Think Google Maps Navigation is good? Nokia just blew past them with FREE Ovi Maps

Think Google Maps Navigation is good? Nokia just blew past them with FREE Ovi Maps

Summary: I have been using Google Maps Navigation beta on my Google Nexus One and it has performed very well, especially for a free voice guided navigation client. One aspect of this solution is that you have to be connected to your wireless carrier network to use Google Maps Navigation. Nokia has a very good Ovi Maps client that works offline and online with advanced premium features such as traffic, weather, pedestrian walking mode, and voice-guided navigation. Prior to today's announcement these premium services were subscription services on most devices (some devices had lifetime licenses). Today, Nokia announced that ALL of the Ovi Maps premium services will now be FREE on Nokia smartphones. This announcement helps Nokia towards their goal of making GPS navigation as standard on smartphones as the quality cameras they have been providing on devices for years. This adds significant value to Nokia smartphones and fires another major torpedo into the sinking PND ship.

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I have been using Google Maps Navigation beta on my Google Nexus One and it has performed very well, especially for a free voice guided navigation client. One aspect of this solution is that you have to be connected to your wireless carrier network to use Google Maps Navigation. Nokia has a very good Ovi Maps client that works offline and online with advanced premium features such as traffic, weather, pedestrian walking mode, and voice-guided navigation. Prior to today's announcement these premium services were subscription services on most devices (some devices had lifetime licenses). Today, Nokia announced that ALL of the Ovi Maps premium services will now be FREE on Nokia smartphones. This announcement helps Nokia towards their goal of making GPS navigation as standard on smartphones as the quality cameras they have been providing on devices for years. This adds significant value to Nokia smartphones and fires another major torpedo into the sinking PND ship.

The offline navigation support is a big deal and something that I have personally experienced in the past when I traveled to Singapore and used GPS navigation on my N95 without a SIM card in the device. People will save LOTS of money by having Ovi Maps on their smartphones for pedestrian and driving navigation needs around the world. Ovi Maps provides turn-by-turn navigation in 74 countries in 46 languages, traffic information in over 10 countries, and detailed maps for over 80 countries. This is an amazing reach across the globe and should make GPS navigation in your hand a common and expected feature.

Ten Nokia smartphones are supported at launch with this new free premium service offering, including the Nokia N97 mini, Nokia 5800 XM, Nokia E72, and Nokia X6. Support for more S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 2, 5th Edition, and Maemo devices will be rolling out in the future.

Topics: Google, Hardware, Mobility, Nokia, Smartphones

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15 comments
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  • Not in Israel

    I bought an E72 here. Great phone, by the way - I love it, especially its battery life (it just blows all other smartphones straight away).

    But Ovi Maps knows a whole impressive 3 streets in all of Jerusalem (800,000 inhabitants). Where Google Maps knows the entire city.

    I'm waiting for improvements to Google Maps for Symbian. The way Nokia ignores Israel so far (even though hundreds of thousands of Nokia phones are sold here), I just couldn't care less about Ovi Maps.
    Daniel Breslauer
  • Killer. Well done Nokia!

    nt
    D T Schmitz
    • Just tried OVI.. Nokia can Keep it

      Its ok, though the other stuff Google Navigation offers like voice search and actual places with the necessary info at one touch is far better than OVI.

      Offline is good if you are in the Jungle where you dont need a map, but a GPS.

      Googles Nav has data even in small communities in remote areas, coupled with Google Earth, its awesome. Used it in the Jungles of South America with out a hitch. OVI has a long way to go to offer such capability.

      Uralbas
      • Hmm...

        ...using Google Maps in Europe requiring a data connection equates to a minimum of ?5 per day on my Vodafone contract. Ovi is free.

        Which is better? You, the jury, decide.
        Sleeper Service
  • I guess I'd have to see it....

    The only added features I see from this list are offline
    mode and weather. Traffic and the rest are in Google maps
    and I'm assuming Nokia must have something like Street
    View countered as well.

    I'm all for competition and would love to try a Nokia one
    day. But to say this blows past Google Maps....I just
    don't see it.
    storm14k
    • Offline itself is significant to me

      I think the offline aspect is significant since
      that is something that sets PNDs apart from
      smartphones. While I have an unlimited data
      plan, I do know that most consumers just have
      voice and text plans. With this offline support
      they can now have a voice-guided navigation
      product without needing a data plan.

      I personally found this valuable for foreign
      travel where I carried a Nokia smartphone
      without a SIM and was able to navigate around
      the city with ease, saving me lots of money in
      data costs.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
  • RE: Think Google Maps Navigation is good? Nokia just blew past them with FREE Ovi Maps

    Anybody knows what will happen on existing smartphones? Will I just get an updated version of Ovi Maps that does not require any licence or will I still need to buy the yearly subscription?
    marco.terzuoli
    • Free update for existing smartphones

      It depends on what Nokia smartphone you have.
      If you have one of the 10 listed then you can
      get the free update now and install it on your
      device. Other S60 devices will be supported in
      the future, but not all of the older models
      will get free premium features so check the
      Nokia Ovi Maps site.

      Once you have a supported device, there are NO
      charges for anything at all. All features of
      Ovi Maps are free from here on out. If you do
      not have a supported device, I believe you will
      still have to pay fees for premium services.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
  • GPS on mobile phone ?

    You might want to check that it does not suck your battery dry, too much hype maybe too little engineering.
    pauldavidgilligan
    • Or...

      ...you could buy an in car charger for ?10.

      Simples.
      Sleeper Service
  • RE: Think Google Maps Navigation is good? Nokia just blew past them with FREE Ovi Maps

    Unfortunately, they did not make Turn by Turn free for the Nokia E71, which has a descent install base in the U.S. If Nokia is serious about trying to get U.S. market, making Turn by Turn directions free for E71 should be part of the plan.
    jkohut
  • RE: Think Google Maps Navigation is good? Nokia just blew past them with FREE Ovi Maps

    This is a great move by Nokia. I paid for the license on my E71 and hope that device gets supported but maybe one more reason to upgrade to the E72 or N97 Mini.
    bcadamsdc
  • RE: Think Google Maps Navigation is good? Nokia just blew past them with FREE Ovi Maps

    PNDs are in little danger.

    While I have a smartphone with GPS, I don't use it as my primary auto navigation device.

    To constantly use a phone as an auto GPS, it helps to have a powered dash/window dock. And then there's the problem of upgrading every year or two.

    Most people find it easier/cheaper to buy a dedicated PND for their cars.
    kevindarling
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