Nokia to Offer Its Maps for iPhones and Android Phones 

The company said on Tuesday that in the coming weeks it would release a maps app called here in Apple’s App Store. It will be a free download for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch owners. Nokia also said it would release a toolkit for programmers to make Nokia-powered mapping apps for Android phones. And it is forming a partnership with Mozilla, the browser company, to develop location features for its new operating system, called Firefox OS.

Nokia has emphasized the power and thoroughness of its mapping database, which has information on 200 countries, in an effort to distinguish its new Lumia smartphonesfrom the competition. For instance, when Apple’s new maps system turned out to have some embarrassing lapses, Nokia published a blog post that compared its maps with Apple’s and Google’s and, of course, concluded the Nokia maps were better.

Google launches Android 4.2 SDK with advanced GPU support… 

The new Android SDK is set as API level 17 and includes a bunch of new toys for developers. The major notes include the fact that Render script computation is run directly in the GPU on the Nexus 10, which Google says is a first for ‘any mobile computation platform.This should help to speed the performance of graphics-intensive applications in both 2D and 3D.

Developers now also have access to the new lock screen widgets and Google says that with a small tweak, they can adapt any current widget to run on the lock screen. Developers can now also create Daydream content in the form of interactive screensavers.

COSTS of making mobile phone calls have been reduced by 37 per cent 

Prof. Makame Mbarawa
COSTS of making mobile phone calls have been reduced by 37 per cent in the past three years, after introduction of national fibre optic network through the National ICT Broadband Backbone (NICTBB).

Addressing the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) 8th National Congress in Dodoma, the minister for communication, science and technology, Prof Makame Mbarawa, said currently the cost for talking for one minute is 59/-. He said that a minute in 2009 cost 147/-, while when people call a different mobile operator the cost for a minute is currently 137/-.

NICTBB is already connected to major submarine cables of SEACOM (July 2009) and EASSY (April 2010) extending the connectivity to neighbouring countries. The virtual landing stations of the submarine cables through the NICTBB have been established at the respective cross-border points of Rwanda (Rusumo station), Uganda (Mtukula station), Malawi (Kasumulo station), Zambia (Tunduma station) and Kenya (Namanga, Sirari and Horohoro stations).

Prof Mbarawa further said that the government has introduced universal communication fund to facilitate telecommunication to communities in areas with less business attractions and that all areas will be covered by 2014. "So far 3,000 villages do have access to cellular network services as most operators shun them (villages) because of less business attraction," he said.

He observed that the government will introduce the Telecommunications Monitoring System (TMS) which is aimed at tracking the amount of money generated by cellular network companies in December, this year. The system to be administered by Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) will facilitate the government's ability to monitor revenues earned by telecommunications' companies.
Prof Mbarawa also said the Mbeya Institute of Science and Technology (MIST) has been upgraded to a university status (Mbeya University of Science and Technology -MUST-) and that a total of 235 Tanzanian students are currently undertaking undergraduate and postgraduate courses at Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology in Arusha. 

TECH360 Magazine Correspondent

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