Nokia OVI Maps 3

20 04 2010

Nokia OVI Maps version 3 is what this post is all about, the official stable version of  OVI Maps 3 for Nokia mobile is simply the most feature packed GPS navigator for symbian. Nokia OVI Maps 3 for Symbian offers voice based guidance whether you ar e on mobile or you are driving your car.

OVI Maps brings automatic live updates straight into your mobile phone from anywhere in the world as long as you are connected to the internet either by GPRS/3G connections or by the conventional DSL from your laptop. The wisest thing to do if you want to save your money is to have your maps preloaded with the new world maps by connecting your smartphones to the laptop USB as it will eliminate mobile network’s “data transfer” rates for navigation completely.

If you are on a Nokia N97 phone and using OVI Maps 3 then you will have an excellent time all around as the entire browsing process to getting a GPS position lock is much more faster compared to any other similar software like Garmin. Though it supports Assisted GPS (popularly known A-Gps) based navigation, but I will still advice you the standard GPS as the multiple number of GPS satellites allows it work and navigate much faster without any ‘halt’.

There are tons of new features that have been integrated with this new version of OVI Maps beside the ones that already existed in both the Beta Version and the initial Nokia Maps 3 version. Still, here is a simple round up of some of the more important features of OVI Maps 3 which should be more than enough to make you take the leap to OVI Maps 3 if you are still not convinced yet:

OVI Maps 3 Features:

  • Expanded POI  based functions and social community tags/ratings/recommendations etc.
  • Unlike the other GPS applications, OVI Maps 3 is mainly focused on two way synchronizations from and to the Mobile phones to the PC.
  • Ovi Maps offer precise info by considering tunnels, ferries, airport, congestion and can choose for you – the best route! After complicated trial and error based calculations OVI routing always tries to skip traffic and take the easy way out. Additionally it also comes with the usual “shortest route” and “fastest route” blah blah.
  • Comes with all the fun extras like easy to understand voice based GPS directions with a smart visual guidance throughout.
  • This new version have integrated excellent realistic features like one click optimized re-routing in case you miss a turn. It shows you the time needed to reach your chosen destination in 3 different ways (optimized route, shortest route and fastest route).
  • SVG or Vector based maps with different types of map view: a choice of a 3D Mode and the 2D mode. The 3D mode will show you the detailed view of clouds even, the architecture of buildings and important structures in 360 degrees.
  • The mapping engine is light sensitive and can automatically choose to switch itself into a Night View thanks to its smooth integration with the Nokia light Sensor.
  • Intelligent functions like automatic suggestion of re-routing due to upcoming traffic, weather condition adjustments,  automatic voice based speed limit detection and alert, speed cam warnings, toll detections and tons more makes OVI Maps a complete mapping solution.
  • Excellent guidance system that adapts according to your needs by showing you the details that you want with its search and explore feature. It will show you restaurants, movie theaters, points of interests etc among many others.
  • With its City Explorer feature you can even search for recommended places to visit and pick out the menu of which tasty foods to eat (thanks to OVI Maps integration with LonelyPlanet, Michelin, etc.)
  • Fair collection of global GPS maps makes this app a truly efficient navigation software for mobile and almost all the countries are supported for routes. The maps are sourced from Navteq and
  • It lets you find out all the details of your destination’s traffic conditions and weather forecasts in detail for the next 4 days.
  • If you are on foot it can show you the turn by turn, door to door navigation the same old Nokia Maps but only better hey!

Beside all the points above OVI Maps 3 is extremely good looking on both mobile devices and the PC. The OVI application with the Map Loader is truly one of the best looking app in town compared to any GPS software at present time.

Here is a screenshot of the default view of OVI Maps 3 from Firefox 3.5.1 without the OVI Maps plugin already installed:

OVI Maps Default View in Firefox - Without PluginOVI Maps Default View in Firefox – Without Plugin

After you install the OVI Maps 3 plugin on Firefox you can explore all the exciting features as shown below:

OVI Maps - Firefox 3.5.1 with PluginOVI Maps 3D View – Firefox 3.5.1 with Plugin

Here is the Night Mode of Ovi Maps on Firefox along with the option of adding the location into your icon based personal collection:

OVI Maps Add to Collection - Night View - Custom IconsOVI Maps Add to Collection – Night View – Custom Icons

Hollywood Satellite View in 3D View:

3D view of Hollywood USA through GPS satellite.3D view of Hollywood USA through GPS satellite.

OVI Maps 3.0 Optimized Routing Features for a trip from New York to Boston considering factors like traffic, tolls etc. and more:

Optimized Routing Features of OVI Maps from New York to Boston.Optimized Routing Features of OVI Maps from New York to Boston.

The desktop version of OVI Maps presently asks you to install a plugin and if you are on Firefox 3.5.1 then you can try the modified version of the OVI plugin for Firefox, and also depending on your antivirus there  may be an issue when even after installing the plugin it is not working. This is because a few antivirus apps like Kaspersky, Avast etc. may require you to mark as a trusted site so that all the plugins functionality can be easily transmitted.

Well enough about the OVI Firefox client for now, let us take a look at the OVI Maps 3 mobile client working on some of the high range devices like Nokia N97, N95 8gb, N96 etc.

Nav through OVI Mobile ApplicationNav through OVI Mobile Application

Nokia Symbian App - OVI MapsNokia Symbian App – OVI Maps

GPS Signal Strength from OVI MapsGPS Signal Strength from OVI Maps

As you can see the Ovi Maps 3 symbian application is quite impressive compared to most of the other symbian GPS navigation software and the new version also introduces a few extras like:

  • Vector based maps on symbian series 60, which ensures ripple free zooming capability for nearly any location.
  • Views include Night mode, Terrain mode and Map mode. Any GPS user can choose to see 3D buildings, 2D views and much more.
  • Integrates the discovery feature through which you can share and get recommendations from other people. It does cost you a few extra pounds/dollars (Only 7.7741 GBP for two years of subscription) but it is worth it. The voice based turn by turn instructions are available at only a minimal cost of around 1.375 GBP/day or 6.99 GBP. If you need to find out the price for your country and the detailed information of what you can subscribe then please check out the Price Chart for Ovi Maps.
  • Instant calculation of 3 different routes for one location to ensure that  you can choose for yourself or simply go with the flow.
  • Both backward and forward compatibility with the online version of OVI Maps.
  • It supports any Series 60 GPS supported 3rd edition and 5th edition mobile phones and can be controlled by Touch UI, QWERTY keypads, and the widely used 1 (abc) 2 (def) etc Number based Keypad.

Download OVI Maps 3 for Symbian:

Download OVI Maps 3Download OVI Maps 3

Download the Modified Ovi Maps FireFox Plugin:

Download OVI API Plugin for FireFoxOvi Maps Firefox Plugin Download

Also, if you are using OVI Maps or Nokia Maps for the first time then you may want to download and check out the User Guide for OVI Maps:

OVI Maps User GuideOVI Maps User Guide

I am quite interested to know if you also think Nokia will be successful with this gutsy venture? Agreed or not?

There are a whole lot of other features that I still want to see in OVI Maps specially because its tight integration with OVI itself and because OVI Maps is not dependent on any additional hardware. It is relatively much cheaper and has an outstanding leverage of penetrating the market more than any other GPS brands but that still remains to be seen.

Simple features like Top 10 most visited places worldwide or Top 10 vacation spots  are hopefully some of the small changes we hope to see in the next version perhaps. So far, in my opinion, OVI Maps always seemed to be a promising app from the day it was first launched and it is improving on that.

Ovi Maps 3 is compatible with a handful of Nokia N-Series and E-Series mobile phones like the Nokia N97, N96, Nokia E75, E71, E63, N95 8gb, E66, E51, E52, E55, N86, N85, N81, N82, N79, N78, N76, 6600 Slide, 6710, 6290, 5800 Xpress Music, 5320, 5730, 5630, Supernova and many others.