Over a year after the acquisition was first announced, Microsoft is officially replacing the Nokia Lumia brand. In a blog post today, the software giant revealed its upcoming smartphones will now be known as Microsoft Lumia. The new Microsoft branding will appear on future phones from the company, with a plain black version of the company’s four-squared logo also set to make an appearance.
Tuula Rytilä, Microsoft’s SVP of Marketing for Phones, says the company is looking to unveil its first own-brand Lumia phone “soon.” Rytilä is also keen to note that the change in nomenclature will not affect the support of current Nokia devices. Although the Nokia name will no longer be used for smartphones, low-end phones — the company calls out the Nokia 130 — will still be sold under the banner. Nokia still has brand cachet in Europe and developing markets, and it’s likely that Microsoft will continue to exploit that fact for years to come.
Source: Microsoft (Nokia Conversations)
Well that exclusive was short lived. About 2 weeks ago, Nokia’s HERE maps made its debut on Android, but only for Samsung devices through the Samsung Apps Store. I’m not sure I ever understood the exclusive, but I definitely don’t understand the fact that it only lasted 2 weeks.
Nokia has made the HERE Beta app available to the rest of Android. Unfortunately it’s not in the Play Store. You will have to hit the source link below to grab the APK and manually install it yourself.
Being a Beta, you’re sure to run into a bug or two. For example, it was found that some cache cleaner apps will delete the navigation voices. Nokia has promised a fix, but they are still a couple of weeks away from accomplishing it.
If HERE maps is something you would like to try, then hit the source link below to get started.
Come comment on this article: Nokia’s HERE Maps now available on all Android devices
There are many, many people who’ve always wanted a powerful space telescope in their backyards but can’t exactly afford one. For avid makers and DIY enthusiasts, at least, that’s not such an absurd dream anymore — not when someone has designed an automated 3D-printed telescope that’s powered by a commercially available phone: the Nokia Lumia 1020. The device is called Ultrascope, and it stands one meter tall when assembled, with a base that measures 65 centimeters wide. It was created by Open Space Agency founder James Parr, who promised to upload the current design and future iterations to his organization’s website once the ongoing beta testing’s done.
Here’s how the robotic telescope works: first, your Windows laptop locates the ISS and forwards its location to Ultrascope’s Arduino shield to move its motors. After the telescope positions itself, the 1020 starts snapping images and sends them to the cloud for post-processing. Parr hasn’t revealed how powerful Ultrascope is exactly, but it’s worth noting that the 1020’s 41-megapixel camera blew us away when we tested it. It’ll sadly take a while before you can find out for yourself, though, as OSA’s busy working with Microsoft at the moment, developing an app that connects Lumia phones to the device.
– Nokia (@nokia) October 9, 2014
While we were able to get our hands on an advance release of Nokia’s new HERE Maps app for Android, the company had to a make a few minor tweaks before it was ready for public consumption. It appears all of those outstanding boxes have now been ticked, because the app has just gone live on Samsung’s Galaxy app store. Unfortunately, thanks to Samsung’s considerable marketing muscle, the app currently only offers Galaxy device owners access to its offline maps, turn-by-turn navigation and transit features. That means you’ll have to wait a little longer to grab the app (or until an enterprising developer extends its availability) if you own a non-Samsung device. However, if you’re looking for a very accomplished alternative to Google Maps, it’s definitely worth being a little more patient.
Via: HERE Blog
To celebrate the launch of the Lumia 830 in the UK and all of the Trek-flavored nerdiness going down at Destination Star Trek in London, Microsoft has taught given its virtual assistant a crash course in the ways of Qo’nos — by which we mean Cortana can now speak a little Klingon. All you’ll have to do is ask, though the first thing the xenolinguists among you will probably notice that her and vocabulary and pronunciation are just awful. SlashGear also adds that Cortana responds when you refer to her as “Number One” — Commander Riker can’t be too pleased about that one — as well as when you tell her to beam you up or “set phasers to stun”. The smarts enabling Cortana’s new behavior haven’t started making the rounds yet outside of the UK yet, but a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to us those Starfleet commands will work in the US in the coming weeks. In the mean time, there are still other ways to get a feel for Redmond’s Trekkie credentials: remember, that Bing’s Translator can kinda-sorta tackle textual Klingon too.
Filed under: Mobile
Source: The Verge
Microsoft had over a billion reasons (per year) to pursue a patent licensing deal with Samsung back in 2011 over the latter’s use of Android. That fact is laid bare by a lawsuit today over the interest on payments (based on the number of Android devices sold) that are supposed to flow from Korea to Redmond. Re/code posted the unsealed lawsuit this evening, showing how despite the existing deal, Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia last year lead to Samsung holding up its payment for the second fiscal year of the deal, and then refusing to pay interest on it. All of that is according to Microsoft, which also claims Samsung is threatening to hold off on paying its end for the third year of the seven-year deal. The documents reveal Microsoft’s patent licenses cover some 80 percent of the Android phones sold in the US (up from 70 percent in 2012), and that the deal includes provisions for Samsung to lower the amount owed by developing and marketing Windows phones and tablets, and for Microsoft’s use of Samsung patents. The amount in question? A paltry $6.9 million, although a decision on whether the deal will remain in force going forward is clearly worth more than that.
Okay, let’s get this out of the way: it’s not Nokia Here anymore, just plain old “Here.” Nokia’s VP of Connected Driving, Floris van de Klashorst, told me that Here no longer uses the Nokia name and is fully independent (though it’s still 100 percent owned by Nokia). That settled, Here Auto was launched last year as Nokia’s connected car solution for automakers, competing with Apple’s CarPlay and Android Auto. Nokia beat both of those giants to the punch, however, and it definitely shows. The latest version of Here Auto, launched at the Paris Auto Show, has fewer rough edges than its competitors. It’s also designed to think ahead of you, learn your habits, work with other devices and present information and options in the least distracting way possible. That’s the goal, anyway — to see if it succeeded, I took a tour around Paris in the company’s Range Rover demonstrator.
Before jumping in the car, I had a look at the latest version of Here Auto and talked to Mr. van de Kashorst about the features. First off, the engineers took me through a typical trip planning session. After entering the destination — which can be done from the vehicle’s console or a tablet (more on that later) — the system queued up several route choices. Thanks to the vehicle’s fuel sensor input, part of the route showed up as red, meaning you wouldn’t make the whole trip with the amount of gas in your car. From there, a sidebar menu appeared, showing filling stations in the area, and even the price of fuel (the availability of prices depends on your location). You could then add the pit stop to your itinerary, and the whole trip is replotted.
The system also works with your tablet or smartphone, allowing you (or a passenger) to preselect your destination. The destination will then be added to your favorites list on the console display, where it’ll stay until you delete it. On top of eliminating the cumbersome console entry chore, the tablet also lets drivers change destinations or add pits stops on the fly.
That done, we launched in the company’s demonstrator for a quick trip around the convention center. The system immediately brings up street level imagery to let you picture the destination before you arrive. It’ll then bring up several, traffic-optimized route options, since most manufacturers will likely include traffic data for free with the nav systems. Once navigating, the system allows touchscreen control, but also indirect control via a dial/joystick to the right of the driver (if included). In addition, the route can be displayed on the car’s dash so that you just have to glance down to see if you’re still on track. Nokia said together, those are key safety features that let you “focus on the task at hand, which is driving the car.”
In the event you need input a new destination mid-drive, the maps will still work offline — a feature also available on the apps. You’ll also get tourism information from Lonely Planet, Trip Adviser or local sources, if available.
Once you near your endpoint, the system kicks into approach mode. It brings up the street level view again, and also brings up a mode called “one-touch parking nearby.” It then lets you send an SMS or email with one touch to inform your party that you’ve arrived. Meanwhile, the companion app located on your tablet has kept up with the program, and can walk you back to your car if you forget where you parked it.
Mr. van de Klashorst told me that on of the main goals of the new update was to make it easier to improvise and adjust on the fly during a trip. By opening up the interface to external devices (iOS, Android and, of course, Windows) passengers can also join in the fun by finding interesting spots to explore.
With a new SDK, Nokia is giving car manufacturers access to all its features, while letting them custom design the look of interface to suit their own vehicle styles. The company also has its tendrils into self-driving vehicles, helping manufacturers make self-driving vehicles more friendly. For instance, Here has recently started providing lidar-generated 3D mapping data for better efficiency and trip planning.
Despite a few tablet syncing glitches, the whole demo was incredibly smooth — and all the Nokia-less work seems to be paying off. Here said yesterday that it was used as the primary mapping service in 50 out of 62 new vehicles that just launched at the Paris Auto Show.
Nokia first trotted out its Here Auto connected car platform just over a year ago, and at this week’s Paris Motor Show, the company is showing off the latest developments. In order to properly equip the rise in heads-up display tech, Here Auto now shows its info in more places around on the dash. In addition to the main display between the driver and passenger, navigation details and more can be beamed to a HUD or under the steering wheel. The central cluster’s route data is “context aware,” so when you’re low on fuel, it’ll show gas stations along the way. During the drive, passengers can employ smartphone and tablet apps to examine the trip and make the most of stops. If a nearby national park is selected, the driver can okay (or reject) the detour and directions get automatically updated. And with a new SDK, auto makers can customize Nokia’s system as needed, adding in of CarPlay, Google Auto and more.
Source: Nokia Here
We’re not sure whether we dare utter the word ‘Nokia’ now Microsoft’s dropped the name from any and all communications, so today we’ll just say the new Lumia 735 is now available in the UK. Touted as “the selfie phone” due its 5-megapixel front-facing camera, the Lumia 735 — an LTE-friendly brother of the Lumia 730 — is a mid-range device with a 4.7-inch 720p display, quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor and 6.7MP main camera. Only O2 seems keen on day one, offering the Lumia 735 for free on contracts of £21 per month and over, while Carphone Warehouse has a number of carrier options starting at £17 per month with the handset thrown in. MVNO Virgin is strangely on the ball, with the Lumia 735 free from £15 per month or £190 on pay-as-you-go. In terms of SIM-free, unlocked models, Clove is leading the pack with a £220 price tag, while other retailers are hovering around the £225 mark currently.
When Microsoft finally completed its €3.79 billion acquisition of Nokia earlier this year, the company took control of its smartphone business but left behind a number of Nokia’s other powerful and profitable properties. One such property was the company’s mapping division, now called Here, which has become the defacto maps app for Windows Phone users the world over. Nokia tried to replicate the experience on iOS, but after poor reviews and the admission things “went horribly wrong,” the company pulled its iPhone app and went back to the drawing board. As for Android, it looked like Nokia would never deliver a real Google Maps alternative.
Luckily, that’s all about to change. Thanks to some marketing muscle from Korea, Nokia will soon give Samsung Galaxy smartphone owners advanced access to its maps app. While Nokia readies Here Maps for Samsung’s Galaxy Apps store, which is expected to drop in the coming weeks, the company gave us an early preview of its new app, and it’s good.
When you first launch the app, you will be asked to sign up or log in. It’s important that you do, because you need an account to download maps and save collections for later. For ease of use, Nokia lets you use Facebook to sign in, but if you don’t like the idea of sharing data with Zuckerberg and co., you can simply use Nokia’s own signup form.
Once you’ve cleared that hurdle, you’ll immediately notice how basic the app is — there are no bells and whistles here. That’s no bad thing, because the app loads instantly and transitions are very smooth. Just like Google Maps, Here supplies the default mapping data (labelled Maps) and turn-by-turn navigation (labelled Drive).
Selecting Drive will immediately ask you select your destination. You can either enter a location directly or pull up a list of journeys you’ve recently made. Once you’ve plugged in that in, Here Maps will list the duration of the journey, the total number of miles, the main routes it expects to take and will also, as long as you’re not using offline mode (more on this later), list any potential traffic delays you might encounter on your journey. There are options to include or exclude major roads, toll roads, ferries or tunnels if your mode of transport requires you to.
In the wider settings, you can choose to enable a feature that will gauge your speed and warn you if you exceed a speed limit in a certain area. The app offers two sliders: one that lets you choose how fast you need to be going to trigger an alert in an area where the limit is under 50mph, and another for when you’re beetling down a major road (over 50mph). There’s the usual option to switch navigation voices, but unlike Waze, which offers guidance from none other than Terry Crews, you’re stuck with regular male and female voices in at least nine European languages (which I’d still consider a huge plus).
During my short test, Drive performed well. It delivered early navigation prompts, meaning you can familiarize yourself with your surroundings before you make the turn. Although I was navigating roads I’m already familiar with, the app appeared to list the most effective route (i.e. the one I would’ve always taken), but did provide alternatives just in case.
If you don’t have a car, Nokia also includes train travel and walking options. Once a destination is entered, the app will detect your current location and provide walking distances to your local station and a number of upcoming trains. Like when you’re driving, it’ll list the total journey and estimated arrival times, how many changes it expects you’ll make and also give you a detailed summary of the journey ahead of you.
One of Nokia’s mapping strengths is its ability to offer offline data not just for specific countries, but entire continents. Google offers a way to make selected areas available offline, but even then you’re only getting a tiny fraction of what Nokia can offer. To enable offline mode, Nokia has included a small tickbox in the menu. As soon as you enable it, you can search for specific locations and enable turn-by-turn navigation, but you won’t benefit from traffic warnings or Nokia’s updated place listings. Be warned, though, if you want to use offline maps, you need to make sure you have a chunk of free space on your device. For reference, North American and European maps take up 6.8GB and 9GB, respectively, and there are no options to dial it down to capture smaller areas.
Offline maps are likely to be a huge help if you want to see the sights while you’re abroad but don’t want to waste money on roaming fees. Before you go, though, you can add the places you’d like to visit to a “Collection,” which you can then pull up when you arrive in a distant land. The point-of-interest database might not be as comprehensive as Google’s, but it’s certainly not lacking. Nokia also lets you share these locations with other people using its Glympse integration, letting others see where you’re visiting and possibly join you (if you’re online, that is).
The app provides a decent mix of features without becoming bloated or troublesome to use. If you’re looking for a legitimate alternative to Google Maps, Here Maps matches its rival in many aspects and betters it in others. The new iOS and Android apps will be available later this year, after Samsung has enjoyed its period of Android exclusivity.