offline

Do you have a Windows Phone 8 device? Do you use offline Maps? Then you may want to peep under the app’s setting to see if you have an update.

We’re getting reports that Microsoft (and technically Nokia) are pushing out Map data updates to devices with Windows Phone 8 and while you’ll eventually get a pop up notification telling you as much, you can get the data early by fetching it yourself.

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Nokia flipped the switch in the U.S.. Market for the Nokia Music+ service today for all Nokia Lumia Windows Phones.

The subscription will run you $3.99 a month and offer premium features above and beyond what the Nokia Music app currently offers.  Features that includes unlimited music downloads for offline use, unlimited skips, lyric streaming, and a boost in sound quality.

To subscribe to Nokia Music+ just enter your Nokia Music app, enter the settings menu and you should see an upgrade option where you can start your monthly subscription.  Not sure if Nokia Music+ is your cup of tea?  Nokia did things right by offering a seven day trial period for the service to let you try things out before signing on the dotted line.  When you sign up for the trial, the expiration date will appear in your Nokia Music app's settings.  After which you can convert your trial subscription to a paid subscription.

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There has been much speculation and angst about the availability of the Lumia 920 here in the UK due to EE having an exclusivity deal on the hero Windows Phone 8 device.

Looks like the folks over at Clove are about to step in and provide the Lumia 920 in glossy white for your SIM-free and unlocked buying pleasure. That is, if you have £520.00 laying around to invest in one..

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Last night we noticed our 920 getting a few updates including Nokia Transit aka Transport and Maps. Nokia has now given some details on version 3.0, which also includes Windows Phone 8 support (basically just adding a double wide tile). 

The new Maps brings all sorts of goodies including offline support (it shares the offline downloads of Nokia Drive, saving space), venue maps (we can see our local mall) and it now gives you detailed walking directions. Heck, it will even hand itself off to Drive for car navigation, making Nokia’s apps a little more seamless.

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Nokia has announced that their music streaming service is to finally get launched in the U.S. Whilst many countries have seen the service up and running for a while the U.S. has, to date, been left out in the cold.

Not so anymore, Nokia brags about their service having over 150 playlists from Detroit house to Classical music. U.S. users will also be able to take advantage of creating custom playlists and even downloading the playlist for offline use.

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Reading news and articles on the go is a huge benefit to having a Windows Phone. These days there are a bewildering array of website specific apps, RSS readers, read it later clients and even tailored magazine apps to help sift through and read it all.

When mobile, being able to quickly check and access posts, articles and features from all your favourite websites can be tricky. One of the popular ways to pull all this content into one stream is by using the Google Reader service. NewsSpot is a slick Google Reader client for our Windows Phone that is due to receive an update towards the end of September that will bring some nice new features to the app. We had a chance to check out the latest beta of this popular client.

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We've covered Turn-By-Turn before and recently reviewed their off-line mapping solution for the United States. The (relatively) more affordable navigation app was the first to offer regional and local downloading of offline data, which makes the app a bit faster, saves on precious battery life and uses no-data saving some money.

The catalog of offerings has expand greatly to many other countries and regions, as can be seen below. And now one of the more difficult areas has finally received its own custom maps: Australia. We've heard about folks in this region having a difficult time finding a GPS navigation app for Windows Phone, so they should be pretty excited. However, it comes at a cost: $40.99 for the app and maps.

That's certainly on the high end, though we imagine the cost is largely dictated the licensing fees that developer GPS Tuner needs to pay NAVTEQ to have access. But hey, at least you have an option now.

Likewise, in case you're a big Europe traveler, you can now just buy access to all of Europe's maps instead of country by country. That too will set you back some cash, about $50.99 to be exact, but at least you'll have everything you ever need right there on your phone.

Pick up Turn-By-Turn Australia & New Zealand here and the comprehensive Europe version here in the Marketplace.

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Can't think of that word and have no Internet connection at present to use the Dictionary.com app? Annoying, right? Well not any more with the app being updated to take advantage of Mango goodness with the addition of offline usage. Over two million words are available from Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com, putting the power of language and constructive writing in your hands.

Pick it up here in the Marketplace.

Via: @techjunky79

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The other day we mentioned how the company GPS Tuner was gearing up for a release of their offline mapping solution for Windows Phone. What makes 'Turn by Turn Navigation US + CAN' unique when compared to the newly released Navigon is that you can select individual map regions to download as opposed to the whole country. As you can see above, we're downloading the Northeast US and it comes in at a humble 231MB which is a lot lighter than the 1.6GB Navigon makes you download.

The app is priced at $28.99, which considering the options you're getting, sounds pretty decent. Navigon is similarly priced in the US but that's just temporary until it gets bumped to $50, in that sense in the long run this app is certainly more cost efficient. Other features include:

  • Voice-Guided Turn by Turn Navigation with premium audio quality
  • Full detailed Navteq maps
  • Automatic Map rotation according to your heading
  • POI and address search
  • Add POI-s or locations to Favorites
  • Route calculation based on Time or Distance
  • Supporting Portrait and Landscape mode
  • Automatic re-routing if you miss a turn
  • Speed dependent Volume control
  • Driving and Walking directions
  • US and Metric units are supported
  • Itinerary (turn list for planned routes)
  • Avoid Highway/Toll roads option

We're obviously in the middle of downloading some maps and we'll see about throwing up a video. Oh and best part? Unlike Navigon, you DO have a trial, so give it a go here in the Marketplace. And we expect a European version sometime soon too.

One thing that we can gripe about? It's not a Mango app. So no fast app switching nor is there any contacts integration, making quick routing a pain.

Thanks, TheWeeBear, for the heads up!

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One of the big limitations you may have noticed with apps like ShopSavvy or even Microsoft's own Tag app is that live-scanning of barcodes is not permitted--you have to snap a photo, which is then scanned before a look-up is performed. It is technically possible but Microsoft is not allowing developers access to the APIs necessary to implement--not yet at least. [Edit: Although LG does have a live scanner called 'ScanSearch' available on the Quantum and Optimus 7]

Sensboston, who's been doing lots of neat tricks for our new OS (e.g. flashlight), has managed to use the previously documented API to release a working scanner. Based on zxing library and Kevin Marshall's (from Clarity Consulting) code, the app works like other barcode scanners on other platforms: you turn it on, it live scans and gives results. The app works offline, can save info to email or SMS and searches for info using Bing or Google.

You'll need good light for it to work and the auto-focus seems to time out after about 15 seconds (save battery?) but overall, it works pretty darn well. Sensboston is looking to add features/improve the UI, so if you have any ideas, let him know in that thread. Looks like the hombrew scene is raging these days...

Source: XDA Forums; Update: Project is now open-source

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