Tag Archive | "maps"

App Highlight: Nokia HERE Maps coming for Win8.1. (Update: Available Now)

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This is fantastic news. Nokia maps and navigation services are, in my opinion the best in the business and on Windows 8.1 there’s a huge gap in the market for a decent solution. Via our friends over at The Digital Lifestyle I’ve just learnt that Nokia are opening up the Here mapping application beyond the Windows RT-based Lumia 2520. It’s going to be available in the Windows 8.1 store in the next few days.

Update 1/3/2014: Available now. Works smoothly on Baytrail-T tablets. No turn-by-turn.


I can’t confirm if turn-by-turn is included yet (interesting for those with 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablets that have GPS such as the ASUS Vivotab Note 8) but I can confirm that offline maps are supported, route planning, POI and more.

What I suspect is happening is that because Here is being offered for free, there might be up upgrade path to turn-by-turn, if Nokia deem it to be worthwhile developing that part of the app.  Any Lumia 2520 owners care to comment?

I’m in Barcelona next week so I can’t wait to get the Full-HD Lenovo Miix 2 10 loaded-up with hi-res maps. Yes, I’ll be ripe for a mugging, but I’ll do it for you, dear reader !

Note: I’ll be getting some hands-on with the Lumia 2520 next week. Stay tuned.

Source: Nokia

Buyers Guide – The Mobile IT Manager

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It looks like we’ve hit another 7 inch requirement with very few solutions. Any more of these requests and i’m going to go out there and make my own ultra mobile PC and sell it to you all!

Mike contacted me to see if he could get some suggestions for an extremely mobile computer. It’s one that needs a full MS office suite and also needs to do duty as a support system in a light aircraft.

Here’s the breakdown.

·As an IT manager I use the MS Office suite, MS Project, MS Visio, and Firefox to do my job.

· I also travel by small plane for work and I need a unit that runs Windows so that I can use my flight navigation software (www.anywheremap.com)

·The yoke (steering wheel of the plane) can only accommodate a unit with an 8.9 inch screen without blocking critical flight instruments – 7 inches provides the best fit

·When I land at the local airport I often use a car GPS for street navigation.

·I don’t use my computers for gaming or video editing, but I do need to have reasonably snappy performance in the office environment.


That’s a clear requirement. 7 inch, Windows and wallop! right into the no-devices zone.

I initially thought about leading with a device that had GPS installed but that can be problematic. In my car there’s a UV filter on the screen and it kills reception. Where reception is critical, a well-positioned GPS puck is going to be the answer. Bluetooth isn’t the most reliable of connectivity mechanisms but once set-up, it does work.

Now that we don’t need the built-in GPS, we’ve widened our scope ….

I’m looking at the Libretto W100/W105 as I did in the last CCC. Mike is in situations where power is likely to be available and in the plane he can use a power brick. Do they have cigarette lighters in small planes though?! As with our previous CCC, there’s also the Q1 Ultra Premium (2nd-hand) and the Viliv S7 convertible. It’s got a faster SSD, good battery life and is available with 3G. It might not have the oomph to run Windows 7 though. The same goes for the Viliv X70 EX

It’s the Windows requirement I want to get right in the suggestion though. A ultra mobile PC running Windows 7 really needs a fast SSD, a 1.6Ghz CPU and, preferably, 2GB RAM.  It’s why I keep thinking about the Libretto W100 but then there’s the screen area to think about on that. It could be too big!

I’ve got three more to offer-up though. (Click images for more info)

HP Slate 500. 8.9 inch screen. 1.8ghz CPU. SSD.  Includes dual-layer screen. The HP 500 does seem to be satisfying most people that buy it. At 1.8Ghz it’s got just enough more than a 1.5Ghz Z-series Atom, along with an SSD, to make Windows 7 work smoothly. Here are some more thoughts on the HP Slate 500.

Panasonic CF-U1. It’s an expensive rugged 7 inch-er ($2K entry price) but it’s a seriously good bit of kit.  It only has a 7 inch screen but it’s a fairly bulky 7 inch device.

Netbook Navigator Nav 7 (or even Nav 9). I heard from Netbook Navigator yesterday that the Nav 7 is about ready to launch and I’ve just put all the details of this one in the database. Obviously you’ll need to wait for some reviews before committing but it certainly looks compact enough. Unfortunately there’s no docking station or VGA / HDMI out but from your email, Mike, I see you’ve been using a USB-based docking station anyway. This might work for you. I’ll be writing more about the Nav 7 in an upcoming article. [Available here when posted]

So, Mike. What do you think? Will an 8.9 inch device work for you (HP Slate 500) or are you determined to go for a 7 inch device? Are you OK without VGA? Do you want laptop-style processing power?

Chime-in with comments people. Mike needs help!

Buzz on Maps Brings it Together. (Demo Video)

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image Not quite mobile computing but interesting anyway is Google’s Buzz. Its an extension of their social circle features and integrates messaging, timeline, media into mail and other Google apps. I won’t go over it in detail because there’s a ton of information and discussion already out there but I do want to talk a little bit about the Buzz layer on Google Maps for Mobile because at the same time as releasing the new feature on Gmail, Google also updated their maps clients to include Buzz features. You could argue that Nokia’s Ovi Maps and Ovi Contacts already have these features and that there are other apps and services out there that let you do this but I’m seeing at least the potential for some major integration across Google products here that, given their user base, will blow away the competition.

I’ve made a video demo with the N82 and the Omnia Pro which you’ll see below and personally, I think it’s exciting to finally see location, search, public multi-media messaging and threaded public discussion being pulled together on a map with my pre-existing ‘social circle’ in this way. I always thought Google Latitude had good underpinnings in terms of privacy and  ‘friending’ but it never took off and although Buzz doesn’t seem 100% connected to Latitude’s idea of multi-tiered and friend-dependant privacy, it’s clear that Google could make the final connections very easily. Linking search, local friends, local events, photography in a live, localised way like this seems to have way more potential than the simple 140 character smart-bomb option.

There are still some things missing though. A client app would be nice but I assume that Tweetdeck and many of the other multi-protocol social messaging apps out there will link in soon and either Google Mail for Mobile or Gtalk will probably evolve along with Google Maps for Mobile. There’s also a lack of ability to embed the live maps and message stream in other places. The ability to ‘friend’ someone from the Maps Mobile app is also missing and of course, using GPS, 3G, maps, screen, GPU and GPU is going to KILL your smartphone battery life! Clearly a secondary device, something like the Dell Mini 5 with Buzz application is going to be better if you need to use this more than an hour a day.

It’s early days but I can see a lot of potential here. The ability to see local ‘buzz’ is just great and combined with local friend notification (already in Latitude) and event / threshold  alerting, this is going to be a great step forward for mobile communications capabilities. Whether people latch on to the idea i another matter but in a quick test with my wife this morning, she seemed happy to add ‘the Buzz’ to her familiar and often-used Google Maps application.  I can’t say the same introducing her to twitter and this could be the major advantage for Google; familiarity.

Although my Gmail hasnt been enhanced with Buzz yet (expected in the next few days here in Germany) I’ve been testing out the features from Maps Mobile. My ‘stream’ is here.

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