Images: A quick spin through Nokia's free Ovi sat-nav

Images: A quick spin through Nokia's free Ovi sat-nav

Summary: ZDNet UK checks out the features of the latest Ovi Maps, Nokia's turn-by-turn smartphone sat-nav application

TOPICS: Networking

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  • On Thursday, Nokia announced it was making its Ovi Maps product free to use.

    Previously a paid-for app, Ovi Maps is largely based on technology brought in-house by the acquisition of Navteq and other navigation companies such as Gate5.

    Nokia's announcement came a few months after Google said it was introducing free turn-by-turn sat-nav functionality for US users of some Android phones. The new version of Ovi Maps offers similar functionality, but will work across the world and on a wider range of handsets.

    Unlike Google Maps Navigation, the new Ovi Maps can also operate offline, so users can preload maps for foreign destinations, then travel overseas and use those maps without incurring data-roaming charges.

  • The screenshot above shows a standard driving view in Ovi Maps.

    Ovi Maps presents its information using vector-based graphics, which are far more lightweight than the bitmap-based graphics used by some competing products. This makes the maps quicker to load.

  • Ovi Maps also has dedicated functionality for pedestrians, allowing navigation through parks and pathways in over 100 cities.

    Rival applications usually support only navigation along roads, as they are intended only for drivers.

Topic: Networking

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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  • Why is it still asking for payment?

    I have downloaded Ovi Maps 3 and installed it on my E61.
    It looks very good and the voice guidance is excellent, however it is still requesting payment and asking for a credit card in order to continue the services beyond a 3-day free trial. What can I do to be able to use the new totally-free maps as advertised?
  • On the E61?

    Hmm - are you sure you have downloaded the latest version? I don't think the E61 is supported yet...
    David Meyer
  • Possible reason for the fee request...

    Thanks for your reply ! Having looked into this a bit more I think that the problem is that although the maps are the latest version they need an updated version of the actual app. to be able to support the "no fee" operation. I hope Nokia does not disappoint the millions of owners of older handsets!