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Microsoft mixes up Beam

Microsoft's 'Beam' service is getting a rebrand, say hi to 'Mixer'

Star Wars hits the big 4-0

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Google Maps


Google Maps 3.2: Introducing 'Layers'

Well, looky here!  Google did a major update to Google Maps for mobile.  Previous version was v3.0.1.6 and the new one is a spanking v3.2.  Such a leap must mean something new and sure enough, there is Google Layers a hitherto unknown feature from our overlords.

Layers allow you to add extra information to your current view, including Wikipedia entries.  That's right, you can now pull down localized Wikipedia info which appear as iconic "W"s on your screen.  Selecting them will bring up a lil' info bubble on that area.  Other "layers" include traffic, transit and My Maps which are your personal customized maps (done via desktop).  Huzzah!  That's pretty darn cool.

They've also fixed a few bugs, re-enabled copy/paste from various field (thank you), additional search results and...well shoot, they even put all this info in an actual 'Release Notes' file which you can read in gory detail.

Get your download here:

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It's like these two are in a race as both companies have released updates for their popular free mapping software.

Out of the two, Live Search (a clear fave here at WME) offers the most noticeable update, which greatly speeds up the loading time of the app. That was probably our biggest gripe and often made us leave the app "open" in the background to avoid the slow reload.

The new Live Search v3.5.8198.0 cuts in half the load time and you'll surely notice the zippy load bar. Other than that, nothing new to notice.

Google Maps on the other hand, has bumped it's version number to v2.2.0.20, which is a whopping upgrade, so probably nothing major there. Indeed, there is still no "Transit" directions available here in NYC.

Oh Google, you tease so much.

Live Search can be updated via the client (natch) or go here: and you can grab Google Maps here.

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Here's a real cool trick from our friends at XDA.

As you may have noticed, in the WM version of Google Maps we do not yet have the patented Google "Street View" feature whereby you can see real 360° pan shots of the street you are mapping. The soon-to-drop Android G1 and BlackBerry devices have it, but no love for Google's WM stepchild.

But, until that update you can do this:

  • download Esmertec Jbed (java manager) here (if needed)
  • download "KDKobes Google Maps Street View" .jar file here; place in \My Documents

Install the Esmertec Java client (you'll need to link it to your Start Menu from from the root \Esmertec Java folder). Then Menu --> Install --> Local files and it should find KDKobe's .jar file. Install and you're done!

Now, just launch Google Maps (BB edition, natch) from the Esmertec Java client and away you go. Find a street address, hit options on the bubble and click "Street View". You can even make it full screen, albeit a bit grainy.

Down sides? No "My Location" or GPS. But hey, it's a start! My own thoughts? Overall it works surprisingly well. Give it a go.

via Tilt Mobility & props to KDKobes for discovering this!

ps Eat our shorts CrackBerry! ;-) WM is unstoppable.

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Google has released an updated version of Google Maps, version, which focuses on issues surrounding the Google Latitude feature. For those unfamiliar with Latitude, it is a feature that lets you keep track of your location and shares it with a social network of friends/colleagues.

The fixes include:

  • Background location updates: Problems associated with running Latitude in the background have been fixed to allow continuous updating of your location.
  • Auto-restart location updates: If for some reason you turn off your phone (battery dies, you hit the power button) Latitude will now automatically restart location updates, when running in the background, whenever power is restored to the phone.
  • Force location updates: Manually refreshing your Latitude friends list forces the update of your own location.
  • Backlight timing: The backlight behavior now runs according to your system settings. Previously if Latitude was running in the background it had a tendency to keep your backlight on regardless of systems settings.
  • Additionally, login errors and other internal errors that effected Latitudes performances were addressed by the update.

The updated version, 3.0.1, can be downloaded here.

Via WMPoweruser

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Google Maps gets small update

Speaking of Google, its Maps application just got a small update.

Although we have no idea what this update entails, suffice it to say it fixes something as no new features are to be found.  Some are suggesting that Latitude (see review here) is more upfront on program startup, whereas before it wasn't.

Anyways, Google Maps gets bumped from version to, which on the face of it seems odd but who are we to question Google's numbering system?

Feel you need the update, then head over to to get fresh. 


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Maps and navigation undoubtedly are a couple of the coolest things to hit the mobile tech world in the past few years. On Windows Mobile, the two major (free) players are Microsoft's Live Search Mobile and Google Maps.

We've been fans of Live Search for a long while now, with its turn-by-turn directions and better search results. But there's not denying that Google Maps got a few points back in its collumn with a recent update that brought Street View to the small screen. But with little fanfare, Microsoft brought its "Bird's-eye view" setting down to phone level. With Google, you've got a car's-eye view of the streets. With the unheralded BEV, a zoomable over-the-shoulder look into your neighbors backyards. (And Microsoft doesn't make a big deal about it. In the map view, go to Menu>View>Bird's Eye).

So which do you prefer? Google Maps and Street View getting it done for your daily navigation? Or is Live Search and Bird's-Eye View your peeper of choice? Let us know in the comments.

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Ever have that rich cousin who always seemed to get the coolest toys before you? We're kind of feeling the same way right now. Our blogging brethren over at were the first to get their hands on the BlackBerry Bold (and we're really hoping they're not the ones who ponied up the $17,000 on eBay for that Javelin).

Now they get to enjoy Street View and walking directions on their phones. (For that matter, so do Symbian users. Don't even get us started on that one.)

Yeah, yeah, it'll probably be available on Windows Mobile soon enough. And it's surprising that iPhone users haven't yet called for a Congressional hearing. The app version that appears in the video is 3.1.0; my just-updated WinMo version is

So enjoy your fancy Street Views, CrackBerry users. Enjoy your walking directions. If you need us, we'll be wandering around aimlessly using Windows Live Search.

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I've long been looking for a personal holy grail: using Windows Mobile's built-in support for Exchange Active Sync Push to access my information on Google. I had hoped that it would be MailShadowG, but it turns out that service is a desktop-only client that talks only to Exchange. Forwarding gmail to a 3rd party Exchange server is an option, but it's a hassle and doesn't usually provide a very good sync'ed up experience.

Enter NuevaSync [via], a free service that offers an Exchange server that is automatically synced up to Google Calendar and Contacts (Plaxo too, but let's leave Plaxo aside, eh?). They don't have email support yet, but they're working on it and it looks like they're going to do it right -- which is to say they'll be doing it via an IMAP gateway for proper folder sync.

Anyhow, once you've set up your NuevaSync account and connected it up to your Google account, the last step is to set up Exchange on your Windows Mobile phone, you can find those instructions here. Syncing Google's PIM to your device is well and good, but you'll need to also get that info synced from your desktop to Google -- we'll leave that as an exercise to the reader.

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Google Maps Gets Update

There has been a big debate over which is better when it comes to maps. Some say Google Maps while others live in Live Search. Google is trying to change that and take the number one spot with the 2.2 update. Moments after Microsoft released their Live Search update, Google followed suit and added cool new features like favorites, public transportation directions, and center point on the map.

The new 2.2 will give users the ability to track bus and train schedules. With these ridiculous gas prices google maps could be a great tool in our never ending battle to fight the pump.

I gave it a spin and have to admit the pages seem to scroll a lot better than they did in the previous maps. I also fell in love with the favorites. I automatically added my house, work and family members as favorites making it easier to search in certain areas.

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Google Maps or Live Search

For the longest time Google Maps and Windows Live Search have been clashing for title of best map software. In my experience both have been very useful tools in my everyday life. The funny thing is that after I went through each of them extensively, I concluded that both are needed in order to be productive.

Windows Live excels in category search. With a simple address Live will recommend local bars, clubs, and restaurants in your vicinity. Then once you found your local restaurant or movie theater you can check reviews on it, get directions to it, or send that address to a friend to meet up for the date. Easy access to gas prices in the local area and movie info make it that much more useful. My favorite is showing up to the theaters and using Live Search to check info and ratings before we head in. Then again there are some features such as my location and faster maps that Windows Live Search lacks.

Google maps makes up where Windows Live Search misses. Need faster maps? Googles got it. Need the ability get an approximate location? Googles got it. For me it

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A story is making the rounds that Google Maps Mobile now supports GPS. Perhaps I'm missing something, but I've been using GPS in conjunction with Google Maps Mobile on my Windows Mobile devices for awhile now. Since February. Heck, I even posted a Valentine's Day Video detailing how to set up Google Maps with a Bluetooth GPS puck.

So congrats to you, Blackberry 8800, for getting GPS support in Google Maps Mobile. It's almost like your OS offers quality 3rd party app support and development. Almost.

Google's mobile maps software will now use the GPS capability of many newer handsets (with GPS carrier support) to pinpoint your location and make directions and navigation just that much nicer.

Read: Google maps for mobile gets GPS - Engadget Mobile

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