Nokia and Microsoft to Launch Windows 8 Phone Before iPhone 5

Today’s mobile news roundup features: Nokia and Microsoft’s attempts to rain on Apple’s iPhone launch parade; Samsung and Apple asked to “make peace”; and Google’s Map upgrade.

Nokia and Microsoft out to get Apple

Everyone is eagerly waiting for the arrival of Apple’s new iPhone, which reliable sources say will be launched in September.  But two companies are not about fade into the background as they are rumored to be launching a device of their own a week ahead Apple’s big reveal.

Nokia and Microsoft are said to be holding a joint press event on September 5 where they are expected to launch the first Windows Phone 8 smartphone.  Nokia CEO Stephen Elop gave no further details about the said event, but recently stated that they would soon be launching a new smartphone running the latest Microsoft mobile software.

The question now is, will it be good enough to compete with Apple’s new iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy SIII?

In other Nokia news, rating agency Standard and Poor moved the Finnish company’s rating further down the scale.  S&P gave Nokia a BB- rating, which brings them a step closer to BBB-.  A BBB- rating means that a company is considered a worthless investment.  This new negative rating will surely take a huge toll on Nokia, and could cost them profits and partnerships in the future.

Apple and Samsung asked to settle patent dispute

US District Judge Lucy Koh, presiding over the Apple-Samsung case, is asking the two companies to settle their patent dispute.  The judge is asking the CEOs of the two companies to negotiate before the jury starts deliberations.

“I’m going to make one more request that C.E.O.’s from both sides speak by phone,” Judge Lucy Koh said in Federal District Court in San Jose, Calif. “I see risks here for both sides.”

The judge stated that it won’t hurt if the companies gave the settlement at least one more try.  Apple and Samsung were both given 25 hours to present their case, and jury deliberations may start as early as August 21 if everything goes as scheduled.  Both are arguing that the other infringed their intellectual property and no one wants to settle.  Judge Koh also stated that if the whole point of the trial was to make it known that they have intellectual property or patent on their devices, then they’ve accomplished the task as the message was loud and clear.  But now, it’s time to settle, “It’s time for peace,” Judge Koh added.

Google updates Maps with transpo schedule

Google is really making people’s lives as easy and as effortless as possible.  They’ve upgraded Google Maps to show “public transportation schedules for more than one million transit stops worldwide, in nearly 500 cities including New York, London, Tokyo and Sydney.”

Google released the updated version of Google Maps for Android app (version 6.10) as they believe that Maps are more useful when you have it on your mobile device.  The updated app features a revamped Transit Lines layer, so users can select a specific mode of public transportation (train, bus, tram or subway) to display on the mobile map, hiding the other modes.  People will find this new feature quite helpful in areas where there are lots of transportation modes available.

The update app also features highlighting of boarders when you search a postal code, new tabs under My Places, and if your Location History is enabled, you can browse the places you’ve been on a daily basis with an updated Location History dashboard.