Nokia has now announced that its Ovi Maps navigation service is now free of charge on its range of smartphones.
Previously a paid service, the new version of Ovi Maps will include such car and pedestrian navigation features as turn-by-turn voice guidance for 74 countries in 46 different languages, traffic information for over 10 countries and detailed maps for more than 180 countries.
“We want to make using your mobile for navigation as familiar as using it to send a text or take a picture. We believe that making the best maps with voice-guided navigation available for free will be the catalyst to do this,” explained Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President, Nokia.
"Why have multiple devices that work in only one country or region? Put it all together, make it free, make it global and you have something that is truly useful and can help you get around almost any city in the world whether you’re on foot or driving.”
Ovi Maps may be used anywhere in the world free of charge, although data and roaming charges from network operators may apply. Maps can, however, be preloaded onto a user’s device, which can then be set to offline mode in order to save on data charges as well as battery power. The GPS navigation system will continue to operate.
Ovi Maps is currently available for download on 10 Nokia handsets, including the Nokia N97 mini, Nokia 5800 XpressMusic and Nokia E72, with more expected to join the ranks in the near future.
New Nokia GPS-enabled smartphones released from March 2010 will include the new version of Ovi Maps onboard. Other users can download it from www.nokia.com/maps