Nokia today announced plans to make walk and drive navigation free on its smartphones as part of a new version of Ovi Maps, available for download at www.nokia.com/maps. Nokia’s mapping and navigation software has been specifically designed for mobile use and is based on unique hybrid technology. 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, and traffic information for over 10 countries, as well as detailed maps for over 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 Vlasta Berka, General Manager, Nokia Singapore/Malaysia & Brunei. “Why have 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 round almost any city in the world whether you’re on foot or driving.”
Five key features that sets Ovi Maps apart:
1. No hidden costs The new version of Ovi Maps comes with all the maps and high-end, car grade navigation features you need for free and is yours 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 You take your mobile with you wherever you go in the world so, as standard, voice guided navigation for both pedestrians and drivers is available for 74 countries in 46 different languages and there are maps for over 180 countries. This gives you the best maps with the largest global coverage for free.
3. No network connection required when navigating Avoid expensive, battery-draining network connections with Nokia’s unique hybrid technology. Maps can be pre-loaded on to your Nokia smartphone so you can set Ovi Maps to offline mode, saving battery power, and the navigation system will still work. This is particularly useful for those worried about data connection costs when travelling abroad or when you are travelling through areas with little or no network coverage.
4. Unique hybrid-graphics technology Ovi Maps is built on an advanced technology called hybrid vector maps. Vector maps are high quality but less data intensive and allow you to continue to navigate even if you lose your 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 camera and speed warnings. For pedestrians this includes shortcuts through parks and pedestrian-only zones for over 100 cities around the world as well as 6000 3D landmarks in over 200 cities to help you find exactly where you are.
Ovi Maps is immediately available for download for 10 Nokia handsets, including the popular Nokia N97 mini, Nokia 5800 XpressMusic and Nokia E72, with more Nokia smartphones expected to be added in the coming weeks. In the meantime, 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, pre-loaded with local country map data, with high-end walk and drive navigation, access to Lonely Planet travel guides, the HungryGoWhere restaurant guide, Wcities events guide, and updated weather information at no extra cost. Also in Singapore, consumers will have access to free Live Traffic information by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on their mobile, allowing for re-routing/alternative routes when there are traffic incidences. Other downloadable location-based applications & widgets available are Fashion Asia by FJ Benjamin, Driving@SG, and the IS magazine guide.