App Highlights, which is pre-loaded on most Lumia devices, has served as Nokia's primary app promotion and recommendation channel, and is an important part of the company's app strategy. From today, it will be replaced, on Windows Phone 8 devices, by the App Social service and app. App Social, which was previously available through Nokia Beta Labs under the name App Highlights Social, adds a social and community element to the existing App Highlights concept, including the ability to curate your own list of app recommendations.
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Nokia has announced that an update to HERE Drive / HERE Drive+ will be released later this week. The new version, which will drop the current beta labelling, will reintroduce the traffic overview and My Commute features that were available in select markets in the Windows Phone 7.5 version of the app. In addition, HERE Drive+ will become available in more markets for non-Nokia devices and it will now be possible to upgrade HERE Drive by buying a global navigation license via an in-app purchase (€15.49).
Nokia has announced a forthcoming update to its public transport-focused HERE Transit app. The updated version, which will be available later this week, brings a refreshed user interface design, with a cleaner main panorama and reworked iconography. In addition, the new version will expand the number of markets in which the app is available for non-Nokia Windows Phone devices.
Chinese language site Blogjackphone.com reported recently that, at an event in Hong Kong, Nokia showed a slide indicating that the Nokia Lumia Amber Software update would add support for Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth SMART) to the Nokia Lumia 520, 620, and 720 handsets. The Lumia 820 and 920 are not specifically mentioned in the slide, but in our own testing the Lumia 925, which ships with the Amber software update, does appear to have Bluetooth Low Energy support, suggesting the Lumia 820, 920 and related variants will too.
ALK Technologies' CoPilot mapping and navigation solution is now available for Windows Phone 8 devices. It arrives in the form of the free CoPilotGPS app, which provides easy-to-navigate offline maps, feature-rich route planning tools, and a versatile local point-of-interest database. Voice guided navigation is an optional in-app premium upgrade, but there's a 14 day free trial included in every download to give you a taste of what's on offer.
Nokia's HERE Maps app for Windows Phone 8 has been updated to version 3.3.354, adding integration with Nokia's LiveSight technology. In action, HERE Maps new LiveSight mode shows a gradual transition from a digital map view to an augmented reality view as you hold the device up to "look through the screen" at the world around you, making it easier to identify places around you.
Nokia have announced the Lumia 928. The high end Windows Phone handset sports a 4.5 inch display at 1280 x 768, with Gorilla Glass, wireless charging, an 8.7 megapixel OIS camera with Xenon flash, a dual core Qualcomm 1.5 GHz dual core processor, and 32GB of internal storage. It will debut exclusively on the US network Verizon on May 16th, for $150, and a $50 mail in rebate is available to bring the initial price under $100.
Microsoft has published twinned "Switch to Windows Phone" apps on the Google Play and Windows Phone Store. On Android devices the app will first check to see what apps are installed and then check whether they are available on Windows Phone, before returning an apps available on Windows Phone percentage. The results can be saved, so that they can later be retrieved using the Windows Phone version of the app, which provides links to quickly install the matched apps.
Thanks to our readers the AAWP has won Nokia Conversation's App March Madness competition, earning eternal glory and a snazzy gold medal graphic. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who voted for the app through the various rounds of the competition.
Pandora, a personalised radio service that plays music and comedy, is now available for Windows Phone. As an exclusive promotion Pandora, when used on Windows Phone, will be ad-free and have no monthly streaming limits. Pandora usually charges a $3.99 per month subscription (or $36 a year) for ad-free listening and limits free mobile listening to 40 hours per month, but there will no charge or limits for Windows Phone users throughout 2013.