Archive for February, 2011
TA Maps is a mapping solution that uses sources like Google Maps and OpenStreetMap and gives better coverage in many parts of the world than Bing Maps. It includes:
- Scrollable/zoomable maps
- Street/satellite views
- GPS location tracking
- Favorite locations
- Driving mode (keeps map centered on GPS location)
- GPS sensitivity settings
- Smoothly restores your last map view and pushpins
We will be adding features like driving directions, additional map/search sources, and more point-of-Interest data in upcoming updates.
Engadget has come across the first concept rendering from Nokia of what a future Windows Phone 7 handset from Espoo might look like. In classic Nokia fashion, the phone is shown in three different colors (black, pink, and cyan). The rendering combines Nokia’s design language with the simplicity of WP7′s three-button interface for a sleek-looking package overall.
Combine it with solid internals and Nokia’s traditional strength in phone camera optics, and we’re sold. Just hurry up and get this on the market, Nokia.
Two days before the Nokia-Microsoft alliance was announced, Google’s Vic Gundotra attacked the two companies by tweeting that “two turkeys do not make an Eagle.” Now Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop has responded with a tweet saying “two bicycle makers from Dayton Ohio, one day decided to fly”– referencing the Wright brothers.
Separately, Elop and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer provided some more details on the deal. The arrangement is not exclusive– Microsoft will continue to work with other phone manufacturers on Windows Phone 7, though Nokia will get some “unique” benefits out of the deal. When asked if Nokia would be able to customize “everything” on Windows Phone 7 (unlike current WP7 licensees), Elop said yes, but clarified that Nokia was unlikely to do so, as it preferred maintaining full compatibility across the Windows Phone platform.
Read on for more details.
Nokia just dropped the bombshell we predicted yesterday: a wide-ranging “strategic alliance” through which:
- Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 OS will become Nokia’s “principal smartphone strategy”
- Microsoft’s Bing and adCenter will provide search and advertising for Nokia Windows Phones
- Nokia’s Ovi Maps content will become part of Bing Maps
- Nokia’s app and music stores will integrate into Microsoft’s (Windows Phone / Zune / Xbox) Marketplace
- Like all Windows Phones, Nokia handsets will now also feature Xbox Live and Office
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop (former head of Microsoft’s Business Division) and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said:
“There are other mobile ecosystems. We will disrupt them. There will be challenges. We will overcome them. Success requires speed. We will be swift. Together, we see the opportunity, and we have the will, the resources and the drive to succeed.”
Read on for more about the Nokia-Microsoft deal.
Joystiq reports that Microsoft is remaking its 2001 smash-hit, Halo: Combat Evolved, which helped launch the company’s then-new Xbox and grew into the one of the most successful video game franchises in history. The remake will not simply be a version of the old game with higher resolution graphics; rather it’s being fully remade on top of a new graphics engine.
The Halo remake is apparently being made by Saber Interactive of New Jersey, under the guidance of 343 Industries, which has several ex-Bungie employees and is also working on another Halo title. The game will feature online co-op mode in addition to traditional single- and multiplayer modes.
The new game, which is likely to support 1080p and 3D, is on track to release on November 15, 2011, a full ten years after the original launched alongside the first Xbox.
Observers have been wondering what Nokia’s next step will be following its CEO’s Burning Platform memo yesterday. The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported this morning that Nokia is in talks with Microsoft to license the latter’s Windows Phone 7 operating system for use in its devices and that a deal may be announced at an event in London tomorrow. The company has also been in talks for several months with Google about its Android OS, which seem not to have panned out. Google’s flamboyant VP of Engineering, Vic Gundotra, posted a tweet yesterday presumably bashing Nokia and Microsoft after the Android negotiations fizzled:
HP bought Palm last year, and while the company did launch the Pre 2, a moderately updated Pre, a few months later, today we’re seeing the first real fruits of the acquisition. HP just wrapped up its “Think Beyond” event in San Francisco, and the big picture is that it sees WebOS — admittedly an impressive operating system, despite its failure to catch on with consumers in a big way — as a solid foundation to build all sorts of devices on, from phones and tablets (as detailed today) to printers and PCs (in the near future).
HP launched three new devices today: Veer — a tiny, credit-card sized (though of course much thicker) smartphone with a 2.6″ touchscreen — Pre 3, a high-end 3.6″ slider with a giant-crushing 1.4 GHz Snapdragon CPU — and TouchPad, a 9.7″ WebOS tablet with a dual-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon CPU. All boast impressive specs (including speedy Snapdragon chips from Qualcomm), and it looks like WebOS finally has competitive hardware to run on.
Read on for details of each of HP’s new WebOS devices.
Nokia’s new CEO Stephen Elop, formerly of Microsoft, just sent out a fairly devastating internal memo to all Nokia employees. It’s a brutally honest portrayal of the mess the company is in and an interesting example of how to kickstart a company that on the surface appears to be doing fine (positive growth, still the largest market share globally) but actually faces serious threats that it has failed to address.
On the smartphone front, Nokia’s lead has severely eroded thanks to modern platforms like the iPhone and Google’s Android OS, which Nokia’s Symbian platform is still not competitive with and its Maemo OS has yet to battle. In emerging markets, its long-standing lead has been eaten up by Chinese manufacturers (many based on the city of Shenzhen, a famed hub of knock-off electronics).
- “Chinese OEMs are cranking out a device much faster than, as one Nokia employee said only partially in jest, ‘the time that it takes us to polish a PowerPoint presentation.’”
- “The first iPhone shipped in 2007, and we still don’t have a product that is close to their experience. Android came on the scene just over 2 years ago, and this week they took our leadership position in smartphone volumes. Unbelievable.”
- “Our competitors aren’t taking our market share with devices; they are taking our market share with an entire ecosystem.”
- “We poured gasoline on our own burning platform. I believe we have lacked accountability and leadership to align and direct the company through these disruptive times. We had a series of misses. We haven’t been delivering innovation fast enough. We’re not collaborating internally. Nokia, our platform is burning.”
- “They changed the game, and today, Apple owns the high-end range.”
- “Google has become a gravitational force, drawing much of the industry’s innovation to its core.”
Full memo after the break- it’s worth a read.
This year’s Super Bowl had its fair share of entertaining ads. Here’s our roundup of some of the interesting automotive ads:
Kia’s upcoming Super Bowl ad for the 2011 Optima takes an epic twist. The spot features a bad cop stealing the all-new sedan from a couple; a yacht-cruising villain, however, has other plans and sends his RAH-66 Comanche-flying henchmen to bring the car to him. But before he can get it, the Greek sea god Poseidon emerges and takes the car. We won’t spoil the rest, but we have to mention that it features aliens and ancient Mayans.
The madness comes together to make one of our favorite Super Bowl ads this year so far.
See the video after the break.