Ovi Maps 3.0 Quick Review

Scr000011Nokia recently updated the Nokia Maps 2.0 Navigation software for both s40 and s60 devices to Ovi Maps 3.0. The new software has various UI/visual and technical updates.

There are shortcuts to switch from 2D to 3D view (the “3” key on S40 and S60 v3 devices) and to toggle through the different map modes;terrain,satellite and generic map mode (“1” on S40 and S60 v3). Unlike Nokia Maps 2.0, I found the GPS signal fix happens on Ovi Maps much faster. On the whole, scrolling, tilting (“2” and “8”) and zooming (“*” and “#”) are fast and smooth compared to the older version.

The main downside for Ovi Maps is the fact that to download the Maps on your phone, you have to download the updater on your PC (no mac support yet) and run the software.  I don’t know why there’s no OTA updater for this application, since the WIFI connection on most phones should be an enabler for updating the maps through this method.  If you don’t download the maps to your phone, your GRPS or 3G connection will be used to download the maps to your phone on the fly – this can be pretty data intensive and you may run up a huge data bill at the month end. Additionally, the maps loaded through Nokia Map Loader for Maps 2.0 are not compatible with the new Ovi Maps, but the updater software takes care of that (although that means more time hooked to your PC).

All in all, its a feature packed update, although its good only in a few cities in India and hopefully Nokia will add more cities, towns, villages and more importantly, highways. The update comes with a 7 day navigation trial that has to be registered online, after which you will receive an authorization code via email, which you will have to enter under the Shop & Licenses tab on the device.

One not of caution while using this app (or any GPS application) is that that continual GPS use will drain your battery pretty fast. You also will need an active data connection (GPRS/3G) for A-GPS and if you do not have the updated maps loaded on the device. The updater is available on the Nokia site at http://bit.ly/ovimaps.


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Raghu Kannan

Drummer, Car enthusiast and wanna be rally driver, between jobs and loving it! @raghukannan

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