Windows Phone 7.5 to include new location alert icon in future update

Windows phone location icon

Microsoft is planning to update its Windows Phone 7.5 operating system with a location awareness icon. The update, expected in the next few months, will add a new status icon to the top bar of Windows Phone 7.5, indicating when an app is accessing a phone’s current location information. Microsoft revealed the change (similar to iOS and Android) in its Windows Phone documentation this week and confirmed the new icon in an email to us. “We updated the documentation to get in front of new devices that will have these features, which will be in market soon,” explained a Microsoft spokesperson.

The update is expected to arrive preinstalled on new Windows Phone “Tango” devices, launching in the coming months. We took an early look at some of…

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5 Essential Singapore Travel Apps

As you would expect given its high-tech geek status, the Lion City has produced some great local Singapore travel apps that help locals and visitors eat, sleep and enjoy their lives. There are plenty of these savvy apps out there, but here are five that come recommended, and more importantly are free.

(PRNewsFoto/Microsoft Corp.)

Travel Wire Asia has a review of the following free apps, which no Singapore traveler should go without.

Summon Auntie, an app that helps travelers look for parking space;
Singapore Transit, a map and guide for getting around Singapore’s public transport system;
Hosay!, for deciphering the nuances of Singaporean English;
iChangi, which offers live updates on flight information;
HungryGoWhere, an app for spotting the best restaurants in town, complete with user reviews.

Thailand Delays Tablets for Schools Decision

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand’s Cabinet has delayed a decision on awarding a contract to a little-known Chinese company to supply 900,000 tablet computers for students in the first year of primary school.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said the issue was not on the agenda of Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting because the Information and Communication Technology minister needed to further study the deal’s details.

She said the delay did not imply any problem with the favored bid from Shenzhen Scope Scientific Development Co. Ltd.

The minister, Anudith Nakornthap, had announced Monday that a special committee led by Education Minister Suchart Thadathamrongwate had picked the Chinese company to supply the tablets for a lowest-bid price of $81 each.

Three other Chinese companies, Huawei, TCL and Haier, were also bidders. Huawei’s proposal was the most costly at $135 per tablet.

Supplying tablet computers for all schoolchildren was a campaign promise of Yingluck during last year’s election.

The specifications set by the Thai government call for tablets with a seven-inch touch screen, 512 megabytes of memory, some 16 gigabytes of storage, and a 1 gigahertz or faster processor capable of running Linux or Android operating systems.

Terms also include delivery of all units within 90 days of signing the contract.

Shenzhen Scope’s website says it employs 1,500 people at factories in China’s southern manufacturing heartland. It makes tablets, mobile phones and televisions.

Apple opening patent settlement talks with Motorola, Samsung?

Apple samsung patent

We’ve always assumed that the worldwide patent battles between Apple and Android smartphone manufacturers would end in a tidal wave of settlements, and it appears the first trickles of hope are leaking out: Dow Jones is reporting that Apple’s proposed settlements with both Samsung and Motorola in exchange for license royalties on its patents. It’s not the first time Cupertino’s proposed a settlement in its smartphone patent litigation: Apple famously settled its patent lawsuit with Nokia by agreeing to pay an estimated €430m in licensing fees and cross-licensing some patents, and the company held failed negotiations with Samsung in November 2010 that also included a potential patent licensing deal.

According to Dow Jones, Apple’s…

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