PhoneNews is reporting that Verizon Wireless has approved a firmware update for the xv6850 Touch Pro. As promised by Verizon Wireless late last year, this firmware update will unlock the GPS on the handset, allowing owners to use Google Maps or Windows Live Search instead of the proprietary and costly VZ Navigator. The firmware update also adds Visual Voicemail support to the phone, a feature that requires a $3 monthly fee and EVRC-B codec support which improves call handling. The update is not available through Verizon Wireless or HTC yet but it is being offered early by Phone News. For those Touch Pro owners who have not already hacked their phone to unlock the GPS, hit the read link to obtain the firmware update — at your own risk of course. Samsung Saga and Samsung Omnia owners – hang in there and hopefully a similar update for your crippled handset is right around the corner, too.
An unofficial beta ROM for the Verizon Wireless Samsung Omnia has hit the forums at Modaco. The ROM includes several upgrades for Omnia users including the much anticipated GPS unlock. In addition to unlocking the GPS, the leaked ROM includes the following enhancements:
- 5% battery increments
- Ability to disable threaded text messaging via system settings
- Pop-up keyboard keys a la iPhone
- Auto-lock keyapd settings now include Off, 2s and 5s
- Opera 9.5 Mobile build 15679
- Weather Bug and Windows Live Widgets
- Favorite settings, now known as easy settings
- Windows Live
Head on over to the forums for the detailed instructions on flashing your Omnia to this latest ROM and if you take the plunge, hit us up in the comments and let us know how it works. Oh, and of course don’t get get mad at us if you end up frying your phone.
We’re going out on a limb here, but check out this option we discovered in iPhone OS 3.0 under a MobileMe email account…
The pain you must have all felt; Google Maps not being able to take advantage of the built-in GPS chip in your Verizon BlackBerry Storm. What was worse, if you unlocked your Verizon Storm, Google Maps worked fine on any other carrier — something totally weird. Well, good news. Google has just released an updated version of Google Maps for BlackBerry which supports GPS right out of the box, and it also includes Latitude so you can get your stalking on. Of note: Google politely told any other Verizon BlackBerry user (Curve 8330, 8830) to go screw themselves since the Storm is the only device with a third party-accessable GPS chip. For any other BlackBerry addict, don’t get too excited as this isn’t a new release of Google Maps for you, it’s just bringing the Storm handsets up to date with what you already had.
T-Mobile G1 owners had long wondered who would be the first to offer true navigation services for Android handsets and today we have our answer. Later this month, Android users will be able to begin testing out TeleNav GPS Navigator, the brand new navigation application that will surely be as usable and feature-rich as its BlackBerry cousin – actually, even more so. The app features 3D turn-by-turn GPS navigation with voice guidance on top of nationwide maps and a business listing directory of over 10 million POIs. It will also provide traffic alerts, gas prices, weather forecasts and even direct access to restaurant reviews. TeleNav co-founder Sal Dhanani had this to say:
TeleNav has become synonymous with mobile phone GPS navigation. It is relied upon by millions of mobile customers. It was important to us that we build a great application for Android and the G1 so that customers with this phone would have a remarkable experience. The deviceÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s large, beautiful touch screen creates an incredible navigation experience when combined with our software.
TeleNav GPS Navigator will become available as a free 30-day trial beginning Tuesday February 24, and will run $9.99 per month for those who find it useful enough to hold on to. Unlike some bigger navigation companies building nav software for mobiles such as Garmin and Tom Tom, TeleNav still opts for the monthly subscription model as opposed to a one-time fee. The idea behind a one-time fee of course — make mobile navigation purchases akin to buying a dedicated navigation unit. Buy the hardware, get the service forever, pay a subscription if you want advanced features. Different users have different preferences of course but we wonder how TeleNav would fair with a one-time fee option as well. Which pricing model do you guys prefer?