Nokia Drive

We’re big fans of Nokia’s Drive+ Beta app for Windows Phone but we’re the first to tell you it’s lacking some major features when you compare it to non-free apps like Navigon (our current favorite navigation app). But we always knew that with Nokia it was just a waiting game: whatever isn’t here today, will be added by them in the future, they just need some time to catch up.

Word has it from one of the Nokia HERE team, Pino Bonetti, that the “beta” status of Drive+ will soon be lifted and thankfully, live traffic data for route calculation will be added. The info comes via Pino’’s twitter account and since he often speaks for the HERE team, we can bank of the commitment.

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Nokia has rolled out an update today for both HERE Drive Beta apps on the Windows Phone Store. Not only can Lumia owners rejoice at their turn-by-turn navigation solution being bumped to 2.2.2156.8, but so can all Windows Phone consumers since Nokia has a second version of its popular and well rated app for all other OEM smartphones on the Windows Phone Store. So what's new in the latest release?

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Stretch your memory muscle way back to November, that’s when we told you about Nokia rebranding their mapping platform to HERE (sigh, do I always have to type it like that?). At the time they also announced LiveSight, an enhanced version of their augmented reality experience.

Today at Mobile World Congress, that rebranding effort is taking shape on their offerings for Windows Phone. Nokia has reintroduced some of our olds friends, we have HERE Maps, HERE Drive (with regional navigation), HERE Drive + (with global navigation), HERE Transit and HERE City Lens. Basically killer updates to the apps you’ve already been enjoying.

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We reported the other day on a new update for Nokia Drive+ Beta but it looks like Nokia haven’t forgotten about Windows Phone 7 users.

Arguably the more stable of the two versions, the Windows Phone 7 app performs like a champ and Nokia have now included the options for tailoring routes more effectively. Read on past the break to find out more.

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Yesterday we did an extensive run through of Nokia Maps 3.0 on Windows Phone 8, and now the underlying maps platform has been enhanced it has picked up some nice new features. Today we see the arrival of the Beta version of Nokia Drive+

Drive+ picks up some nice additions that we’re sure many existing Nokia Drive users will really appreciate, chief amongst them is the ability to fine tune how you want your journey to be planned and improved multitasking. We take a good look at what's new.

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The same crew at NokiaGang who brought the earlier video OIS test with the Lumia 920 have a short video showing off the matte-black version.  The video itself doesn't reveal too much, though we have seen less of the all-black variation of the 920 since Nokia seems to focus on yellow for most product shots.

Interestingly, the handler does get the privilege of magically swiping to the right to see the programs list. Shocker, it's the same as Windows Phone 7 though we do quickly see a Transfer my Data app in that list. The program is never launched and we're unsure if this is part of the cloud-backup solution for saving app data that we showed in the SDK video or if this is a Nokia app to further augment that service (e.g. from any other smartphone).

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Update - Version 3.0 is now live in the Marketplace as we just got the notification! Link after the break...

Although we’re still seeing version 2.0 for Nokia Drive on our Lumia, Nokia has finally pulled the covers of their highly anticipated version 3.0 which should be hitting the Marketplace in the next 24-48 hours. It has us so excited, we’re almost yearning to get lost just so we can use it.

Version 3.0, in our opinion, finally makes Drive the app we all wanted and expected from Nokia—sure the other versions were nice, especially for free, but they paled to the pay apps of Garmin, etc.

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A Russian Windows Phone community has published some details regarding upcoming updates for both Nokia Drive and Transport. The manufacturer has been praised by Lumia smartphone owners for the inventory of apps available in the Nokia Collection. So what's new in version 3 of Nokia Drive?

  • The application "learns" based on the style of driving by
  • Time travel and the density of traffic movements are tracked in real time, displaying information on the "live" tile
  • Automatic determination of time of day, with the change of color scheme cards
  • Manual adjustment of routes
  • Off-line favourite lists with the possibility of fixing tiles on the desktop.

As for version 2 of Nokia Transport, which is dedicated to public transportation (including bus and train schedules for more than 500 cities):

  • Search for public transport user's location with respect to
  • Displaying a nearby transportation: buses, trains, trams, subways, taxis, marked stops
  • Show the route with transfers
  • Support Schedule in 87 countries around the world
  • Support for fast access to Favourites
  • Advanced Search
  • Saving query history
  • Change the query without a new route
  • Faster search and installation of the route
  • Optimised application performance

Unfortunately no dates have been revealed as to when the updates will be released.

Source: WP7Forum.ru; thanks to everyone who tipped us!

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Nokia Drive (our review) version 2.0 has been released and is available for download on the Marketplace. The Windows Phone turn-by-turn navigation app from Nokia now sports offline navigation to further cut the use of data. With this functionality not dependant on your connectivity (or data allowance), you'll be able to drive with peace of mind.

As well as the offline use, we've also got "Last Destinations" that can be selected for user convenience. The ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) of the selected destination is also displayed along with the speed you're currently travelling at (as well as on the route selection screen next to the distance). An audio speed limit alert can be set up in the settings, which will sound should the user exceed the road limit.

Should you really want to take an in-depth look at how Nokia Drive can help you on your way, be sure to check out the user guide (updated for version 2.0).

Thanks to everyone who tipped us!

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Windows Phone App Review: Nokia Drive

One of the selling points Nokia is hoping to attract customers to the Lumia series Windows Phone is the software exclusively available from Nokia. We've touch on the ESPN App that is exclusive to the Lumia phones and now turn our sites to Nokia's navigation app, Nokia Drive.

Nokia Drive utilizes Navtech maps and offers users a basic navigation app to guide you down the road. One of the more appealing features of Nokia Drive is the ability to only download the maps you need. This will go a long ways to help with managing your Windows Phone storage but also reduce the dependency on a data connection.  Overall, Nokia Drive is a nice, basic navigation app for the Nokia Lumia Windows Phones.  It gives the Lumia line a nice selling point but there is some room for improvement.

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Most people like starting things off on a positive note, but I’m of the belief that you should get the horrid stuff out of the way first, and go uphill from there.

Since I got my Windows Phone 7 I have taken it upon myself to bring as many people as I can over to our side. You can think of me as one of the Microsoft WP7 Evangelists – but without the, you know, money. So I was rather pleased when I found out a family member was getting the Nokia Lumia 800. Nokia took their sweet time to finally get a phone to market so it could only be assumed that it would be a really rockin’ device, right?

After playing with the phone I immediately realized that was only half true.  As a developer I pride myself in knowing that I have developed great stuff. It isn’t perfect (else I would be Popcap),  but I avoid the obvious pitfalls as much as I can, and for the most part, do lots of QA before publishing.  Sadly, it looks like Nokia (and Microsoft), who must have approved it all, didn’t focus too much on the software side. Here’s why…

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There is semi-official confirmation from Nokia India on Twitter that least that the Nokia Drive app (that's the full voice navigation program) will be made available for non-Nokia phones--but for an undisclosed price.  Nokia Drive, up till this point, was thought to be an exclusive app for Nokia Windows Phones. But perhaps Nokia is either reconsidering this approach or this was always the plan and we're just hearing of it now.

The info comes by way of a Tweet stating that Drive would be free for Nokia users and paid for non-Lumia phones. This tweet was then reTweeted by Nokia India, which is the usual way of showing agreement on the Twitter.  About an hour later, Nokia India again re-Tweeted a similar message but this time about Nokia Maps--the Bing alternative app used for finding places near your location and some basic directions.

For Drive, we think this makes 100% sense for Nokia. After all, their app was just pirated a few days ago, so what better way to stem piracy than to offer it for a modest price to everyone? Nokia Maps, on the other hand, seems a bit odd to charge for as it seems like something they should give away. However, we have no idea on prices for either, so perhaps they're looking to keep it on the low-end of the pricing scale? Either way, while all of this seems legit, we'd still like to see a little more confirmation that this is indeed the plan for Nokia.

Update x2: We've just had word from ZOMGitsCj, and it appears there was a misunderstanding. Nokia Drive will not be making its way to other handsets via the Marketplace, it will be Lumia handsets only. Nokia Maps on the other hand will be made available for everyone.

Source: Nokia India (Twitter) 1, 2; via WPXbox

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Nokia Drive, their mostly-offline navigation system for the Lumia series, has been hacked off the 800 and patched to work on other Windows Phones. We loaded it up on the HTC Titan to see if this was all legit and sure enough, it is.

Coming from a Chinese forum (which we're not linking), the XAP comes in at 7.35MB but of course grows dramatically once you choose and download maps. In fact, the maps are quite massive here for the States, where it weights in at 1.9GB and took nearly an hour to download and install. It's certainly not a bad piece of software but it's also nothing to go out of your way for either.

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Nokia Drive, a free navigation app for the Lumia Windows Phones, has offline maps for regions and whatnot, which users can choose to download depending on what maps they wish to use - preserving space. For the actual turn-by-turn navigation the network connection is still used throughout the journey, and this could prove to be expensive for those on tight data plans or are travelling abroad.

According to Plaffo, Nokia has announced an update for Drive coming soon that should hopefully fix this issue.

Nokia Drive will receive an update in the near future that will allow navigation even offline.

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If you're one of the lucky ones to be getting a Nokia Lumia 800 or 710, you'll also be one of the first to get the new Nokia Maps application, as well as Nokia Drive, for Windows Phone 7.5. The new Nokia Maps app, which you can get from the Lumia Marketplace now (and all of Mango devices in the future), brings features to your phone that will make you "feel like a local everywhere." 

By combining offline maps, turn-by-turn voice-guided navigation, sharing your locations via the web, and a unique way to highlight local points of interest; Nokia Maps Beta and Nokia Drive look to become a great alternative to the stock Bing Maps app. Now if only they would make it available to the rest of us Mango device owners... sadly, that won't be happening for a little while. 

"Nokia Drive and Nokia Maps give you comprehensive mobile navigation and the insider knowledge to make it happen. With support across 95 countries, you'll get accurate turn-by-turn directions to the destination of your choice, as well as information on all the cool places to visit when you get there."

If you haven't already gotten the update to install over the Nokia Maps placeholder on your Lumia, head to the marketplace to get it for free, or just watch the video above to see what will hopefully be arriving soon for everyone else.

Via: The Verge

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According to ZDNet's Matthew Miller, who we had the pleasure of paling around with last week, Nokia is planning on releasing Nokia Maps for free to all Windows Phone devices "in the next couple of weeks". That's some pretty exciting news and answers the question about what it means for Nokia and Microsoft to exchange services and how it affects us, the consumer.

Now, before you get too excited, we need to clarify that this is not Nokia Drive. Drive is their full-GPS turn-by-turn navigation app that includes voice-guidance and offline maps (see above pic). That bad boy is only reserved for Nokia Windows Phones and and is a completely free service. Nokia Maps, on the other hands, is more like Bing. That's not to say it's useless as our friends in Europe and non-Bing friendly regions will be able to attest. This app should go a long way in making looking for points of interest and local directions a lot easier. Other features in Nokia Maps that we can expect:

  • Local POI details (provides you location, phone number, reviews, and photos of up to 25 locations in your vicinity)
  • Deep link support (you can pin destinations to the Start screen)
  • Detailed maps in satellite, 2D, and 3D views

Sounds good. No word on Nokia Music making the same jump, however. But between Drive and Music, Nokia is launching with some fairly solid services out the gate.

Source: ZDNet

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