As Google strives to secure the future of its advertising network, it came as no surprise last October that they are now bundling free turn-by-turn navigation software on all Android-based smartphones. This increasing threat from Google’s entry into the mobile hardware market has prompted veteran mobile phone manufacturer Nokia to respond with a free GPS solution, dwarfing Google’s offering.
As of today, all compatible Nokia phones are eligible for the free Ovi Maps download, which includes maps of the country where the unit was purchased (74 countries and 46 languages available). The software boasts turn-by-turn voice guidance, lane assistance, traffic information, safety camera alerts and pedestrian modes.
Unlike Google’s Android GPS solution, Nokia’s Ovi Maps are installed directly onto the phone. This means there is no direct need for a data connection, which in turn increases battery life, and makes the software an attractive option for those on capped data transfer plans. However that’s not to say a data connection isn’t desirable, with Nokia including Lonely Planet and Michelin travel guides at no extra cost.
As of March 2010, Nokia will ship all new GPS-enabled smartphones with Ovi Maps software pre-installed. In the meantime, if you want to get your hands on this software, maps are available now from the Nokia website for the following handsets: N97 Mini, 5800 XpressMusic, 5800 Navigation Edition, E52, E55, E72, 5230, 6710 Navigator, 6730 Classic and X6.