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Bing introduces Venue Maps for malls and airports in India

Microsoft has announced today that Bing users in India can now use Venue Maps to easily navigate malls across the country.

Venue maps provide an easy way of seeing the layout of a venue like a mall or an amusement park. Currently, Bing Maps provides maps and level wise layouts of over 5,300 venues across the world.

Nokia seeking to advance indoor positioning with In-Location Alliance

Nokia has announced today a big link up with more than twenty tech firms to create an In-Location Alliance.  The Alliance was created to advance efforts to promotion of a new standard-based short-range wireless technology that will make it possible to locate objects or positions indoors with extremely high accuracy using mobile devices.

Remember our article about Nokia becoming the Where platform? Well, this just shows how serious Nokia is about this technology. Navigation outside has become something we take for granted, the next big step is high accuracy location inside. There are a number of hurdles to overcome and Nokia is doing the right thing here and establishing an alliance to get things moving. The potential applications for this type of location-based services are likely even more far reaching than its outside variant.

Official Heathrow Airport Guide lands in the Marketplace

Should you be traveling to or through London's Heathrow Airport, there is now an official app for your Windows Phone to help you find your way around the airport and monitor arrival/departure times.

The Heathrow Airport Guide is rather impressive with the amount of information it provides not only with flights but just getting around the airport. Airport information covers maps, shops, restaurants, parking, baggage claims, internet access, and more.

GateGuru lands at the Windows Phone Marketplace

GateGuru is a travel app that has recently landed at the Windows Phone Marketplace. GateGuru has been a successful travel app on the iOS and Android platforms, success the developers are hoping will carry over to the Windows Phone platform.

GateGuru covers over 180 airports across the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia providing maps detailing airport amenities, gate locations, check points and tips on how to get around or what to look for. Additional features include:

  • View TripIt or KAYAK flight details
  • Add or view airport security wait times
  • Quickly sort amenities by rating or name to find the best option for you
  • Bookmark function for airports and amenities
  • High Flyers leaderboard
  • Social media sharing (Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Gowalla) to keep your network posted on your airport travels

Terminals are listed by your location or you can search the GateGuru terminal database. A GateGuru membership is available (free) through the app that will let you add your own tips, reviews and photos. If you decide not to become a GateGuru member, you'll still be able to access all the terminal information.

All in all, GateGuru is a nice Windows Phone resource for those who frequently or infrequently fly. GateGuru is a free app and you can find it here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Windows Phone App Review: FlightPredictor

FlightPredictor is a Windows Phone app that delivers a hefty amount of flight information to your Windows Phone. FlightPredictor covers flight times, status, and also has a series of major airport maps to help navigate the friendly skies.  Flight information is provided by and if you need to keep track of flight times, delays, along with a little help finding your way around airports, FlightPredictor is worth a try.

All flights-Skyscanner launches in the Windows Phone Marketplace

Here's a nice treat for those who travel a lot, Skyscanner is now available for free in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Based off of the site, the app is wildly popular on the iPhone and Android and now has been brought over to our OS by Distinction, the team behind Cocktail Flow and AppFlow--so you know it has to be good. From the press release:

"In addition to allowing users to search millions of routes on over 1000 airlines to find the cheapest flights in seconds, the app also lets users track prices of selected flights with the unique ‘Live Tile’ function of Windows Phones. Users can pin selected flights to their start screen and the prices automatically update every hour. "

Awesome. We just launched it ourselves and it sure makes us want to fly somewhere--smooth and elegant is what this app has. Plus it just feels kind of smart the way the UI is laid out. So for you frequent fliers out there, you'll definitely want to try this one out. Pick it up here in the Marketplace.

Press release after the break...

Four new major apps for Windows Phone shown off at Mobile Acceleration Week

Microsoft looks to be hosting a Mobile Acceleration Week this week in New York City and TechCrunch managed to track down some of the devs there building apps. The program itself is a way for developers to come together with Microsoft to get their apps fast-tracked to the Marketplace by working with Redmond directly--it's like staying after school with the teacher for a power tutoring session. These sessions happen often and at various places all the time, so in that sense, nothing new. However here we get to see some new apps that are headed our way. All of these are available on iOS and/or Android, so they look to be bigger-name apps ported over to the Windows Phone--always a good sign.

  • Flud - Another RSS reader popular on the iPhone but with a twist--social networking. Evidently you can see what your friends are reading and vice-versa. So it's like Facebook but potentially less annoying. The app looks to headed our way by January.
  • Get-a-game - Here's an app for you ballers out there who want to pick up a game at your local park. Basically it's more social networking but folks who want to play a quick game...of anything.  Certainly unique and we suppose puts Bing and networking to go use on your phone.
  • GateGuru - This should be huge. GateGuru provides "...airport directories, ratings and reviews for shops within the airports, social media sharing, itinerary management, wait times for security lines, and reviews/tips for airports". Phew! If you travel a lot, how could you not want this app?
  • - is evidently like Foursquare but for things instead of places. Basically you checkin with an item (shoes, services, your coffee) and then purchase and rate the item. You get more points for more interaction. Sounds kind of like Foodspotting but for stuff. We're not too crazy about that but we see some merit in it.

Not a bad lineup if you ask us and those are just a few of the apps coming down the pike. While they may not be the killer, unique apps that the platform could benefit from, it's a good sign that so many devs from other platforms are now embracing Windows Phone. In fact, that's great news as it helps level the playing field.

Source: TechCrunch