'Exciting new features' coming to iOS location services, Apple says

By on August 31, 2011 at 7:01 AM.

'Exciting new features' coming to iOS location services, Apple says

Apple has big plans for location services according to a new job listing posted by the Cupertino, California-based company. In a listing for a new “OS QA Location Engineer,” Apple said the candidate will “join a dynamic team responsible for qualifying the latest iOS products, working on exciting new features for iOS location services.” The job also requires “familiarity with GPS, A-GPS, LBS, or navigation algorithms” and “experience with cellular technologies.” Apple has already said that it wants to “radically improve” its current iOS Maps application, which we would argue certainly needs an update, so it is possible the job could be on that team. In addition, Apple included a new location-based Reminders application inside iOS 5, which will launch to the public in the fall. Perhaps the company has similar ideas in store. More →

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Newly exposed high-level emails reveal Google’s efforts to block Skyhook, Motorola deal

By on May 16, 2011 at 6:40 PM.

Newly exposed high-level emails reveal Google’s efforts to block Skyhook, Motorola deal

A new series of emails were made public on Monday as a result of Skyhook Wireless’ lawsuit claiming Google interfered with a contract the LBS company had in place with cell phone maker Motorola Mobility. The emails, which were sent to and from numerous top executives at Google including CEO Larry Page and SVP of Mobile Andy Rubin, detail the company’s shock at losing out to Skyhook. The internal emails also reveal Google’s admission that Skyhook’s location product is better and more accurate than its solutions, and scratch the tip of the iceberg regarding how Google seemingly used its muscle to squash Motorola’s deal with Skyhook. Hit the break for screen shots of a few of the emails, and hit read link for a collection of what may be the most interesting emails of the bunch. More →

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Internal emails from Google manager suggest Android isn’t so open

By on May 9, 2011 at 11:00 AM.

Internal emails from Google manager suggest Android isn’t so open

The “is Android open?” question is one that constantly fades in and out of focus on blogs and in the tech media. The latest snippet that will undoubtedly reinvigorate the argument was revealed this past weekend, and this time it’s not a pretty one for Google. As part of Skyhook Wireless’ lawsuit against Google, which alleges that the company interfered with a contract that placed its services on Android phones sold by Motorola, several internal emails have been made public by a Massachusetts state court. Collectively, the emails provide various insights into the business strategies employed by Google’s Android team. One email in particular, however, is attracting a great deal of attention. In it, Android Open-Source & Compatibility Program Manager Dan Morrill writes, “we are using compatibility as a club to make them do things we want.” In other words, we’re brought right back to the earlier revelation that Android partners can do whatever they want with the platform, but only those that play ball with Google’s compatibility requirements get preferential treatment, such as early access to new Android builds. Of course this time, the sentiment comes straight from the horse’s mouth in a relatively gruff manner, which doesn’t exactly do a service to Google’s repeated “open” claims. More →

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Verizon adding location tracking warning sticker to phones

By on April 29, 2011 at 11:17 AM.

Verizon adding location tracking warning sticker to phones

In an effort to be “clear and transparent” with its customers and the government, Verizon Wireless has sent a letter to Congress detailing plans on how it will better inform consumers about location data collection on their smartphones. The wireless carrier will soon apply a removable stickers to its devices with the following warning:

“This device is capable of determining its (and your) physical, geographical, location adn can associate location data with other customer information. To limit access to location information by others, refer to the User Guide for Location settings and be cautious when downloading, accessing, or using applications and services.”

Verizon Wireless will also issue alerts more clearly in its V CAST applications, some of which can be used to track family members or friends voluntarily. It confirmed that it does not sell or rent out personal user information, and that user habits are only used for internal marketing purposes. Verizon says it only collects location data for “various service and operational purposes,” and that it uses the data to ensure customers have solid call and data quality. Hit the jump for a full PDF of Verizon’s letter to Congress. More →

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Twitter for BlackBerry updated with push notifications, more

By on April 13, 2011 at 4:43 AM.

Twitter for BlackBerry updated with push notifications, more

Research In Motion has announced a new version of Twitter for BlackBerry that includes a number of noteworthy enhancements. Twitter for BlackBerry version 1.1 is officially out of beta and offers the ability to tweet your location using the “Add location to tweet” option. The app also includes push notifications for @mentions, and will auto-complete #topics as you type them out, along with several other minor enhancements. RIM also said the UI has been tweaked with updated graphics and includes a streamlined layout of the Add Photo and Add Location options. Lastly, the app has added language support for simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Polish, Czech, and Thai. Twitter for BlackBerry is available in BlackBerry App World now. Hit the jump for more info. More →

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Windows Phone Live to offer Windows Phone 7 syncing and remote wipe

By on July 13, 2010 at 12:36 PM.

Windows Phone Live to offer Windows Phone 7 syncing and remote wipe

windows-phone-logo

Microsoft unveiled its new Windows Phone Live website, a companion site that will be integrated into its upcoming Windows Phone 7 handsets. Similar to Microsoft’s MyPhone service unveiled as a beta in May 2009 for Windows Mobile 6.x handsets, the new Windows Phone Live will offer 25GB of SkyDrive storage space and will let Windows Phone 7 users sync contacts, calendars, OneNote files, pictures and more between their handset and the web. The website will also host the Find My Phone service which provides users with the ability to map, ring, lock and remote wipe a missing handset. Microsoft also confirmed that Windows Phone 7 is on track for a global launch in time for the holiday season. At launch, Windows Phone 7 handsets will support five languages including English, French, Italian, German and Spanish and the Windows Phone marketplace will go live in 17 countries including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, UK and United States. More →

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