Posts tagged Updates
Microsoft on Wednesday rolled out some updates to its Bing for Mobile browser service including real-time public transportation updates for select cities and the inclusion of apps in results when searching on the iPhone.
Most of the updates are available for iPhone and Android users, but not Microsoft’s own Windows Phone 7 customers. That’s because the services are built using HTML 5, which Windows Phone 7 doesn’t yet support. The company has promised an update later this year that will include an HTML 5 browser for Windows Phone 7 devices.
As part of the Bing update, users who visit m.bing.com can click on directions and on the bus icon in order to see how to take the bus or other public transportation to their destination. In addition, users will be able to click on the bus route for real-time details about when a bus will arrive.
The real-time data is available for Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Microsoft already offers directions for using public transportation in its Bing app for iPhone, but that feature wasn’t available in the browser version.
Google Maps on the iPhone shows transit routes, but not necessarily real-time information about buses.
When using Bing to search, iPhone users will now get results for relevant iPhone apps in addition to the normal search results. “This is a great way to serendipitously discover great new apps,” Andy Chu, director of product management for Bing for Mobile, wrote in a blog post about the updates.
Microsoft also made Image Search faster and smoother and re-organized the shopping feature in the Bing mobile browser app, he said. When searching for movies, users will now find the results organized by time and nearest theater, in addition to reviews, trailers and other information.
In addition, he said that when users start typing a city name into the weather search bar, the weather for that city will appear even before they are finished typing the name.
Chu wrote that the updates were launched today, but they do not appear to be available yet everywhere.
Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy’s e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com
As the mobile market heats up, Microsoft finds itself in the unfamiliar role of upstart challenger, now that it’s overhauled its earlier mobile efforts with the recently released Windows Phone 7.
But in the fast-paced mobile game, you’re only as good as your recent release and while companies like Apple (NASDAQ AAPL) and RIM (NASDAQ: RIMM) bring out new models at a relatively slow cadence, Google’s Android has spawned a more rapid flow of competitive smartphone models from a variety of vendors. So what’s coming next from Microsoft? Enterprise Mobile Today has the story. Microsoft is keeping mum but the rumor mill is turning full-speed over apparent leaks that say the company’s newly-released Windows Phone 7 will get two updates after the first of the year — not just one.
While the information is still unverified rumors, there may be a little truth to stories spreading on the Web about Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) latest bid for the mobile phone market.
Read the full story at Enterprise Mobile Today:
Two Windows Phone 7 Updates Coming in 2011?
John Vitti, the co-founder of Mobile Spinach, a local company that coordinates group-based retail discounts through mobile phone updates, launched a new initiative that features special deals from merchants along Muni routes.
Why did you decide to focus on merchants close to Muni lines? We’re a heavy commuter city, and we thought it would be a great idea to feature commuter-specific offers. The idea is that everyone knows their stop, either on their way to work, the gym or home. If they’re waiting for the bus, they can run in and grab a cup of coffee, or if they’re on their way home, they can sit down for a bite to eat. The goal is to be timely and relevant.
Is there a specific type of business featured? We definitely wanted businesses with a close proximity to each stop, and we wanted them to make sense for a commuter. So we focused on things like spas, food and bars.
Any plans for expanding this initiative?
Right now, we only feature businesses on the N-Judah train line, and the 1, 38 and 22 bus lines. Every month, we plan on expanding to more Muni lines, and we’re also open to the idea of bringing this offer to BART and other transit agencies.
Computerworld – If you were one of the many people hoping for a Facebook phone, sorry. That’s not happening.
That was the first announcement from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the social network’s much anticipated mobile news conference today at the company’s headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif.
“There’s been this rumor going around that Facebook is going to build a phone. Ah, no,” said Zuckerberg, stressing that the company wants to make mobile phones far more social.
With that rumor out of the way, Zuckerberg went on to say that the company is unveiling features for mobile software for Android devices, giving them single sign-on and making it easier for users to share their locations.
Facebook already has an iPhone app, although caused a bit of a stir when he was asked why it didn’t offer any mobile apps for Apple’s iPad. Simply put, Zuckerberg doesn’t think the iPad is a mobile device.
“The iPad’s not mobile. It’s a computer,” he explained, drawing gasps and laughter from the audience on hand for the event. When someone told him that Apple would disagree, he added, “Well, sorry.”
Several minutes later, Zuckerberg jumped back into the conversation to add that he didn’t mean to offend Apple and that a lot of people working at Facebook use Apple devices.
After that he tried to keep the focus on the day’s announcements.
The new single sign-on feature is designed to enable a user’s Facebook account to give them access to any third-party application that works with it. Zuckerberg said the feature is designed to make it easier and faster to use any smartphone social app by reducing the number of times users have to type in their username and password on tiny keyboards.
Facebook today also unveiled Places and Groups for the Android platform.
The Places feature allows Android users to let their friends know what restaurants, clubs, museums or theaters they’re visiting. And Android users now can access their favorite groups from their phone.
The social network also is helping businesses build new or better customer relationships.
Facebook announced a new feature called Deals, which allows businesses to offer mobile users deals — but only when they check into their place on Facebook. For now, the feature is only available in the U.S., although the company hopes to expand that to other countries soon.
The restaurant Chipotle will be offering Facebook users two entrees for the price of one. JCPenney is giving them $10 off every $50 purchase. And Gap is giving free jeans to the first 10,000 customers.
The length of each offer varies by individual business.
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin or subscribe to Sharon’s RSS feed . Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about Web 2.0 and Web Apps in Computerworld’s Web 2.0 and Web Apps Topic Center.
OnStar Experimenting with Verbal Facebook Updates, Texts
By: Chloe Albanesius
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It’s been well-documented that using your cell phone while driving is extremely dangerous, so it makes sense that car manufacturers are integrating voice-activated Web services directly into the center console. OnStar is the latest company to experiment with new features that will help you stay social on the road – for better or worse.
Two potential additions to the OnStar platforms are voice-activated Facebook updates and voice texting, though both offerings are still in the “experimental phase,” according to OnStar, which is part of General Motors.
The Facebook feature would allow drivers to verbally update their statuses through audio recordings or listen to their news feed via the OnStar Virtual Advisor feature.
The text offering, meanwhile, would allow OnStar to read incoming text messages aloud via Bluetooth. Users would connect their mobile phones to the car, and receive automated text messages. They can respond by clicking a button on the steering wheel and verbally selecting one of four pre-set replies.
“OnStar has always operated on the premise that while the possibilities of technological innovation are endless, the company will not implement a new service simply because it’s technically feasible, it has to be the right thing to do for the customer,” OnStar said in a statement. “All of our technologies are rigorously evaluated prior to launch.”
OnStar is hosting a media event on Tuesday, Sept. 14 in Manhattan, but no word if these or other features will be unveiled.
In May, OnStar said it was teaming up with Google for a revamped mobile app that will allow Chevrolet Volt owners to send directions from their phone to the vehicle, as well as get walking directions from their phone to the car. It will be available for the iPhone, iPod touch, Android-based phones, and the BlackBerry when the Volt, an electric car, launches in November.
Reports of OnStar’s new efforts first cropped up in a Bloomberg report. It said OnStar was readying the Facebook and voice text features, as well as studying ways to use OnStar outside of the car, as a means to compete against similar systems from competitors like Ford.
At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Ford introduced a touch-based connected dashboard, dubbed MyFord, which includes USB and SD card slots, Wi-Fi, 3D map graphics, Twitter and Pandora apps, and iTunes tagging, among other features.