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).
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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.
US operator Sprint has announced the summer launch of two new exclusive Windows Phone 8 devices, the HTC 8XT and the Samsung ATIV S Neo, with on-contract price points of $99 and $149 respectively. Both smartphones will operate on Sprint's LTE network and will be bundled with unlimited data, text, and messaging contracts. With this announcement Windows Phone 8 devices will now be available on all four of the major US mobile networks, solidifying Windows Phone's position as the third mobile ecosystem.
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.
Today Kantar released its latest set of Worldpanel data (April 2013) about smartphone market share in a number of countries. The data shows substantial year-on-year growth for Windows Phone in the UK (4% to 8.4%), Germany (4.1% to 6.4%), France (2.5% to 6.2%), Italy (6.7% to 10.5%), and the US (3.8% to 5.6%) over the last year, although some markets, such as Spain (2.5% to 1.5%), show a small decline.
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.
At a dedicated launch event in London, Jo Harlow, SVP smartphones, and Stefan Pannenbecker (from Nokia Design), announced the metal-framed Lumia 925, as you'll see from our 'live' story today, as part of a 'summer of announcements'. This is the company's new Windows Phone flagship for the world, not to be confused with the all plastic - but Xenon-equipped - Lumia 928 for Verizon in the USA. Materials aside, the 925 also has the world's first six-element smartphone camera and has light sensitivity up to ISO 3200. More details of the Lumia 925 below, along with original hands-on photos later today, hopefully.
On May 14th, in London, Nokia is holding an event where it will announce the next chapter in the Lumia story. A number of device and software announcements are expected to be made. The event kicks off at 10:00 BST (09:00 GMT). We'll be updating this story with our on-the-scene live coverage at the event takes place. You can also watch a live stream of the press conference event via Nokia Conversations.
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.