Nokia Here Maps coming to all Windows 8.1 devices

Have you looked on with envy as friends with Lumia 2520 tablets use Here Maps to navigate around city streets? You won't have to for much longer. Nokia has revealed that it's bringing the mapping software to all Windows 8.1 PCs, including RT-based systems. The wider availability will come alongside a host of upgrades, too. In addition to the necessary additions of mouse and keyboard support, you'll also get a search history, higher-resolution satellite images and faster map loading. Nokia will offer the app for free, beginning with those in North America and Europe; everyone should have access within a few days.

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If recent trends are any indication, there are two roads that lie ahead for smartwatches and the companies foisting them upon us: the all-you-can-eat, tracker + smartphone approach and the single-minded focus on health and wellness bands. One meanders off to a fuzzy horizon laden with disregarded Dead End signs, a jumble of features and an overload of quantified-self data. And the other... well, that narrowly focused path to wellness simply falls off a cliff. It's not because dedicated health and wellness devices have no place in the wearables market -- right now, they do. It's because that area of lifestyle tracking will inevitably be consumed by the smartwatch borg as a subset of ancillary features. And yet, here we are -- about to enter into the irrevocable phase of mobile technologies as wrist-worn wearables with questionable (for now) benefits. A future we'll preview more intensely at this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as some big-name manufacturers unveil their in-development takes on what can currently be described as redundant lifestyle tech.

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Another week, another several billion dollars changes hands. Between Facebook's huge buy-in on WhatsApp, and Candy Crush creator King's plans to go public, it's a big week for the one percent. How that affects the rest of us, however? That's what we're here to hash out. Terrence O'Brien and Ben Gilbert are in the studio this week -- while Joseph Volpe is busy galavanting in Barcelona/covering Mobile World Congress -- ready to talk all of the above and more: what is Google's "Project Tango?" what happened to Doom 4? is BioShock finished? Tune in live at noon ET and join the 'cast live!

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Sprint launches WiFi calling, but only on two Samsung phones for now

We heard rumors that Sprint was going to take a cue from T-Mobile and launch its own WiFi calling service. Well, it looks like those earlier reports were spot-on: Sprint today announced WiFi calling for select Android phones, allowing customers to call and text over a local wireless network as a way of avoiding overage charges. The only catch: when we say "select Android phones" we really do mean select. For now, the service will only work on the Samsung Galaxy Mega and the Galaxy S4 Mini. If you're lucky enough to own one of those devices, you'll be able to use the service for free following an over-the-air update, which should arrive sometime in the coming weeks. (Note: domestic calls and texts are free, but there's still a fee for international calls.) And if you don't own one of those phones? There may be hope yet: Sprint says it will expand the service to additional devices throughout 2014.

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Itching for a Tegra-powered gaming device, but insist on a slate with LTE support? You're in luck: NVIDIA is building a tablet just for you. Today the company announced the Tegra Note 7 LTE, a $299 variant of its existing Note 7 tablet equipped with (you guessed it) a cellular radio -- its own i500 LTE chip, to be precise. The new radio promises to support "popular carriers across the world," specifically citing bands compatible with AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile in the US and carriers like O2, Vodafone and Orange in Europe.

The upgraded slate won't be available until sometime next quarter, but NVIDIA says it'll be rocking Android 4.4.2 when it does arrive. Of course, if you already have the WiFi model, you won't have to wait -- the latest OTA update delivers not only Kitkat, but also a port of the NVIDIA Shield's Gamepad Mapper app. Check out the company's official announcement at the source link below.

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There's a certain glamor to new mobile platforms that offer something different from established players, but nobody wants to spend hundreds on a new device just for a dabble. For those intrigued by the MeeGo-derived Sailfish OS specifically, Jolla hopes to lead you into temptation soon with a launcher for Android that mimics the Sailfish UI. Also during the first half of this year, Jolla plans to offer full firmware downloads for your handsets if you want to end it with Android altogether. The community around open-source Sailfish has successfully ported the OS to a number of devices, but we believe a formal and user-friendly method of distribution is what's being suggested here. We can picture the Jerry Springer episode already. The launcher was just a "friend," you see, until the firmware moved in and Android became but a homeless ROM. But... who's the father?

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Remember when Chinese smartphone outfit Oppo promised two versions of its Find 7 handset? The first of the pair has just passed through China's telecoms regulator, spec list in tow. Sadly, this isn't the Quad-HD (aka: 2K) version of the device, but the 5.5-inch 1080p screen shouldn't be sniffed at. Inside, you'll find a 2.26GHz quad-core CPU, 2GB RAM, microSD card slot, a 2,700mAh removable battery, TD-LTE and Android 4.3. Weighing in at just 165 grams and only 9.2mm thick, we're looking forward to putting this thing through its paces on March 19th.

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White House

The White House isn't relying solely on legislative measures to try and curb patent trolls; it's also giving the trolls' targets some online resources to defend themselves. To start, it just launched a USPTO website that tells victims what to do if they're served with infringement notices or subpoenas. Meanwhile, a future effort will crowdsource prior art to thwart suits over patents that should never have been granted in the first place. There's still more work ahead in the legal realm, including pro bono defense lawyers and technology training for patent examiners. However, the new online tools just might give smaller companies the know-how to fight back against trolls that prey on their lack of information.

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iPhone 5 on Rogers

Where American carriers go, so goeth their Canadian counterparts. Rogers has revealed an upcoming Next program that, like its AT&T parallel, will let early adopters get new phones every 12 months for less cash than it would take using the standard upgrade path. As long as the contract price for a phone is $250 or less, you won't have to pay anything for it up front; you'll just shell out a flat $25 per month ($30 with insurance) and trade in your older Rogers hardware. The math potentially makes sense if you just have to get a new device every year. However, there are some big caveats you'll want to consider. You'll still be signing a two-year agreement when starting out, and you'll have to subscribe to "select" plans. We'll learn more about Next's true value when it's available in the near future, but those who despise contracts (or prefer their grandfathered plans) aren't likely to change their minds.

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Lovefilm Instant subscribers, prepare yourself for a welcome change. After three years flying under its own flag, the European movie streaming service will become part of Amazon's Prime subscription in both the UK and Germany on February 26th, rebranding as Prime Instant Video in the process. That name might sound familiar because it's the exact same package Amazon has been offering US Prime subscribers for the past 36 months. Before Amazon's changes begin kicking in next week, a full year of Prime will cost just £49 (€29) up until launch day (the original cost of Prime's one-day delivery service), rising to £79 (€49) thereafter. If you're an existing subscriber, however, you won't need to pay a penny until your yearly subscription expires. Amazon expects some won't be impressed by Prime, so it'll allow customers to stay on their existing monthly Lovefilm subscription. That means you could sign up for Lovefilm before the changeover to retain streaming for £5.99 a month, but you won't receive the wider benefits of speedy shipping and access to the Kindle Owners' Lending Library if you do.

In an effort to rival iTunes and provide a local service that Netflix doesn't, the retail giant will also let customers buy and rent movies, some of which won't be available on Prime Instant Video. It will be accessible to all Amazon customers and carry Amazon's Instant Video branding. Offering both on-demand services as part of one yearly payment may tempt UK consumers to consider Prime over Netflix and Sky's Now TV, and you can bet Amazon will promote its low-cost subscription wherever it can. The company tells us that it is already in the process of rebranding its suite of mobile, console and Smart TV apps. They'll retain all of their original features but expect the familiar white, red and black branding to disappear. Not everything is set to change, however, Lovefilm will continue to run its DVD rental business, ensuring streaming luddites can still get their their entertainment fix via Her Majesty's postal service.

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