CoPilot UK Blog

Windows Phone 8.1 – Microsoft Back in the Game?

Windows-Phone-81It’s easy to forget that Microsoft has been powering mobile phones for almost twice as long as Apple or Google.  Alongside Nokia’s Symbian, and later Blackberry, they pioneered the touch-screen, internet-enabled smartphone. Microsoft launched a highly-capable touch-screen tablet PC almost a decade ahead of the iPad.

But fast forward to 2014, and Microsoft have lost their first mover advantage. They’ve come to be dominated by others in the mobile device sector: firstly by Apple’s iOS, and then by Google’s Android. To say they’ve been slow to catch-up with the competition would be being kind.

There’s been some progress over the past few years. The biggest step was to move completely away from the old Windows Mobile OS that had been a market leader in the pre-iPhone era. The replacement came in the form of Windows Phone 7 which while touch-friendly, was challenging for developers to create apps for. Windows Phone 8 was more flexible, and coupled with some quality hardware from Nokia has helped Microsoft to gradually creep back up the market share tables. In certain markets, e.g. Italy, Windows Phone has significant traction and double digit share.

This week at Microsoft’s annual Build Developer Conference, Microsoft unveiled Windows 8.1 , and with it a raft of improvements to help close the gap with Android and iPhone. We have a developer there in San Francisco and will be reporting back here on our blog shortly with their view on the new version and what this means to CoPilot.

However arguably the most significant announcement was that Windows Phone 8 will be available free to manufacturers of smartphones and small tablets (ie – devices with 9″ or smaller screens). It’s a dramatic change of strategy from a company that is inherently proud of their Windows creation and has traditionally commanded a premium for it.

Free Windows is potentially a game changer, removing a significant barrier to adoption from device manufacturers and giving them a clear alternative platform to Android. Will it enable Microsoft to return to dominance? Time will tell, however price alone is unlikely to be enough.  The user experience enhancements in Windows Phone 8.1, coupled with the consumer appeal of handsets that run it will ultimately determine whether Windows Phone can apply genuine pressure on Google and Apple.

One thing is for sure, Microsoft is taking a long term view of the mobile game and the wealth of announcements this week underscore their serious determination to recover the market leadership position that they previously enjoyed.

Posted in Industry News & Opinions | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Win a CoPilot Commute Survival Kit!

Commute-satnavWe know the daily Commute can be a battle. Here at CoPilot, we’re always looking to make all of your car journeys easier and would love to hear what YOUR personal experience is like – it will help us to help you.

We’ve got a couple of questions about your commute, your daily trip to and from work. Answer the questions by 8th of April for a chance to win an exclusive CoPilot Commute Survival Package complete with:

- CoPilot Premium Offline Sat Nav App of your choice

- 1 Year Free of ActiveTraffic™ to avoid the traffic jams

- CoPilot USB Car Charger for your device

- A premium quality in-car smartphone mount

To enter, simply complete the questionnaire on:

Facebook:

  1. Like CoPilot on Facebook
  2. Click on the “Commute quiz” tab
  3. Fill out the form

Using Mobile, Google+, or Twitter?

Fill up the questionnaire here>

We will share the results and announce the winner here on the blog as well as on our social channels – thank you very much for participating and good luck!

terms and conditions

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Device Spotlight: Nokia Lumia 1520

The Nokia Lumia 1520 is a big, bold statement from Microsoft and Nokia that presents another option separate from popular Apple and Android devices.  So what does phone have to offer consumers?

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  • 6” full HD 1080p IPS LCD, ClearBlack, Sunlight readability, Super sensitive touch, Gorilla Glass 2
  • Pixel density: 368 ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 Quad-Core processor, 2.2 GHz
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 16 GB internal storage (32 GB available outside US)
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 3400 mAh internal battery
  • micro SD expansion
  • nano SIM
  • Camera: 20 MP PureView, ZEISS optics, OIS, 2x lossless zoom, oversampling, dual LED flash
  • Size/Weight: 162.8 mm x 85.4 mm x 8.7 mm; 206 g
  • Colors: Yellow, white, black, glossy red

In terms of size, the 1520 may not be for everyone. It has a massive 6 inch display which may not slip well into your pocket or fit easily in your grip. On the plus side, the 1520 boasts an amazingly quick processor (the  new 2.2GHz, quad-core Snapdragon 800 to be exact). This speed, coupled with a bigger screen and great resolution bodes well for any gaming apps or a certain award winning gps navigation app that you use frequently.

So is this smartphone for you? Perhaps. It’s big but it’s also slim. Nokia is well known for its camera technology and they placed an amazing 20MP Pureview into the 1520 which will rival most smartphone cameras on the market. One other drawback is the 16GB of storage, you may find you’ll run out of space quickly between your CoPilot GPS maps, high-res games and all the photo’s you’ll be taking (a 32GB version of the phone is available outside the US).

Either way, we’re glad to see Microsoft and Nokia enter the ‘phablet’ arena with the Lumia 1520. These large phones provide a great experience navigating you to your destination.

-Rob Irving, Senior Software Engineer, on behalf of Team CoPilot

Posted in CoPilot for Windows Phone 8, Industry News & Opinions | Leave a comment

Apple announces CarPlay

ios-carThe relationship between smartphones (and tablets) and cars is arguably the primary front line in consumer technology currently. Mobile devices have become integral within our daily lives, providing us with access to entertainment, information and other content wherever we are, whenever we want. However interacting with a phone in-car can at best be considered distracting, and in many countries simply illegal.

The dilemma for the car industry is that drivers want to be able to use their phones and access content in-car. We want to be able to do so with the same ease of use that the phones themselves offer.

Unfortunately this has not happened yet thanks to a lack of a common way of connecting mobile devices to the car. The closest we’ve seen to date has been MirrorLink, a standard which is supported by several major car manufacturers including VW and Honda, as well as some of the largest phone vendors, most noticeably Samsung and Nokia.

The glaring problem is that MirrorLink is not supported by everyone, and most critically that includes Apple who announced their own solution for iPhone and iPad last summer: iOS in the Car. Meanwhile back in January at the Consumer Electronics Show, Google announced their own initiative for Android: the Open Automotive Alliance.

So there’s still no common way for cars and smartphones to connect.

Apple officially announced  at the Geneva International Motor Show 2014 a new name for iOS In The Car: “CarPlay” to enable seamless access to certain iOS features through in-car infotainment system ‘head units’. As with MirrorLink and the Open Automotive Alliance, the primary goal is to provide access to content in a non-distracting driver-friendly manner, however Apple’s initial implementation seems somewhat limited initially. Firstly it requires the device to be connected using a lightening cable, which rules-out iPhone 4S and iPad 3, although Honda suggested that WiFi support will come soon. It will be available with new cars from an impressive number of leading brands, but not all – most noticeably VW who have previously stated their support for MirrorLink, and surprisingly Tesla, despite their being considered a possible acquisition target for Apple recently.

The main limitations at launch though is the services that CarPlay will support. These consist simply of core iOS apps including iPod, iTunes Radio, iMessage, Phone and of course Apple Maps. All controlled by Siri voice commands, touch screens and dials. A small number of additional independent music playing apps will also be available, but compared with the choice of apps on the iTunes app store it seems sparse.

We expect that drivers will want to access a much wider range of apps when driving. Of course these should require additional certification for safe in-car use to minimize distraction on the road and avoid unnecessary interaction while driving. We think in particular that drivers will want a choice of alternative navigation solutions to the standard Apple Maps app, whether to access offline maps, enjoy advanced car navigation features like lane guidance and safety camera warnings, or purely for comprehensive street map coverage in their region.

We are already optimising CoPilot’s guidance display to better support automotive-grade in-car infotainment standards, and we were excited to be able to demo MirrorLink at Mobile World Congress in February. We hope we’ll have an opportunity to extend the CoPilot experience to CarPlay too.

In the meantime, the fact remains: different smartphone platforms connect to cars in different ways., and that seems unlikely to change soon. Car manufacturers  will probably need offer infotainment systems that support multiple standards. The alternative would be to risk alienating a significant number of smartphone owning prospective buyers.

Will car buyers choose their car based on the smartphone they own or the other way round? The wrestling match between the car and smartphone industry looks set to enter a new dimension, yet will likely remain unresolved in the foreseeable future.

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CoPilot at Mobile World Congress 2014

Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth at Mobile World Congress this year. We had another successful show. Check us out next at MacWorld/iWorld in San Francisco, CA

 

http://storify.com/ariley/copilot-at-mwc-2014

Posted in ALK Corporate News, CoPilot for Android, CoPilot for iPhone & iPad, CoPilot for Windows Phone 8, Media Coverage & Reviews | Leave a comment

Visit CoPilot at MWC 2014!

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We hope to see all of our fans in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress 2014! We’ll have CoPilot demoing on iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices. Stop by and say hello to Team CoPilot!

Posted in ALK Corporate News, CoPilot for Android, CoPilot for iPhone & iPad, CoPilot for Windows Phone 8, CoPilot Professional | Leave a comment

Map Your Way To The Top Like An Olympian

If you’ve got our offline maps to get to the proverbial and literal mountaintop, then you’re on your way to becoming an Olympic athlete. All you need is tons of practice, a lifetime of dedication and natural born talent. Easy peasy :)

Here’s some of the places you can frequent to grab the gold for yourself:

Fancy yourself a big time snowboarder like Jenny Jones? Head to Morzine, France to practice your slope style.

morzine

 

Grab a bunch of friends and train yourself in cross country skiing in Jotunheim, Norway.

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Dreaming of a gold in figure skating? Try out your tricks at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham, England.

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Find the Road to Romance this Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day, fans! We hope you’re spending it with the one you love – or the app you love!

Looking for a romantic getaway this weekend? Try a couple of these suggestions:

Lover, Wiltshire

lover wiltshire

The village of Lover is a aptly named place for a small, spontaneous weekend excursion. This small town, on the edge of the New Forest National Park,  offers nature lovers  plenty of romantic walks in the woods.

Leeds Castle, Kent, England

leeds castle

Some girls dream of being a princess – and they can be for a day! Visit this historic castle, considered one of the most romantic castles in England, and treat your and your loved one like royalty.

OXO Tower Restaurant, London England

Indulgence-at-The-Oxo-Tower

One of the most important components of a romantic evening is the view and at OXO Tower Restaurant, located right on the river Thames, you get just that. Indulge in fine British cuisine with your loved one in an intimate atmosphere as you take in the London skyline.

 

Wherever you’re headed this Valentine’s day weekend, make sure you know where to go. CoPilot’s superb routing will keep you on the right path to romance.

Posted in CoPilot for Android, CoPilot for iPhone & iPad, CoPilot for Windows Phone 8 | Leave a comment

CoPilot in the news – January

We’re only a month into 2014 but already things are taking off for CoPilot! We’re going to be bringing you some more contests, competitions and giveaways this year so make sure to keep up with our blog and our social sites.

Here’s a wrap-up of some of the great feedback we received in January. We’re so grateful for the support and mentions!

 

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urbanvoxlogoFINALLost and Found with CoPilot Live by Yuri

“If you are a Weekend explorer or live half your life on the roads like your’s truly… And a gadget freak too… Co-Pilot is the App you need to take you places… In special if you are in the middle of nowhere in some reception black hole… It happens you know?”

Read More

 

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complete france  Smooth Navigator by France Magazine

“A smartphone app can save you paying for a satnav device, but a fully capable app with all mapping features can eat up space on your phone and won’t come for free. At £34.99 the CoPilot GPS premium upgrade offers a greater set of features than its free counterpart, including voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation that turns your phone into a satnav device.”

Read More

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logo-auto-express  In print, January 28th. Featured as app of the week and awarded 4 stars!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks again to all these great publications!

 

 

Posted in CoPilot for Android, CoPilot for iPhone & iPad, CoPilot for Windows Phone 8, Media Coverage & Reviews | Leave a comment

Explore Sochi with CoPilot sat nav !

Heading to Russia this February? Great news, not only you enjoy the best winter sports on the planet, but you can also find your way around without data roaming by using the CoPilot navigation app.

CoPilot’s premium-quality offline maps of Europe and Russia, including up-to-date coverage of the Sochi region, are stored on your device, which means you can depend on your smartphone or tablet for directions – even without mobile signal!

Now that you’ve got your offline maps for the high altitudes – it’s time to explore! In between all of the exciting events, there’s plenty to be seen inside and around Sochi. Here’s some of the Sochi must see attractions:

Black Sea

It might be a bit cold for a swim, but when else will you be able to take in of nature’s greatest sights? While there is some discrepancy on how it got its name (it’s not actually … black), it should definitely be on your list.

 

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Dendarium

The locals in Sochi are proud of their prized botanical garden – and for a good reason! Dendarium is home to over 1,700 different species of trees, plants and bushes from many regions of the world and it is a relaxing place to visit after all the excitement.

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Sochi Art Museum

If you are tired of the cold and would prefer spending some time inside, you can take refuge inside Sochi’s Art Museum which boasts an interesting collection of Soviet and Russian art.

sochi art museum

 

CoPilot’s offline maps and thousands of Point of Interest make it also the perfect tour guide when traveling abroad. Heading anywhere new this month? Let us know in the comments!

Posted in CoPilot for Android, CoPilot for iPhone & iPad, CoPilot for Windows Phone 8, Maps | Leave a comment