Nokia has today announced plans to release a new version of Ovi Maps for its smartphones that includes high-end walk and drive navigation at no extra cost, available for download at www.nokia.com/maps This move has the potential to nearly double the size of the current mobile navigation market.The new version of Ovi Maps includes high-end car and pedestrian navigation features, such as turn-by-turn voice guidance for 74 countries, in 46 languages, and traffic information for more than 10 countries, as well as detailed maps for more than 180 countries.
By removing the added costs for consumers Nokia expects to fuel the take-up of mobile maps and navigation providing its ecosystem of partners with clear business opportunities:
- For operators:
Nokia believes it will enable them to offer their customers a complete car and personal navigation package as well as encourage the take-up of data plans. An additional benefit for operators is that Ovi Maps uses a unique hybrid technology that is optimized for use on a mobile network. By using advanced vector graphics, plus an intelligent combination of pre-loaded and online maps, the new version of Ovi Maps uses a fraction of the bandwidth of the bulky bitmap technology used by most mobile map providers.
- For 3rd party application developers:
Making navigation on a mobile as familiar as sending a text or taking a picture presents a huge opportunity as the customer base for additional location-based applications expands. Via the Ovi for Developers Beta Program, Nokia has given selected developers and publishers a preview of the Ovi APIs and SDK - Beta (software development kit) which will allow them to build such applications. These will then be made available through Ovi Store by Nokia.
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 and access to Lonely Planet and Michelin travel guides at no extra cost.