Ovi Maps 3 with free navigation launched for Nokia E71 & E66

by Ben Smith on 6th April 2010

Post image for Ovi Maps 3 with free navigation launched for Nokia E71 & E66

In January Nokia announced Ovi Maps 3 including free turn-by-turn navigation, Lonely Planet and Michelin guides. At launch it was  available on 10 handsets and will be pre-installed on all devices launched in future.  The move impressed many and made a noticeable dent in the share price of a leading Sat Nav device manufacturer.

However, despite subsequently adding support for the N97 and N86 (missing at launch), users of some older devices – especially the popular E71 – complained they were left out. Today, Nokia has responded making Ovi Maps 3 – available for the E71 and E66 too.

The Nokia Conversations blog has the full announcement:

People will be able to use Ovi Suite to side load the latest country maps onto their devices so they can enjoy offline map browsing alongside free navigation. The process of making the latest version of Ovi Maps available for existing devices is quite involved, but the team managed to include complete navigation functionality. Due to technical constraints in back porting the app to existing devices, unfortunately, it wasn’t possible to offer further premium content such as Guide Michelin and Lonely Planet guides. These two devices will also be the last of our S60 3.1 and older devices to sport this version of Ovi Maps. But every upcoming Nokia Smartphone will come with free walk and drive navigation out of the box.

This is a smart move by Nokia – the original announcement ‘added value’ to the firm’s newest handsets by bundling an additional service and all the indications are it’s been a success.  However, today’s news is a tactical move to show the firm is listening to feedback… With a huge range of devices and markets, supporting every combination with new software was never realistic (or affordable), but customers’ reactions have clearly been noted and the challenges of deploying to these 2 year old devices overcome. It won’t upset Nokia if these customers get hooked on the service before their next handset upgrade either.

Ovi Maps 3 demo-ing the lane-assist feature on an N97 mini at the launch event

Demonstrating Ovi Maps 3's new lane-assist feature at the launch event

I’ve been testing Ovi Maps 3 on a 5800 for all my in-car navigation since January. Performance, even without pre-loading any maps, has been impressive.  The guide content has been useful, but its omission seems acceptable sacrifice to get support for these older devices to me.  A full write-up’s on the way, but if you have an E71 or an E66 do give it a try… Why wouldn’t you? It’s free.

Download Ovi Maps from Nokia.com/maps or the Ovi Store.

Previous post:

Next post: