In a move that frankly will hit right at the hip pockets of shareholders in TomTom, Navman, Garmin and co – Nokia has gone one up on Google.
Google’s Android based Turn by Turn Mapping is free in the USA, but Nokia has announced Free Mapping using OVI maps Globally.
This means that on the Nokia N97 mini, Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, Nokia 5800 Navigation Edition, Nokia E52, Nokia E55, Nokia E72, Nokia 5230, Nokia 6710 Navigator, Nokia 6730 classic and Nokia X6 – Ovi Maps will provide walk and drive navigation free.
The full press release is below.
This is yet another evolution in this battle, but let me remind everyone – downloading maps live as you go has two disadvantages – 1/ If you’re not in a data area, you’re not going to get a map!, and 2/ There is a COST to you to download the data – be sure you’re on a good data plan – that said, we’ll likely see mapping data included in plans or offered as an add on just like Telstra does with WhereIS maps.
I like the sound of this Hybrid system which allows you to ‘download’ the maps and use the navigation in Offline mode – lets see how that works!
What do you think? is this the future of Sat Nav?
Nokia makes worldwide walk and drive navigation free on its smartphones
Sydney, Australia – Nokia today announced that walk and drive navigation is now free on its smartphones as part of a new version of Ovi Maps, available for download at www.nokia.com/maps.
The new version of Ovi Maps will include all essential car and pedestrian navigation features such as turn-by-turn voice guidance for 74 countries in 46 languages, traffic information for more than 10 countries, as well as detailed maps for more than 180 countries.
“We want to make using your mobile for navigation as familiar as using it to send a text or take a picture. We believe that making the best maps with voice guided navigation available for free will be the catalyst to do this,” explained Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President, Nokia.
“Why multiple devices that work in only one country or region? Put it all together, make it free, make it global and you have something that is truly useful and can help you get around almost any city in the world whether you’re on foot or driving.”
Five key features that sets Ovi Maps apart from other navigation providers:
1. No hidden costs
The new version of Ovi Maps comes with all the maps and high-end car grade navigation features consumers need – for free. And it’s theirs to keep for the life of the smartphone. No additional licenses needed for extra countries, regions or services like traffic information or city guides. Data charges from network operators may apply.
2. Best global coverage
People can take their mobile with them wherever they go in the world and voice guided navigation for both pedestrians and drivers is available for 74 countries in 46 different languages. There are also maps available for more than 180 countries. And it’s all for free.
3. No network connection required when navigating
Consumers can avoid expensive, battery-draining network connections with Nokia’s unique hybrid technology. Maps can be pre-loaded on to their Nokia smartphone so they can set Ovi Maps to offline mode, saving battery power, while their navigation system still works.
This is particularly useful for those worried about data connection costs when travelling overseas or through areas with limited network coverage.
4. Unique hybrid technology
Ovi Maps is built on an advanced technology called hybrid vector maps. Vector maps are high quality but less data intensive allowing users to continue to navigate even if they lose their network connection. This means that maps downloaded or updated across a network connection are about half the size of bulky bitmaps used by other mobile map providers. The hybrid technology ensures that, unlike other providers, any downloaded map data is stored on the device for future use.
5. Voice guidance & traffic information
Turn-by-turn, voice guided navigation comes free for both drivers and pedestrians. For drivers this includes lane assistance, traffic information, safety cameras and speed warnings. For pedestrians, this includes shortcuts through parks and pedestrian-only zones for more than 100 cities around the world, as well as 6,000 3D landmarks in more than 200 cities to help people find exactly where they are.
Ovi Maps is immediately available for download on 10 Nokia handsets, including the Nokia N97 mini, Nokia 5800 XpressMusic and Nokia E72, with more Nokia smartphones expected to be added in coming weeks. Current owners of Nokia smartphones that are compatible with the new Ovi Maps can download it free of charge from www.nokia.com/maps.
From March 2010, new Nokia GPS-enabled smartphones will include the new version of Ovi Maps, preloaded with local country map data, high-end walk and drive navigation and access to Lonely Planet and Michelin travel guides at no extra cost.