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Amazon Adding Nokia Mapping Service on Kindle Fire 2

By - Source: Reuters | B 9 comments

The Kindle Fire 2 may feature GPS and a mapping service provided by Nokia.

Talk about the Kindle Fire HD (2) is heating up now that the supposed big reveal is next week. Earlier this week, supposed screens surfaced showing a nearly-identical form factor save for a front-facing camera. Now Reuters is reporting that Amazon has chosen Nokia to provide a mapping service for the Kindle Fire successor, indicating that the device will sport GPS functionality.

According to the report, anonymous sources claim that Amazon has added location abilities to the new Kindle Fire, but it's currently unknown if the tablet will indeed feature a GPS chip, or use Wi-Fi-based location. It will likely be the former hardware-based option given that Google has included GPS receiver chips in the just-released 7-inch Nexus 7.

After acquiring Navteq back in 2007, Nokia became one of the world's largest mapping companies. An alliance with Amazon would mean the online retailer will be able to develop a native client for the Kindle Fire and other GPS-enabled devices such as the rumored Amazon smartphone. It will also put Amazon in a better position to compete with Google on a features level, as the original Kindle Fire did not have a native mapping client.

Back in July, Amazon purchased 3D mapping startup developer UpNext. Reports claimed that as part of the acquisition deal, the 4-man team would head to Seattle and take the reigns of Amazon's core mapping efforts. Previously UpNext offered apps for the iPad, iPhone and Android devices, covering 50 cities nationwide but offering enhanced 3D details for 23 cities.

Next week Amazon is rumored to be refreshing its entire Kindle line, launching the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD (2), the 10-inch Kindle Fire XL, the revised 7-inch Kindle Fire with a reduced price, a new Kindle Touch with color and a backlit display, and an updated non-touch Kindle with a backlit display and color graphics. Amazon is also slated to reveal discounted version supported by advertisements.

 

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  • 0 Hide
    Kelavarus , September 1, 2012 10:33 PM
    If there was going to be a built-in GPS with mapping functionality I would seriously consider upgrading from my current Kindle Fire. However, depends on battery life. Battery life is okay but nothing spectacular with the Fire, so it would have to be better on the second which probably wouldn't really happen.
  • 2 Hide
    alextheblue , September 2, 2012 4:16 AM
    KelavarusIf there was going to be a built-in GPS with mapping functionality I would seriously consider upgrading from my current Kindle Fire. However, depends on battery life. Battery life is okay but nothing spectacular with the Fire, so it would have to be better on the second which probably wouldn't really happen.
    So you're going to wander around using the GPS while away from a power source? If you're doing a lot of outdoors wandering, there are specialized devices for that, or heck, external battery packs. Solar and crank chargers even. Bring one of those with you.

    But most people fire up GPS when they're in the car, at that point you've got external power from the vehicle.
  • -1 Hide
    azz156 , September 2, 2012 1:31 PM
    dunno why they bother with gps on tablets, i never use it or the camera on the back since it makes me look like a midget holding a iphone. though i will consider getten the new kindle if they bump up the storage space or add a sd card slot (not micro >.
  • Display all 9 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    freggo , September 2, 2012 4:06 PM
    "dunno why they bother with gps on tablets"

    Useful for Business people, travelers...

  • -2 Hide
    azz156 , September 2, 2012 11:16 PM
    @freggo

    I use my mobile for that and looks more discreat instead of walking around with a dinner plate in your hand.

    I managed to get around new Zealand fine with just my iPhone.
  • 0 Hide
    jaksun5 , September 3, 2012 3:11 AM
    Apologies for missing this, but with the Nokia/MS alliance happening with windows phone, isn't Bing maps the preferred client there? how did Nokia get in the situation where their own maps aren't loaded on their own phones? Or do they have both loaded (one for maps one for turn by turn Nav?)
  • 0 Hide
    kendrose , September 3, 2012 3:46 AM
    jaksun5Apologies for missing this, but with the Nokia/MS alliance happening with windows phone, isn't Bing maps the preferred client there? how did Nokia get in the situation where their own maps aren't loaded on their own phones? Or do they have both loaded (one for maps one for turn by turn Nav?)

    The lumia series, while its not preloaded, its avalable free from the special nokia marketplace. (at least on ATT, which i suspect is to trick people into using their paid service). There is the nokia drive, and nokia maps. I use bing on my lumia 900 most of the time, but if I just need a map i open the nokia app. It doesnt use any data since the map is saved to the phone.
  • 0 Hide
    jaksun5 , September 3, 2012 5:15 AM
    Do you happen to know if the Bing maps offers turn by turn nav?

    My HP touchpad is using Bing now (even though I'm pretty sure it originally shipped with google maps) and I've found it to be a bit annoying, the map is nice and clear but it doesn't load very quick and is a bit buggy, although that is probably down to the lack of dev for the touchpad version.

    Nokia maps is fantastic from the days of the old 6210 Navigator and n95 (except for the stingy part with the latter when they kept it pay as you use while the later phones had it free, that was extremely tight arse, and you'd think they would have made the older phones free so they could capitalise on the good will...
  • 0 Hide
    freggo , September 3, 2012 10:42 AM
    azz156@freggoI use my mobile for that and looks more discreat instead of walking around with a dinner plate in your hand.I managed to get around new Zealand fine with just my iPhone.


    Well, I use only a simple Samsung flip phone :-)
    No GPS, no anything but phone and a basic phone book.
    Will upgrade to a smart phone once the dust settles on the Apple/Samsung situation (i.e. what will be banned etc.) and then get a nice Samsung smart phone.