gps

Location Finder is a handy Windows Phone 8 app that will find, save and share your current location. With Location Finder you can record locations such as a campsite, where you parked your car, the location of a business you need to remember or simply sharing your location with friends/family so they can find you.

Location Finder was updated to version 2.6 last night that includes a handful of changes that are user driven. For example, many users asked for shorter URLs to make sharing your location easier. You can opt for the shorter URLs in the app’s settings.

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Today, Windows Phone users are finally treated to a new app and service that has been long in the making: Waze. First announced back in June, Waze has been undergoing a private (but detailed) beta testing period to ensure the highest quality. Although it was reported as having no ETA back in October, the app is finally ready for public release. That despite unfounded concerns that its new owners, Google, would cancel the project. But today, Microsoft and Waze are announcing its general availability.

Waze is an extremely popular navigation and traffic app that relies on social interaction for real-time updates. Considered to be a community-driven application, Waze differs from regular GPS navigation apps by relying on user feedback for traffic, travel times, accidents, police traps, and more with user ability to modify maps and roads. It’s a fascinating service with around 50 million users worldwide, mostly found on Android and iOS. 

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GeoPhoto is a handy Windows Phone 8 app that takes the location services data embedded in your photos EXIF file and maps them out. The app not only pins your photos to help you remember where you took the picture but you can also generate driving directions to that location, view the full EXIF file for an image, and filter which image folders are mapped.

GeoPhoto isn't a bad option to consider for your Windows Phone 8 device if you have the need to map out your photos.

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Road warriors, those that get lost easy or for those of you who just need an A-Class GPS navigation system for Windows Phone 8: you have a new option on the table with Scout GPS Maps by Telenav. The app and service is launching today and we have all the info on it.

First launched on select devices for T-Mobile, like the new Lumia 925, the service is now open to all Windows Phone 8 devices (currently US only). We’ve been using the app for a few weeks now and have come away impressed with the full-featured navigation system and it is now our go-to choice when taking a trip.

The app comes in two varieties: free and subscription based, with the latter offering the full experience with premium features while the former is still a great valued navigation system.So what does Scout GPS Maps offer? Besides its intuitive and finger-friendly UI, the system includes all the bells and whistles you would expect in a navigation app. In fact, we were impressed with how much is included with an initial release. 

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Windows Phone is a platform where you can do a lot out of the box without needing a lot of apps. Compared to iOS and Android it could be argued the basic experience is better in many aspects. It’s jam packed with features and you don’t need to open the Store to get apps to do get things done. Sometimes a built in feature is good, but can easily be improved. I’m Here is an app that helps to make sharing your location easier and packs a little more feature wise compared to the SMS method in Windows Phone. Let’s check it out.

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Today, ALK Technology, the company behind the popular CoPilot sat-nav apps for iOS and Android has announced support for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 (x86), bringing both paid and free apps to the platform in the coming weeks.

For those who don’t remember, CoPilot goes way back with Microsoft having integrated the first GPS system in a Windows laptop and even selling Pocket CoPilot for PocketPC. In other words, this sat-nav owes a lot of its legacy to Microsoft’s systems all the way up to Windows Mobile 6.5 (Flashback: Our CoPilot 8 review from 2009).

The company backed away from Windows Phone 7 though instead concentrating on iOS and Android. Part of the problem was also their complaint about managed code being difficult to work with for their system. Of course with such a complaint one would expect them to jump back in as soon as native code access was granted and sure enough, they have today.

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Jack of Tools Pro, a handy Windows Phone 8 toolbox

Jack of Tools Pro is to your Windows Phone 8 device much like a Swiss Army Knife is to pocket knifes... a lot of tools rolled into one package.

Jack of Tools Pro is a collection of ten tools for your Windows Phone that range from a flashlight app to a decibel meter. The app is simply laid out with a series of tiles that launch each tool and that can be pinned to your Start Screen for easy access.

If you're looking for a nice collection of utility oriented apps for your Windows Phone 8 device wrapped up in one package, Jack of Tools Pro is worth a look.

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Growing up, ‘X’ always marked the spot, problem was my lack of treasure maps. Fast forward to 2013 and anyone with a GPS device can find buried treasure. Ladies and gentlemen, geocaching can make anyone of you a pirate for a day and we now have a great app for Windows Phone to live out those swashbuckling fantasies. But before you get your Captain Jack cosplay on, how about you read into Geocaching Live for Windows Phone.

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Anyone who makes use of GPS functionality on a smartphone understands the impact such connectivity has on the limited battery supply that's packed inside the device. Unfortunately, we're not quite at the stage where 10,000mAh batteries are utilised, so Microsoft Research has been working on a cloud-powered GPS chip that will reportedly slash battery consumption on smartphones.

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One of the troubles with running a dedicated Windows Phone site is that you need to cater to the pro users and the new folks who have just picked up their first device. This post is for them, the new people.

On Windows Phone 8 you may often see a little dot-in-a-circle icon appear in the upper right hand side on your screen. It seemingly pops up randomly and due to the amount of forum threads on the matter, it has caused some confusion. So what is it?...

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We took a look the Windows Phone app Track My Life a while ago and found it to be a decent GPS tracking app for your Windows Phone. Track My Life charts your travels to give you an idea of where you've been and where you spend the most time at. The developers have been busy updating the app to improve things and incorporate suggestions from users. The latest version is 3.0 and adds a Time Machine feature to the app.

What is the Time Machine you ask? The Time Machine feature lets you select what data range you want to display on Track My Life. You have options to look at the past week, past month or a custom setting where you can go back months.

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Update - Version 3.0 is now live in the Marketplace as we just got the notification! Link after the break...

Although we’re still seeing version 2.0 for Nokia Drive on our Lumia, Nokia has finally pulled the covers of their highly anticipated version 3.0 which should be hitting the Marketplace in the next 24-48 hours. It has us so excited, we’re almost yearning to get lost just so we can use it.

Version 3.0, in our opinion, finally makes Drive the app we all wanted and expected from Nokia—sure the other versions were nice, especially for free, but they paled to the pay apps of Garmin, etc.

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It was only a couple of weeks ago that we brought you a video overview of gMaps Pro for Windows Phone. The popular app has now received an update bringing a few welcomed feature improvements.

  • Improved and slick StreetView
  • Your places (with favorites, recent and pinned items)
  • Latitude as layer on your map
  • New localizations: Portuguese, Japanese
  • Offline Chinese offset detection

The big difference for me is the StreetView update. It was a bit jerky to say the least. The update and made is smooth and sweet, just like on the web. Nice job gMaps.

You can download the free (ad supported) version of gMaps here or use the QR code below for the Pro version. I can't stand adverts on my apps!

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Dear phone, we're not in Akron!

Update: Nokia just pinged us to let us know they are "...aware of the issue and it has been addressed, but users may need to restart their phones to see the fix take effect." Moreover, this does not seem to be a Lumia 900 issue per se but rather related to AT&T's LTE towers. Evidently some Android users have had this problem too.

It looks like the Nokia Lumia 900 on AT&T is experiencing yet another odd and seemingly random bug these days. For some users, when they fire up a GPS application such as Maps, Local Scout, Foursquare (for checkins) or Yelp, they show up as being in Akron, Ohio despite not actually being there.

The issue first popped up in Nokia's support forums with two threads and a handful of users noting the problem. Another thread appeared here in the Windows Phone Central Forums as well. But to be honest, we had only received one email complaint on the matter from reader Alex T. and we had not seen this bug ourselves to verify--so off it went into the "quirks" pile for further investigation.

This week though as we're paling around with Rafael Rivera and Paul Thurrott in sunny San Francisco, both of their devices suddenly had this happen. First up was Thurrott who's phone just would not budge from the great state of Ohio. Despite soft-resets, some toggling and a boatload of swearing, there it stayed.

Later that night, Rivera's phone did the exact same thing when we were at Denny's. What was curious though was how both phones, even when placed next to each other, did not have the bug at the same time. Both Lumia 900s, both on AT&T, yet one worked and the other did not. (Our 900 was in tow but we were using the Focus 2 as our primary device this week).

We're not sure if this is related to AT&Ts network for aGPS, an issue with full GPS or maybe something in between. We have noticed that more folks seem to experience it on the West coast but that could just be sampling error. 

So we figured we would crowdsource this a bit and ask you if you've experienced this on your Lumia 900. And if so, what state are you in? Hit the poll below. (And for our international users, have you had something similar?).

 

Has your Lumia 900 erroneously positioned you in Akron, OH?
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Windows Phone App Review: Track My Life

Every wonder where you spend most of your time? Track My Life is a Windows Phone app that hopes to tell you just that.  The app records your location every thirty minutes and logs which city your are in.  Track My Life will map these locations on the map (provided by Bing) with a push pin.  From there you can tap on a push pin to see how much time you've been tracked in that city or view the overall stats that will let you know which city you've spent the most time in.

Track My Life is an interesting tracking app for your Windows Phone that does have some room for improvement.  Overall though, it's a nice choice if you're curious what location you are spend the bulk of your time in.

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With all the hype Nokia devices get especially with their onslaught of custom software, we figured we'd throw a bone to the rest of you who aren't on the Lumia train.

In case you missed it, Nokia launched the beta of City Lens today. A nifty little app that uses the camera, gyroscope, compass, GPS and internet to show you in real-time where shops, coffee houses and restaurants can be found. It's certainly well done but not particularly original (see LG's ScanSearch app from 2011).

But in case you own an HTC or Samsung phone and want to have the same functionality there's a great free option already out there: Wikitude.

Actually, Wikitude does even more than City Lens since it's more robust with search features. It's been around for awhile and is found on competing platforms making it more widely supported. It hooks into Yelp, Twitter, Flickr, Starbucks and more. Heck, their system even has APIs so dev's can integrate Wikitude's services into their own apps.

Did we mention it's also a lot fun? Sure, seeing people literally tweeting around you is borderline creepy but it's also a bit fascinating.

The app is free too meaning there's little reason for you not to give it a try, even if you use Nokia's City Lens. We found the service to be quite accurate and useful when traveling around the city.

Pick up Wikitude here in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Let us know in comments how you think it compares to City Lens (if you have both).

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In the race for the coolest weather app for Windows Phone, you're the winner. Which is why we love to bring the news of app updates in this area for Windows Phone, since so many of you have your favorites and lets be honest, everyone needs a weather app.

We reported earlier that Amazing Weather (review) was going to get some major new themes in version 3.0 and sure enough, that update has just gone live in the Marketplace. Here are the changes:

  • 3 beautiful themes
  • 3 distinct live tiles
  • weather alerts
  • offline mode
  • auto location using GPS
  • 5 different cities,
  • refined UI with charts
  • support for new languages

The auto-location using GPS is great as you can pin that tile to your Start screen and it auto-updates your location when the weather is refreshed -- perfect for those of you on the go.  The new themes are great and a clear shot at Weather Flow (who went after the "realistic weather" model that Amazing Weather had originally brought).

So far we're really liking Amazing Weather and the update mostly because it delivers radar and a detailed weather forecast. The app fetches for a $1.29 in the marketplace with a free trial. Is it the best? We'll leave that up to you but we'll consider this as one of the top contenders.

Make sure you take a look at our "Best Weather Apps for your Windows Phone" if you need some more ideas!

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