HTC announces Iolite – new HTC Touch Cruise

HTC has finally formally announced the HTC Iolite, interestingly also to be called the HTC Touch Cruise.

The new device will feature a slightly updated design and besides a navigation focus will also feature enhanced geo-tagging, with the focus on ease of use.

The jewel of the crown on the new HTC Touch Cruise is a new geo-tagging application called HTC Footprints. The software, integrated into the TouchFlo2D and also easily accessible via a button on the front of the device delivered one touch geo-tagging of pictures, not only with the GPS location, but also with the name of the nearest town or city e.g. London 2 May. Additionally it does not solely rely on GPS for this feature, but can also use the Cell ID (which is faster and available in buildings, but less accurate) for the same purpose. The back of the tagged picture can be annotated with writing or an adio clip, and the geo-tagged pictures can be used to specify a location to navigate to in the future.

In a press release, Peter Chou, President and CEO, HTC Corporation said of the feature:

“Just as we have seen GPS technology transform how people navigate to new places, we are now seeing location-based applications like HTC Footprints changing how we interact and carry our memories,”

The device features other usability enhancements. The Touch Cruise comes bundled with a car cradle and charger, and when placed into its accompanying car cradle, the HTC Touch Cruise automatically transforms its user interface into an easy-to-use, one-touch interface. The finger-friendly interface, called the NaviPanel, provides easy access to the Footprints application, the dialer, and buttons which interface with GPS application to for example start the app, immediately navigate home, or go to an address or recent destination. In France the software will be bundled with CoPilot Live 7 ‘s navigation software.

Placing the device in the cradle will also activate bluetooth and connect to your bluetooth headset or car kit.

The new HTC Touch Cruise will be available to customers across all major global markets in spring 2009.

HTC Touch Cruise Specifications:

Size: 102 x 53.5 x 14.5mm
Weight: 103 grams
Connectivity: WCDMA/HSPA: 900/2100MHz. HSDPA 7.2 Mbps
Operating system: Windows Mobile® 6.1 Professional
Display: 2.8-inch TFT-LCD touch-sensitive screen with QVGA resolution
Control panel: HTC TouchFLOâ„¢, 4-Way navigation wheel with Enter and HTC Footprintsâ„¢ buttons
Camera: 3.2 MP, with fixed focus
Internal memory: 512 MB flash ROM, 256 MB RAM
Expansion Slot: microSDâ„¢ memory card (SD 2.0 compatible)
Bluetooth: 2.0 with EDR
Wireless: Wi-Fi 802.11b/g
Interface: HTC ExtUSB (mini-USB 2.0 and audio jack in one)
Battery: 1100 mAh
Talk time: GSM: up to 400 minutes
Standby time: GSM: up to two weeks
Chipset: Qualcomm® MSM7225™, 528 MHz

Compared to the device it replaces, it is thinner, less tall, lighter and features a faster processor. It does however also have a smaller battery (1100 vs 1300 mAh) and retains the QVGA screen.

Read more about the HTC Touch Cruise from HTC’s product page here.

Thank you Dawid from and Alexis from GPSandCo for the tip.

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