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Google Maps 5 Updated to Include 3D Maps and Offline Navigation‎

Google’s never been afraid to “blow it out” with Google Maps, most famously with its inclusion of Navigation, which knocked the legs out from under a lot of the GPS device and navigation app market.Google Maps 5.0 for Android might seem similarly earth shattering, but it marks a significant change to the basic technology of Google Maps. Most importantly, Google is now using vector graphics for its maps, which are scalable and much lighter weight than the traditional stitched together images used in most Google Maps incarnations. The vectors also enable something else a whole lot sexier: a two finger swipe can “tilt” the map and now you’ve got a 3D view of the landscape. It’s not quite as flashy as Google Earth, but it looks a whole lot more useful. The other thing these low-bandwidth vector maps enables is offline caching of maps, specifically your most frequently visited locations, and entire trips that have been routed in Navigation, including potential reroutes. Anybody with an Android 1.6 or higher device can download 5.0 right now for free, but the 3D and offline features are 2.0+ only.


Android 2.3 update: When’s it coming to my phone?

Android 2.3 has been announced by Google, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be getting it on your current handset tomorrow. These things take time with manufacturers and operators having to decide whether they want to support the new version of the operating system.

Manufacturers like Samsung, HTC, and LG all having to wade through the new features released by Google and determine whether or not they want to bring those new features to older handsets, or just focus on bringing them to new handsets.

Even if they do say the big “Yes”, the operators then get to have their say, suggesting that if you’ve got an older Android smartphone you could be in for a wait. How long a wait is what we aim to answer here.

As we find out about Android 2.3 updates we will add those details below.

HTC Nexus One Android 2.3 update

Launched at the beginning of January 2010, Google has confirmed this will be getting the Android 2.3 update in the “next few weeks”, when it announced Android 2.3 on the 6 December.(15/12/10)

Samsung Galaxy S Android 2.3 update

The official line is that Samsung is still mulling over whether or not to update the Samsung Galaxy S to Android 2.3.(15/12/10)

LG Optimus One Android 2.3 update

Although it initially said that it wouldn’t be bringing the new OS to current handsets, LG has since backtracked on that announcement (made on Facebook). Like Samsung, LG’s official line is that it is still evaluating whether or not to update the operating system from Android 2.2 to Android 2.3.(15/12/10)

HTC Desire, HTC Desire HD, and HTC Legend Android 2.3 updates

“We are excited about the OS update coming for Android”, a spokesperson for the manufacturer has told Pocket-lint. “And while HTC will definitely have some phones running this OS, we do not have a specific timeframe for new phones or updates at this time. Please stay tuned for more details”. (15/12/10)

Motorola Milestone 2 Android 2.3 update

The Motorola Defy is only just about to get updated from Android 2.1 to Android 2.2 so unlikely to get an update soon, while Motorola isn’t yet in a position to confirm whether the Milestone 2 will be getting an update from Android 2.2 to Android 2.3. (15/12/10)

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10

The X8 has just received the Android 2.2 update, but there’s no official word from Sony Ericsson on its Xperia range of smartphones at this time (15/12/10)

Orange San Francisco Android 2.3 update

Orange’s official line is that it doesn’t currently know whether the phone, which currently sports Android 2.1, will be getting an update or not, with Orange telling Pocket-lint that it normally takes a couple of weeks to determine these things after the official announcement has been made from Google. (15/12/10)


HTC tablet release date set for 2011 CEO declares

Smartphone powerhouse HTC is to take on the iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab next year as the company’s CEO hints towards a 2011 HTC tablet arrival.

In an interview with HTC CEO Peter Chou tantalisingly declared: “[Customers] may want Windows or Android; or they may want big screen or small screen, they may want keyboard or tablet; HTC will let the consumer decide.”

Remaining tight-lipped about an expected arrival date or confirmed specifications for the expected HTC tablet, Chou instead turned focus to the company’s future in Long-Term Evolution (LTE) handsets that offer a faster mobile network connection than current 3G of GSM systems. US network providers Verizon and MetroPCS currently offer such 4G LTE networks although the service is restricted to major cities at present.

With much rumour and speculation surrounding a 4G compatible Apple iPhone 4, expected to hit the Verizon network early in the New Year, Chou was keen to add: We think that the US mobile operators will be taking the lead and pushing 4G LTE in the US market… We are working on LTE devices for next year.”


Meizu M9 christens site launch with full specs list

Meizu CEO Jack Wong has been teasing the M9 handset for some time now, and if we’re not mistaken, the official site just went live with a full list of specs to boot. As promised, there’s a 3.5-inch 960 x 640 resolution screen (reportedly the Sharp ASV display), and we’re also apparently looking at a 1GHz S5PC110 processor (just like the Samsung Galaxy S), Android 2.2, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, A-GPS, 802.11b/g/n, microSDHC, a removable 1370mAH lithium-polymer battery, and support for (drumroll, please) GSM, GPRS, EDGE, WCDMA, HSDPA,and HSUPA. Too good to be true? Word on the street is this very phone will be available December 25th in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, and will expand to the rest of China days later. We’ll believe it when we see it.


Windows Phone 7 said to be getting major 'Mango' update in August or September

We’d already heard that Windows Phone 7 is set to get an update of some sort early next year — possiblycoinciding with Mobile World Congress in February — but ZD Net’s Mary Jo Foley is now reporting that an even bigger update could be following in August or September. According to her sources, the update is codenamed “Mango,” and it will effectively amount to Windows Phone 7.5, which she says might even be the actual name when it’s released. That update will apparently bring Silverlight runtime and HTML5 support to the OS, along with Far Eastern language support, and some other unspecified features and functionality. It will also presumably be the most significant update until Windows Phone 8, which Foley says is codenamed “Apollo,” and is on track for a release in late 2012.

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