New Ovi Maps features OTA Map downloads and Check ins

I just noticed over at the Ovi Blog that Surya has put up a new post on the new features available in the beta version of Ovi Maps. The main features which caught my eye were the OTA maps download the the ability to check in to a location using Ovi Maps itself.

In the good old days, if you were travelling to a new location, you’d have to plug your phone to a PC, use the Maps downloader and download Maps files from the internet and transfer it to your device. Why use the PC for this simple task? This is a question we used to ask the Ovi Maps folks when ever we met up with them. It looks like the Nokia folks have been listening.  With the new version of Ovi Maps (version 3.06), you can now download maps directly from your phone through a WiFi connection. Our guess is that Nokia put this restriction in place to prevent accidental download on the costly 3G data plans, as maps tend to be quite heavy downloads. If you phone doesn’t have WiFi,  you won’t be getting this feature. Don’t despair, there’s more features which you will still have to try out.

The next feature I noticed, in the long list of enhancements, is the ability to check in to locations directly from the maps application. This version adds the ability to check in to your destination and share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. You can check out the video at the end of the post to see how this feature works.

Have you ever wondered how to calibrate the compass on your phone and when to do it? When Ovi maps shows the compass in the map as red, it usually means that it requires calibration. This new version also shows you how to go about calibrating the compass on your phone. Check the image below on the right.

If you’re interested in seeing the other enhancements in this version of Ovi maps, here’s the long list:

  • Download street maps directly to your device! A new feature called “Update” on the main menu which allows you download Street Maps directly (via WiFi) to your phone without a PC!
  • My Position and Search are now integrated (now called Map). When accessed, it will show your last map view
  • Back button in Favorites
  • Long tap functionality to delete & rename collections & routes
  • Pop up for first time use – to inform user to download new map data (when upgrading 3.04 > 3.06 for the first time)
  • Improved behaviors of transit lines settings in map toolbox (no more grey out)
  • Compass calibration hint
  • Refreshed place details information view
  • Pinch to zoom interaction (Only available on Symbian^3 devices)
  • Visually refreshed main menu and icons
  • New maps with public transport lines (as a new map layer) for subways, trams and trains in 80+ cities around the world. Just click the map toolbox icon and select Transit lines
  • Improved search experience – find places and addresses around you – or anywhere in the world – fast and easily. Browse places or enter a keyword in the search box. Now with suggestions and “did you mean?” functionality
  • New place pages with description, reviews, pictures and places nearby. Interact with places in a whole new way – you can check in, contact, navigate, save, rate, share, report or see place on the map
  • Share a place – send a place to your friends via SMS or Email. The SMS contains the address and a link to the place page with description, ratings, contact, URL and a mini map. The link opens up on the mobile browser (also on non-Nokia devices)
  • Check in – keep your friends up-to-date with where you are and what you’re up to. Check in to places and share it with your friends on Facebook and many more social networks. See places you’ve been to in your check in history
  • New Drive assistance mode with live traffic flow – after clicking Drive, you’re instantly in drive assistance mode with live traffic flow and more. Once you start moving, get safety camera alerts and speed limit warnings
  • More folder with many rich content services relevant to your location. Personalize your Ovi Maps by selecting the services you’d like to keep on your main menu for instant access.
  • Traffic flow: In Drive mode, a number of improvements to the traffic flow color scheme and layout.

Here’s the link to the Ovi Map’s page on Nokia Beta Labs. You’ll have to sign in with your Nokia account before you can download this version from that site.

Here’s Jennifer and Pino showing you the new Check In feature on the Ovi Maps version 3.06.

FourSquare for Symbian around the corner!

FourSquare users and those interested in getting on the bandwagon, a dedicated app is on the way for the Symbian Platform. Sym4square is a freeware application developed by ThinkChange, to make the FourSquare service available for the Symbian^1 phones smartphones.

From the screenshots and the video below, it looks like this application is almost like the FourSquare Android one, with similar features.

Sym4square is not yet out for public distribution, but they’re looking for 1000 beta testers, if you’re interested in getting this first. If you’re one of the few to get a beta invite, do let us know what you think of this app. You can get more information and sign up for beta testing the app from at site – www.symbianfoursquare.com.

Users of Symbian 60 v3 phones like the E72/71, are left high and dry and don’t get to use this app, at least as of now. For those of you on a S60v3 non-touch screen phone, there’s always Gravity, the king of all social networks on Symbian, to get you checked into FourSquare.

Here’s a video of this app in action:

World Cup Fever on your mobile phone

AP World Cup App

With just a few hours to go for the World Cup 2010, soccer fans can follow the latest happening right on your mobile phones. Here are two apps which will help you do just that!

AP World Cup Coverage

Feel the excitement of the games with AP’s 2010 World Cup Coverage in Flash! Follow your team throughout South Africa and enjoy a feature-rich multimedia experience with live game scores, schedules, standings, and more. Additional features include star player profiles, photos and videos, venue information and interactive voting to pick your favorites. Available in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese, AP 2010 World Cup Coverage is the most trusted source for the World Cup action!

You can get more information about this app from the official AP Site here.  According to the site, this app should work on Symbian Series 40 and 60 phones Symbian Touch screen phones. You can SMS the link to the app from there or if you prefer getting it from Ovi Store, here’s the link –  AP 2010 World Cup Coverage

Petola

Pelota S60v5

If you’re the type who wants live notifications of the matches, you should check out Petola. It’s is a realtime application that informs you about the status of World Cup games. You get a notification beep or vibrate every time a goal is scored. This app works on Symbian 5th Edition phones and there’s also a widget for the N900.

Click here to download the Symbian version
Click here to download the N900 widget.

Pelota N900 Widget
Pelota on the N900

If you know of any other cool apps for the World Cup let us know by commenting below. As always

Playlist DJ now available for non-touch Symbian phones

Syntonetic, has just released the non-touch version of the popular application, which creates playlists based on your mood, according to this press release. This application is available for free on Ovi Store. If you have a large music collection on your phone and find it hard to decide on what to play, this is one application you shouldn’t miss out on.

From their Press Release:

Designed for music enthusiasts, Playlist DJ is the ideal solution for people who feel their music libraries have become unmanageable. This app gives users a unique tool to create playlists in less than 5 seconds. Playlist DJ finds the best tracks to cater to an unexpected mood, to change a mood or to find music that works well together. Listeners can also ‘seed’ a song to create an entire playlist based on one tune, remove songs from playlists and save and name favorite playlists.

If you want to see how this application works before you try it out, check out this video from Nokia Conversations:

Playlist DJ now supports:
Nokia 5320 XpressMusic
Nokia 5630 Xpress Music
Nokia 5730 XpressMusic
Nokia 6210 Navigator
Nokia 6220 Classic
Nokia 6700 Slide
Nokia 6710 Navigator
Nokia 6720 classic
Nokia 6730 classic
Nokia N78
Nokia N79
Nokia N85
Nokia N86 8MP
Nokia N96
Nokia 5230
Nokia 5233
Nokia 5530
Nokia 5800
Nokia N97
Nokia X6

For more information on this application check out Playlist DJ on Ovi Store or Syntonetic’s site.

Mobbler – Last.fm music on the go

If you’ve got a Last.fm subscription and want to listen to that on the go, try out Mobbler, the Last.fm client for Symbian phones.

You can listen to your favourite music streamed straight from Last.fm to your phone. Mobbler allows you to listen to your Favorite ‘Loved’ Tracks, your Radio Station, your Neighbourhood. You can also listed to the music based on tags or artists search.

While you are listening to music, you can add the currently playing track to your play-list on Last.fm and even mark tracks as favorites, so you can listen to them later on any Last.fm client.

Are you Scrobbling?

If you have Mobbler running in the background, you can also have the music you are playing on your phone’s music player ‘scrobbled’. What ‘scrobbled’ means is that Mobbler send the information about the song you are playing to Last.fm .

How is this good?

Based on your listening history, Last.fm can recommend other songs and artists that you may be interested in. You can listen to these recommendations as well on Mobbler.

If you’re planning on using this application for your listening pleasure, make sure you’re connected on WiFi or have an Unlimited Data plan on your number. This application does use a lot of bandwidth. If you’re on a lean bandwidth plan and don’t mind a little bit of degradation in sound quality, head over to the Settings menu and change the bitrate to 64kbps.

If you just want to scrobble what you are listening to on your phone, you just need a free last.fm account and Mobbler is also a free application. If you want to listen to music straight from Last.fm and listen to your recommendations, you’ll need a Last.fm paid subscription which is $3 per month.

You can get Mobbler from Ovi Store at store.ovi.com/content/27017

Mobbler is an Open Source Software,  you can head out to their Google code site to learn more about the project and follow them on twitter @Mobbler.

Mail for Exchange 3.0 released on Ovi Store

Update: If you’re running on a Symbian Belle phone, check out the Microsoft Office Apps for Mobile for better Exchange support and Office capabilities.

The latest version of Mail for Exchange is now out on Ovi Store. The enhanced features on this new release include subfolder support, sent items and draft folder synchronizations. This version also brings in HTML email viewing. You can head over to Ovi Store and see if your device is compatible with the latest version and download it.

Here is Ovi store’s description of the application:

Mail for Exchange uses the Microsoft ® Exchange ActiveSync® protocol that enables you to use the email, contacts, calendar entries, and tasks of your Microsoft® Exchange Server account on your compatible Nokia device. To use this software you must have an account on Exchange 2010, 2007 or 2003 Server. Compatible software release offered with this download for your Nokia device model is Mail for Exchange 3.0. New features with Mail for Exchange 3.0 include subfolder support and HTML email viewing.

Where do you use Mail for Exchange?

If your office or email provider uses Microsoft Exchange server, you can have these emails pushed to your phone using Mail for Exchange. If  you also want to sync your Google Email, Calendar and Contacts to you phone, you can do so using this software.  For more information on how to sync your Google data with your phone using Mail for Exchange, head over to this link on Google which explains how to setup your phone.

Link to Mail for Exchange on Ovi store : store.ovi.com/content/5919

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Locate your phone using PhoneLocator Periodic

Phonelocator periodic is a free service to help you keep tabs on the location of your phone. It runs in the background and can periodically update the phone’s location to the Phonelocator server. You’ll need to sign up for an account at their site to track the location on your phone.

You can also designate a number to send a message to when the SIM card in your phone is changed. This will allow you to receive the number of the person who’s “borrowed” you phone.

This application can use GPS, Cell ID or Wifi to track the location of your phone. To get the latest location of the phone, all you need to do is to send a text message the phone which starts with the word Update, and the latest location of the phone gets updated on the PhoneLocator site.

You can download this application for free from Ovi Store. For more information on this application and service head out to the PhoneLocator site.

Push Email Software – Emoze Pro goes free

Hot off their blog, Emoze is not opening up their Pro features for free. They’ve always had a free version of their software which allowed you to receive “push” emails on Symbian devices. The free version was limited to push only emails from one account to your phone. Now you can push multiple mailboxes to your mobile using their software.

Here’s what you can get on the free version (features which were formerly “pro”) of Emoze now:

  • Configure multiple accounts on a single handset
    • Outlook
    • Gmail
    • Hotmail
    • Facebook messaging
    • Your own home or ISP email account
    • OWA Corporate email
  • Manage all your email accounts on the GO
    • Send and receive email
    • Reply, forward and save to drafts
    • Receive, View, Send and Download attachments up to 2MB
  • Each email account is identified by its own icon.
  • Each email account has its own inbox
  • Create folders and save mail from any account to a folder

I had tried Emoze a few months back and found that as good as Nokia Messaging. The good thing about the Emoze is that you’re not limited to just Nokia phones, it works well with other Symbian devices as well. If you can’t access Nokia Messaging for some reason, here’s a solution for you to try out.

Get more information about Emoze and their services at: www.emoze.com or download their email software directly on your phone by visiting m.emoze.com

via ZOMG its CJ

Quick Look into MobiTile

So while going through the various Facebook and Twitter integrated clients (I still believe gravity is the best btw), I came across MobiTile. Its a flash application, and integrates Facebook, Twitter and LiveJournal.  Signing in to facebook is a little cumbersome, you have to use your phone browser to grant the application offline access to facebook, but the twitter setup was instantaneous. I have not used livejournal, so I can not comment on the integration of it into the application. Do note that you need to have flashlite 2.0 or greater for the app to work.

One issue that I did have with the app (v0.3.0 – the application is still in beta), facebook refused to work after the first time I logged in, so that leaves us with Twitter.

The app has quite a few features; you can do the usual post, reply,ReTweet, etc, view user profiles, follow and block, etc.

All said and done, its got great potential, and you should try it – http://www.mobitile.com/

Digia @Web – Web browser for Symbian 60 v5 Phones

multi-window-landscapeDigia @Web is a fully finger touch controllable, web browser for the S60 5th Edition Mobile. It boasts a full finger touch UI and renders the web as it is intented using the state-of-the-art webkit browser engine.

The browser supports multiple browser windows, url auto-complete and automatic full screen browsing. The browser engine supports – Javascript 1.5, Flash Content, Netscape compatible Plugin Interface and HTML 4.1, so it can render true webpages without any problems.

I installed this app on the N97, and am quite hooked to it. I plan to use this as the default browser since it’s so much more refined than the built in browser. I did find a few quirks in the application, but then this still seems to be a beta application.

@Web is currently supported on S60 5th Edition phones, like  Nokia 5800 & 5320 XpressMusic, N97, Samsung i8910 HD and SonyEricsson Satio.

Browser features

  • Full finger touch UI
  • Accelerated panning
  • Automatic full screen browsing via auto-hiding controls
  • Multiple browser windows
  • Page rotation for portrait and landscape browsing
  • Multiple zoom levels
  • Password manager
  • Intelligent Bookmark functionality (auto-sorting)
  • Bookmark folders
  • Bookmark favicons
  • URL auto-complete (from history)
  • ‘Page loading in progress’ indicator
  • Text select for copy/paste
  • RSS feeds

You can download @Web for free from their download page.

@Web Images: