See How the BMW EnLighten App May Help You in Traffic

Traffic lights could become a nightmare in heavy traffic, to the point where you never know if you can send a quick text or take a sip of your morning coffee before the light ahead changes. You always need to keep your eyes peeled and check if the light turns green before the guy behind you honks you to death, or you may never know if that green light will change before you try passing the intersection.

BMW has been working on solving this and came up with the EnLighten app, having it work with participating cities by communicating with the traffic light control system. This means that the app makes use of your phone’s GPS and knows which light you are approaching, then gives you a counter to see how long it will take for the light to change.

However, don’t think that the counter is 100% accurate, so don’t try forcing your luck on that last second. The data is received and processed based on red, amber and green cycles, as well as traffic flow cycles at different times of the day.

While there may be a slight time deviation, the app is still useful in giving drivers a chance to time their arrival at intersections when the light is green, or give them a chance to do something else while waiting at a red light.

The app is currently available on iOS and Android for use in any BMW car and a map of participating cities can be found here.

Thank you Gizmag for providing us with this information

Facebook to Introduce Missing Child AMBER Alerts

Facebook has announced that it will begin including alerts regarding missing children into American Facebook news feeds. The company announced a partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the US organisation behind the famous AMBER alert programme.

Alerts will appear only in people’s News Feeds (no push notifications) and will only be limited to people in the area relative to the child that is currently missing.  Facebook says that users may see very few alerts each year, so nobody should be worried about their News Feed being clogged up.

AMBER alerts were introduced in 1996 with the aim of reducing the number of missing children. More than 720 children have been found thanks to the system that has until now been used via road signs, text messages and television.

The Facebook alerts will be much more detailed than the traditional alerts delivered via television, digital traffic signs and text messages, as they will include pictures, background information regarding the child’s circumstances and links to the NCMEC website.

Source: The Verge


Windows Phone Excessive Data Use Caused By Built-In Twitter Feature

Microsoft has indeed confirmed that there’s an issue with its built-in Twitter feature and that could result in unexpected data usage. The issue is said to originate from a Twitter back-end change that has caused Windows Phones to re-download the profile images for Twitter contacts frequently. Twitter is currently transitioning its profile pictures from one server to another, and The Verge discovered the data use problem nearly a week ago and reported it to the software giant.

Their device was said to have used over 300MB of mobile data and over 3GB of Wi-Fi data in under a week. All of it consumed by one application, the People Hub. All of it consumed by one application, the People Hub. Apparently, the data drains occur even if the People Hub is not used and a start date for the issue also could not be determined. Users however confirmed even more substantial data drains, of over 500MB, which apparently is an issue for 500MB or 1GB monthly data subscribers.

Microsoft is thankfully working on a fix, but is limited in terms of methods to use for order to address the issue due to it being a backend Twitter change. For now, removing your Twitter account from the Windows Phone will certainly stop the data drainage until Twitter finishes migrating its servers. A quick change has also been implemented by Microsoft to sync the Twitter account once a day in order to reduce the impact.

For those of you who are worried about the issue and still want to use Twitter on your Windows Mobile handsets, the Data Sense application can be of help to track your mobile usage and ensure you don’t pass your data limit.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information.

Nokia Lumia 1520 Available In Europe For Pre-Order At €700

During the time when US carriers were announcing the Nokia Lumia 1520 for their own networks, people from across the globe were left wondering as to how much would this $750 device cost in their own region. Well, at least people living in Europe have nothing left to wonder about anymore. The new Lumia 1520 went on pre-order earlier today for a staggering price of €700 ( £596 ).

While Nokia’s new phablet may be good, it certainly seem like a very hefty price to pay for a mobile device. People are more used to seeing new handsets at $600-$650 (£370 – £400) price range, and are hoping that Nokia pushes down the price of the Lumia 1520 to that range in the not-so-distant future.

Interestingly, initial availability info pointed to the UK, Germany and France as the first countries to get the Lumia 1520, but apparently there are no stores to be found in those countries that offer the phablet.

Meanwhile, word from our sources is that the Lumia 1520 will end up for Rs. 49,990 in India, overshadowing the massive price tag attached to the Lumia 1020, owners of which purchased their device for Rs. 45,000, in the Indian sub-continent.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Nokia releases Glance Background for the Lumia

It seems that Nokia has just published an outstanding app that builds upon the popular Glance Screen feature. If the Glance screen was a bit too boring for your taste, you can now spice it up by adding a background of your own choice to it. Thanks to the Glance Background which is still in beta, you can choose a set of backgrounds for your Glance Screen.

To use the Glance Background you have to turn on the Glance Screen first. It is available with the Amber update on Lumia 720, 820, 920, 925 and 1020. There you’ll find a few pre-defined backgrounds, but you can add more from your gallery. So why not give it a try? it will certainly add some style to your handset.

Once you select a custom picture you can apply color effects or you can just convert it to a single color (of course it will not support the full color range since it will be displayed in a low powered state). Not every picture is suitable for a background on the Glance Screen since it’s transformed into a low-quality 8-bit image, but there are still backgrounds out there that will fit just perfectly. Or you can even design it yourself if you are up to it.

You can download the Glance Screen app on your Amber-running Lumia at any time, and yes it is a free application.

Thank you GSM Arena for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of GSM Arena.