HTC Touch Cruise Stays on Location

Mobile device maker HTC is pushing forward its sleek line of Cruise smartphones, announcing the HTC Touch Cruise, with a new Footprints application that enables users to tag notes, audio snippets, and photos with location data so users can more easily store and share information about their favorite places. The Footprints application automatically adds specific GPS coordinates to items, but also creates “digital postcards” that users can use for capturing memories or sharing with friends. The Footprints application names each postcard for its general geographic location or area, and users can flip back through their postcards to retrace their steps. HTC says Footprints works both outdoors and indoors, so it offers a more-accurate record of a user’s location than traditional GPS devices.

“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,” said HTC president and CEO Peter Chou, in a statement.

The Touch Cruise boasts a 2.8-inch LCD QVGA display, a 3.2 megapixel camera, 512 MB of internal memory (and a microSD slot for additional storage), 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR wireless networking, a GPS/A-GPS receiver, and USB connectivity. The Touch Cruise runs Windows Mobile 6.1&dmash;which means it comes with all of Microsoft’s standard mobile applications—and features HTC’s TouchFLO interface.

HTC says a world-friendly CDMA/HSPA 900/2100 MHz version will be available in spring 2009, with an 850/1900 MHz version expected to hit the North American market in the second quarter of the year. No carrier partners have been announced, but industry watchers expect an unlocked version to cost from $500 to $600.