It took more than 6 months after it first announced it would expand the availability of its Drive app, but Nokia today finally made its turn-by-turn application available to all Windows Phone 8 devices in the US, UK and Canada.
Nokia Drive was previously exclusive to Nokia’s Lumia range of Windows Phone handsets, but the company shared news back in June 2012 that it would begin opening it up to rival OEMs and upload it to the Windows Phone Store.
The app remains in beta, while Nokia “fine tunes the customer experience,” but users will have access to full turn-by-turn voice-guided navigation, offline maps, speed limit warnings, and various day and night modes. Nokia has also added a “feedback” tab, which will collate experiences from the wider Windows Phone community.
With the app available on the store, other Windows Phone manufacturers may decide to offer the app to their customers, ensuring that Microsoft’s operating system has a powerful, detailed and well-supported free navigation app capable of rivalling Google and Apple’s own built-in services.
If you own a non-Nokia Windows Phone device, head over to the Windows Phone Store now and download it free-of-charge.
On the back of its full-year financial results (hitting record profits of $1.9 billion and revenues of $10.4 billion), Sky has detailed a number of updates to its mobile apps, which will see kids TV shows come to its Sky Go app and remote control features included its Sky+ iPad offering.
From today, smartphone and tablet users will be able to watch shows including Spongebob Squarepants and Ben10 on demand using the Sky Go app on iOS and Android. The Cartoon Network, the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon are on board, delivering eight TV children’s TV channels in total.
Next month, Sky will also switch these eight channels ‘live’, ensuring that they can be enjoyed on-demand or watched as they air, along with 24 other live channels.
This is in addition to on-demand content from Sky’s sport, movie and lifestyle channels, which came to its iOS and Android apps earlier in the month.
Moving to offer more second-screen interaction, Sky will update its Sky+ iPad app to include remote control functionality, allowing viewers to pause and rewind content by swiping their iPad screen. It will include a Sky+ HD planner, ensuring shows can be added or deleted on a Sky box without interrupting what is being watched at the time.
Channel 5 content is also coming to Sky Anytime+, adding to catch-up content from the BBC and TV, allowing Sky customers to watch back content from the three major TV networks using their broadband connection. Think BBC iPlayer, but it is played back via your Sky box.
Sky now counts 10.6 million customers, reaching 28.4 million subscriptions. With a sixth of the UK’s population now subscribing to Sky in some form, the company has pushed ahead with its plans to take its offering mobile, delivering both live and on-demand content for customers no matter where they are.
[Image Credit: DeclanTM]
In another case of IP
trolling gone wild licensing, it appears that Microsoft and device maker Pegatron have signed an agreement that will keep Pegatron from getting sued into oblivion. All that was required was that Pegatron pay the piper for every device that it makes.
From the release:
“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Pegatron and proud of the continued success of our Android licensing program in resolving IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome devices in the marketplace,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft. “With this agreement, Microsoft has now licensed four of the top five Taiwanese ODMs.”
A quick browse over on Techmeme tells the story about Microsoft and its IP licensing. In fact, LG found itself on the losing end of a very similar agreement only a few months ago. The Redmond folks, however, approach the lawsuits a bit differently, describing the litigation as a “commitment to licensing” -
“The patent agreement is another example of the important role intellectual property plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant IT ecosystem.”
It’s not the first time that Pegatron has seen troubles, however. Apple put the squeeze on the company and forced it to stop manufacturing an Asus Ultrabook only a few months ago. The company has also had a bit of concern raised over its environmental impacts from its manufacturing facilities in China.
Microsoft claims patent licenses on over 70% of Android devices, a move that earns the company somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 for each device that houses the OS. With skyrocketing Android activations, it’s turning in to quite the cash cow for the company.
Here is the original post: Pegatron agrees to pay royalties to Microsoft for its Android and Chrome OSdevices
Since then the company has notched up an impressive $2.8m in series A funding to help drive international growth, with the London-based startup doing just that recently by launching in Singapore. And the company has just rolled out its first mobile app for iOS as it seeks to target those on the move.
Just to recap, this is how we described Tribesports when it launched:
“If you’ve ever trained for a marathon, or otherwise engaged in any kind of on-going physical activity, at some point you’ve probably ‘Googled’ for advice on anything from treating a niggling injury, to how you can improve your performance. And you most probably found the information you were looking for.
There are many dedicated apps and websites out there that help support an active and healthy lifestyle, but Tribesports attempts to bring everything together under one virtual roof. And it’s social too.”
Indeed, Tribesports uses an intelligent recommendation engine based on user interactions to surface relevant content that will motivate and inspire users to push themselves in their chosen sports. Leaderboards, online kudos and other social gaming mechanics play a key part here, taking the competitive edge of the sportsperson offline and applying it to their social interactions online.
Since launch, over 80,000 challenges have been taken on the site, with nearly 50,000 achievements and one million ‘encouragements’ recorded by users. Over the last three months alone, Tribesports has seen a 450% increase in user growth, though the company is non-specific about the actual numbers.
However, its latest round of funding and its growth is the main driver behind the release of its first mobile app.
The app plays on the competitive nature of sports people – everything users do is rewarded with points, and you can rise through the levels and work you way up the leaderboard.
The app pretty much translates the core features of the Web app into your pocket, and lets you take challenges such as ‘cycle 5 different routes to work’, and share training advice.
“As a keen sportsman myself, I believe that getting encouragement and advice from sports people like you is reassuring, its helpful, and it gives you that boost to go the extra mile and to get out there and try new things,” says Tribesports CEO, Steve Reid.
When you first download the app you’ll need to register for an account if you don’t have one already, but it is quick and painless. You can then create your sports profile, including a brief bio, a list of sports you play, the equipment you have and your sporting achievements.
You can also choose to follow active users who share your sporting interests, and you can create or join a Tribe. Tribes are based on the things you love in sport. It could be centered on a specific discipline, location, position, ability level or attitude.
There is plenty of activity (pardon the pun) going on in the sports-tech startup space at the moment, and Tribesports is doing a stellar job of ensuring it is at the heart of it. The launch of its first mobile app will go a long way towards ensuring it can build on its growth so far, though my only question would be why it has taken so long to launch a mobile app.
“Sports people aren’t known for their love of sitting behind a desk,” continues Reid. “The release of this first app now allows our users to interact with the site in real time, as they go about their sports and active, outdoor pursuits.”
As for roll-outs on other platforms, we’re told that the android app is already being worked on and that should be ready for launch in the near future. An HTML 5 version covering all platforms will likely follow suit too.