Ovi Maps from Nokia

A bombshell was dropped by Google last October by launching its Maps Navigation for the first time on Droid of Motorola and then for other Smartphones that are powered with Android. Recently, Ovi Maps has been launched by Nokia which works well than Google, offering voice-enabled, free turn-by-turn directions in world anywhere on a Nokia mobile i.e. compatible with it. Though confusing some times, overall this app is a better performer.

Similar to the Google Maps for navigation, Ovi maps from Nokia is also available for free of cost. It means that voice-enabled navigation is available free of cost without any monthly charges along with map updates for free. Navteq navigation and maps is provided by Nokia for about 74 countries across the world which includes Canada, United States, Michelin, Lonely Planet and many more places.  For taking this application, you can go to maps.nokia.com and download the Ovi maps app, select a phone that you are using and the directions in that should be followed. Other option is buying a new Nokia mobile by March as Nokia has announced that all the new launching Smartphones that are GPS enabled will have preloaded Ovi maps app in them.

There are nine icons in the pattern of grid offered in the home menu. Finding of places, sharing the present location, walking or driving somewhere, checking the weather information, info of lonely planet and local events can be found from the main menu. At the bottom of the screen, there is a navigation bar which is small in size but gives a list of settings. When the mobile is tilted, landscape mode is obtained and bar moves to right.

Searching POIs and adding addresses is old fashioned. On the whole, this app can be used like a hyped Search Box. If you need a precise address of a street or road or a nearest Chinese restaurant, just type in search box and there you go with the result. This appeared easy while using QWERTY keypad of N97 mobile. Surprisingly, QWERTY on-screen keyboard is not there but handwriting recognition is offered by the app. ‘recent destinations’ are not easily accessible on screen unless every location is marked as favorite.

2D map, terrain and satellite information can be viewed even prior to entering destination. Destination can also be selected by spotting place with the finger on map. Distance before next turn, name of the street coming next, estimated distance, estimated travel time, remaining estimated time, current speed, etc will be displayed by the Ovi Maps of Nokia. 3D map cannot be viewed by this app and to the worse; no sign of speed limit is displayed by the app, which is a gripe.  Though there are some gripes, performance of Ovi Maps was satisfactory in those tests of navigation.

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