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Summary:

Some would argue that Google Maps navigation is a “killer app” on their Android handset. That makes me wonder if Nokia’s Ovi Maps would then be deemed a “killer app killer” — the handset maker today announced free map navigation (both walk and drive) forever on […]

Some would argue that Google Maps navigation is a “killer app” on their Android handset. That makes me wonder if Nokia’s Ovi Maps would then be deemed a “killer app killer” — the handset maker today announced free map navigation (both walk and drive) forever on Nokia handsets. Google Maps is free, you say? Sure it is, but Nokia is one-upping the freeness with offline usefulness. And not just on one subset of devices either. The free navigation service is initially available on 10 different models with detailed maps in over 180 countries. Nokia also claims that their hybrid-vector mapping system uses 10 times less bandwidth than Google’s, which is a carrier’s dream. And the ability to use the navigation features even while offline keeps the consumer happy, too.

Nokia didn’t stop there though. Included with the new Ovi Maps are value-add services — traffic data and travel guides from Lonely Planet and Michelin are included too. Integrated into the system there is also a location sharing feature that works directly with Facebook, similar to FourSquare. It’s not a “check-in” per se, but it essentially functions like one — a quick share tells your Facebook friends exactly where you are.

The new Ovi maps currently supports these handsets: Nokia X6, Nokia N97 mini, E72, E55, E52, Nokia 6730 classic, Nokia 6710 Navigator, Nokia 5800 Xpressmusic, Nokia 5800 Navigation Edition, Nokia 5230. Prior the Consumer Electronics Show, I might have dismissed this news as a non-U.S. centric bit. But after hearing how Nokia is committed to empower consumers in developing nations, the new Ovi Maps fits right in with that strategy.

  1. Why would you dismiss anything because it’s non-US centric? You guys have lots of non-US readers and, although it’s always fascinating to hear about the latest deals available for US consumers, from time to time we like to hear about stuff that’s happening in the rest of the world. You know, quite a lot of the world is outside America ;)

    1. Agreed and perhaps “dismiss” was too strong of a word. The point I was trying to make is that the Nokia keynote at CES has eroded some of my U.S.-centricity. Point taken! :)

  2. I think it will forces other smartphone platforms to include the same feature as standard in their phones so it will common as integrated cameras and media players. Carriers won’t be able to charge for voice navigation so they will lose revenue but the consumer will be empowered.

  3. Genius Bartender Thursday, January 21, 2010

    Nice move but one can only wonder how long before we start seeing or hearing unwanted ADVERTISEMENTS sprinkled in with all that navigation goodness.

    1. It good to ad a little corporate flavor crystals to those bland navigation messages. Me thinks it makes for a more tasty experience.

  4. I was expecting this kind of stuff so that i can search my destination easily. and also it works in low bandwidth. It is also good to hear that it works offline.

  5. Living outside the US, this is much bigger news for me than the US-centric Google maps navigation.

    Plus, it’s not a bandwidth hog unlike the Google maps and I can decide if I want get online information or just have it work offline when I’m roaming on another network (roaming costs are crazy).

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