I just noticed over at the Ovi Blog that Surya has put up a new post on the new features available in the beta version of Ovi Maps. The main features which caught my eye were the OTA maps download the the ability to check in to a location using Ovi Maps itself.
In the good old days, if you were travelling to a new location, you’d have to plug your phone to a PC, use the Maps downloader and download Maps files from the internet and transfer it to your device. Why use the PC for this simple task? This is a question we used to ask the Ovi Maps folks when ever we met up with them. It looks like the Nokia folks have been listening. With the new version of Ovi Maps (version 3.06), you can now download maps directly from your phone through a WiFi connection. Our guess is that Nokia put this restriction in place to prevent accidental download on the costly 3G data plans, as maps tend to be quite heavy downloads. If you phone doesn’t have WiFi, you won’t be getting this feature. Don’t despair, there’s more features which you will still have to try out.
The next feature I noticed, in the long list of enhancements, is the ability to check in to locations directly from the maps application. This version adds the ability to check in to your destination and share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. You can check out the video at the end of the post to see how this feature works.
Have you ever wondered how to calibrate the compass on your phone and when to do it? When Ovi maps shows the compass in the map as red, it usually means that it requires calibration. This new version also shows you how to go about calibrating the compass on your phone. Check the image below on the right.
If you’re interested in seeing the other enhancements in this version of Ovi maps, here’s the long list:
- Download street maps directly to your device! A new feature called “Update” on the main menu which allows you download Street Maps directly (via WiFi) to your phone without a PC!
- My Position and Search are now integrated (now called Map). When accessed, it will show your last map view
- Back button in Favorites
- Long tap functionality to delete & rename collections & routes
- Pop up for first time use – to inform user to download new map data (when upgrading 3.04 > 3.06 for the first time)
- Improved behaviors of transit lines settings in map toolbox (no more grey out)
- Compass calibration hint
- Refreshed place details information view
- Pinch to zoom interaction (Only available on Symbian^3 devices)
- Visually refreshed main menu and icons
- New maps with public transport lines (as a new map layer) for subways, trams and trains in 80+ cities around the world. Just click the map toolbox icon and select Transit lines
- Improved search experience – find places and addresses around you – or anywhere in the world – fast and easily. Browse places or enter a keyword in the search box. Now with suggestions and “did you mean?” functionality
- New place pages with description, reviews, pictures and places nearby. Interact with places in a whole new way – you can check in, contact, navigate, save, rate, share, report or see place on the map
- Share a place – send a place to your friends via SMS or Email. The SMS contains the address and a link to the place page with description, ratings, contact, URL and a mini map. The link opens up on the mobile browser (also on non-Nokia devices)
- Check in – keep your friends up-to-date with where you are and what you’re up to. Check in to places and share it with your friends on Facebook and many more social networks. See places you’ve been to in your check in history
- New Drive assistance mode with live traffic flow – after clicking Drive, you’re instantly in drive assistance mode with live traffic flow and more. Once you start moving, get safety camera alerts and speed limit warnings
- More folder with many rich content services relevant to your location. Personalize your Ovi Maps by selecting the services you’d like to keep on your main menu for instant access.
- Traffic flow: In Drive mode, a number of improvements to the traffic flow color scheme and layout.
Here’s the link to the Ovi Map’s page on Nokia Beta Labs. You’ll have to sign in with your Nokia account before you can download this version from that site.
Here’s Jennifer and Pino showing you the new Check In feature on the Ovi Maps version 3.06.