New Accelerometer Based Navigation In The Works For Google Maps Mobile App

Navigation through the Google maps app on your smartphone can get even more exciting as a new patent from Mountain View reveals. In this patent application titled “Navigation In a Three Dimensional Environment Using An Orientation Of A Mobile Device“, the company illustrates a 3D navigation system that does not require touch based input and instead makes use of the device’s accelerometer input to navigate.

There are some interesting input methodologies described.

Helicopter Module

The new helicopter module on Google Maps could offer a navigation from an altitude..Tilt your smartphone in the direction you want to navigate and the helicopter module will take you through in that direction

Google Maps Helicopter module navigation

The patent is not about accelerometer based navigation alone. Here are a few touch screen based methodologies described

Anchored Navigation

“With one free hand to navigate, several user interface gestures may use two fingers. This section describes two user interface gestures using two fingers–anchored look-around and anchored helicopter. Each user interface gesture has one finger initially stationary with the other moving. The stationary finger may touch the screen before the moving finger. The initial relative position of the stationary and moving fingers may determine whether the user enters an anchored look-around navigation mode or an anchored helicopter navigation mode.

Google maps anchored navigation

There are a lot more navigation methodologies described which you may check out from the patent application.

Nokia Launching C-Series Handsets At CeBIT

CeBIT, the annual digital industry trade show is getting underway at Hannover, Germany from March 2nd. That’s tomorrow. And Nokia is expected to unveil a new C-Series of handsets during the event.

A Nokia spokesperson, wrote in the Nokia Conversations newsletter

“Of course, we don’t comment on rumours or leaks, but we are looking forward to C BIT for the next series of Nokia announcements. Right we’re off to pack our rucksacks and lederhosen, C you there.”

News about a new C series phone from Nokia have been doing the rounds for quite some time now and incidentally, Nokia’s trademark application for C6 was approved by FCC just last week. With an implicit reference to the “C” in the spokesperson’s statements, we expect Nokia to spill the beans about its new series tomorrow.

[NokNok via Engadget]

Android 2.1 Update On All Android Handsets In Q2

Considering the pace of development happening on the Android OS front, it is no surprise that close to 80% of Android users are on outdated versions of the platform. However, that could change by the second quarter of this year when a pan-US update to Android 2.1 could be offered.

According to sources that folks at Android and Me spoke to, every Android phone on sale in the US could receive an upgrade in a few months from now. However, there is a likelihood of phones to require a wipe when the upgrade happens. This in effect, could mean that the upgrade shall happen over a tethered PC client rather than over-the-air as the former makes it possible to backup data and restore them post-update.

It is said that Nexus One and HTC myTouch 3G would be the first handsets to receive the update.

[via Android and Me]

Yahoo Search Integration With Flickr Coming Soon

You may need to take this with a grain of salt, but Yahoo may be working on integrating its search results with links to other Yahoo properties like Flickr and Delicious.

An indication towards this was offered by a commenter claiming to be from Yahoo in response to another comment on TechCrunch that emphasized on the need for Yahoo to integrate its web properties.  Shreyas, the Yahoo engineer wrote

“Good point. I believe we (diff team) are working on it but will find out.”

While this may be disregarded for the simple fact that the comment is anonymous, it still makes for an interesting speculation which also makes great strategic sense for Yahoo. What do you think?