Nokia provides free turn-by-turn navigation worldwide

It was only a matter of time before other phone companies would have to take the plunge and offer free turn-by-turn navigation. Ever since Google released their Maps Navigation Beta for Android, people all around the world wondered two things. First, would it be available outside of the US? And second, when would other phone companies jump on the free turn-by-turn bandwagon? It's important to note that some carriers, such as Sprint, already offer free turn-by-turn, but the quality and usability are subpar at best.

According to MobileCrunch, Nokia has decided to answer the world's questions. Nokia will offer free turn-by-turn navigation on 20 million handsets, in 74 countries, and in 26 different languages. The features of the Ovi Maps with Navigation, as it's being called, are:

  • Maps are stored locally, and no continuous data connection is needed
  • Traffic Information in 10 countries
  • Lane assistance, speed trap warnings
  • Pedestrian mode, including shortcuts only possible on foot
  • Free Lonely Planet/Michelin travel guides

The question now remains; will Google open up their navigation service to the rest of the world? We know their Navigation program has the capabilities, because when it was first released, it was hacked to work in other countries, though Google, quickly, put a stop to it.

The great thing about Ovi Maps is that, unlike Google Maps Navigation, it doesn't need a data connection to pull maps, as it stores them all on the device itself. It's ability to warn you of speed limits is also a nice touch, not to mention the walking directions that can give you shortcuts. Engadget reports that the Nokia N97 will be supported by Ovi Maps Navigation on January 28th. Currently, there is no word on whether the N900 will get the new turn-by-turn system, as Nokia seems to be focusing on the next generation of Maemo devices.

You can check your Nokia device's compatibility and download the new navigation service here.

Below are some videos showing Ovi Maps Navigation in action, courtesty of Engadget...

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20 Comments

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kills blackberries for a while? LoL

anyway I'm hoping this efficiency will bring us to a world "no-printed-maps" since it's something useless to carry around if mobile phones can do it ^^

Even those 74 countries are not fully provided, most of them available in several cities, not even all big cities.

It is not worldwide! There is no any service that provides navigation service worldwide. But there are many free with limited routing coverage, including Ovi, Google, Yandex.

coth said,
It is not worldwide! There is no any service that provides navigation service worldwide. But there are many free with limited routing coverage, including Ovi, Google, Yandex.

Well no, but 74 major countries is the majority of world road networks, whereas some such as Google I think, only provide for the US. Which is far less than that. I think the implication of "worldwide" was never to suggest it will pick up a small track on a small island, but rather a large coverage is given across many countries, as Worldwide does not have to mean every corner of the earth.

Meh, I still have to pay for it in Australia (Nokia N95-3), doesn't matter the GPS on that phone is utter rubbish anyway :P

Wow awesome, no data connection, I would definitely get their phone just for that feature over the Garmin Nuvi system I was looking at.

DaViD_BRaNDoN said,
I want Ovi Maps for my iPhone :D

At the Apple app store you can buy alternative similar apps for your iPhone.

The only other alternative would be to buy a phone for half the price and get more minutes, and a higher spec phone - the only down side is you don't have access to the thousands of useless apps, instead you only have a handful of useless apps to sift through.

It no doubt a bold move by Nokia. I wonder how much it will hurt sales for companies like Tom Tom and Garmin.

Leo said,
It no doubt a bold move by Nokia. I wonder how much it will hurt sales for companies like Tom Tom and Garmin.

I assume it will make their lives a living hell :)

ccoltmanm said,
This is a good draw to Nokia. A polished interface and stable mapping software will bring customers.

Yup.. Really happy to see another company other that GOOGLE!.. freaking sick of Google this Google that..

Takes you back to th 90's where it was Microsoft this Microsoft that!.. lol.. - Microsoft is like an aging Giant.. it feels like they are fading away

oh btw.. GOOD BYE TOM TOM AND GARMIN!