Speaking at the Canalys Navigation forum in Barcelona, Michael Halbherr of Nokia shared insights about the current state of navigation and plans for updates and improvements for Nokia Maps. You can download a 3-day free trial on selected S60 3rd edition model Nokia phones. Here is more info:
"Launched in February of this year, the Nokia Maps mobile application and the Nokia Map Loader for PC's have each been downloaded over 1 million times.
A key point highlighted by Halbherr, head of the location-based experience team in Nokia Multimedia was the evolution of Nokia Maps from the first version, announced in February, to the next phase, which is available for download today. "We have taken a lot of the consumer feedback that we received when we launched Nokia Maps and are feeding that into the next versions of the product," said Mr. Halbherr.
The updated Nokia Maps application has a new streamlined user interface with improved nearby search and detailed categories. "Many people were saying that they didn't know how much data they were using, so we have added a data download counter in the map view. We also added a GPS status indicator so that you know when your device is connected to the satellites." The updated version also comes with a bonus three-day trial Navigation license free of charge. "With this trial users can try out the service over a weekend holiday or a short business trip and discover the convenience of having a personal navigation device integrated into their mobile."
"Speaking of streamlining things," added Halbherr, "We are happy to report that we have a new and improved PC Map Loader available for users to download." The Nokia Map Loader is used to conveniently side load maps on to the device before you need them. "The improved Map Loader transfers the maps up to 10 times faster than the first version and enables downloading the voice guidance files."
Both new versions of Nokia Maps and the Nokia Map Loader are freely available to download for selected devices at http://maps.nokia.com
Nokia is also updating the map coverage during the second half of 2007 to bring the total number of countries covered to over 150, with more than 50 of them navigable. "Our goal is to have the world covered," exclaimed Mr. Halbherr, "We want our navigation customers to feel assured that when they travel abroad, their Nokia device has the relevant maps for them. A map is like an insurance policy against getting lost, you need it most when you are lost, and when that happens, it is invaluable."
Nokia Maps is being integrated into Ovi. Ovi is the door to Nokia's Internet services, including the Nokia Music Store, Nokia Maps and N-Gage games. It will also be an open door to web communities, enabling people to access their content, communities and contacts from a single place, either directly from a compatible Nokia device or from a PC."