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Free GPS Navigation – From Nokia

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ESPOO, Finland – Nokia today announced that it will offer free turn-by-turn navigation in all its present and upcoming GPS-enabled phones. Users may download Ovi Maps at no cost, and also use its many third-party features, such as traffic and weather information, speed camera warnings, Facebook location update, near-by cinema screenings, etc..

The Finnish giant took a major step in a mobile market where GPS navigation is considered an added premium, even though most smartphones already incorporate a GPS chip.

The GPS application offers more than just maps and navigation. Its interface has been updated over the years to provide ease-to-use for those on the road, and to pedestrians who wish to be guided from point A to point B – or across many points in one single route.

Ovi Maps offers up-to-date maps for 180 countries across the globe, with detailed voice navigation, in 46 different languages, for 74 of these countries, and with traffic information for 10 of these. Nokia’s NAVTEQ acquisition was crucial for this advancement in the maps it offered – satellite imaging, 3D terrain and buildings, as well as the traditional roads with traffic-informative arrows will provide users with an intuitive navigation experience.

The manufacturer will most likely benefit from not only handset sales, but from advertisers and from developers who wish to offer third-party location-based services and applets through the Ovi Store. Developers who have been approved to the Ovi for Developers Beta Program have been provided an SDK and access to the Ovi API are able to further the capabilities of Ovi Maps.

Nokia’s Ovi Maps lacks Street View, which is included in Google Navigation. The latter app is available in only selected Android smartphones, which gives Google a limited market. However, Nokia’s Pino Bonetti stated during today’s press conference that the manufacturer is “considering [including] Street View” in Ovi Maps.

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By , Editor-in-Chief, Johannesburg office

Published on Jan 21st, 2010 GMT +2

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