arguably the Finnish company’s biggest asset. As indicated by the 20,000 N1 sales in just four minutes when the tablet went on sale in China, people still want to buy Nokia products. Nokia had a large part to play in the market share Windows Phone has today and the brand is powerful enough to likely make Nokia’s return to mobile successful.
Let’s be clear on something; Nokia has sold its smartphone and R&D divisions but still owns its IP, so making a smartphone wouldn’t be out of the question but would require significant investment in people, platforms and products. It’s highly unlikely that we’ll see a Nokia-made Android smartphone in the next year or two but the N1 taught us that company could still put their name on devices made by others.
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The N1 is a tablet that’s made by Foxconn – who incidentally make a large chunk of Apple’s iPad and iPhones – and shows that we’re now in an era where Nokia doesn’t need to own its entire supply chain. In the past, the company’s own plants made its devices but maybe for the Finnish manufacturer, the best move is to follow Apple and produce the devices elsewhere. This would help reduce their costs and ensure a return to own-brand devices sooner rather than later.
A Nokia-made Android smartphone? For many people, that’s still the Holy Grail. From Nokia’s pedigree in outstanding smartphone cameras – the Lumia 1020 with its 41MP camera being the highlight of them all – to fabulous build, exciting design and excellent battery life, Nokia will always be considered one of the architects of the mobile industry. For me personally – and most people no doubt – a Nokia-powered Android smartphone would excite as much as the latest from Samsung or HTC.
Nokia will always be considered one of the architects of the mobile industry
Will we see a Nokia-made Android smartphone? I for one certainly hope so and I think it would be great for the market to gain another Android OEM to offer something really different. Would you buy a Nokia smartphone running Android? Let us know your views guys!
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