Nokia Maps for Windows Phone 8 adds offline access
By Pino Bonetti, Sep 6, 2012
Since we introduced our location-based apps for Nokia Lumia last year, the most requested feature was to make Nokia Maps work offline just like Nokia Drive. With the evolution of the Windows Phone platform, this feature is now available for Nokia Lumia 920 and Nokia Lumia 820 consumers.
Offline maps mean you get super-fast maps and can save on data costs, anywhere you go.
Additionally, Nokia Maps will also include:
- voice guided turn-by-turn pedestrian navigation to take you right to your destination
- augmented reality view to reveal the places around you so you literally see where you need to go
- venue maps to see what’s inside venues like shopping malls, airports and stadiums
- a link to Nokia Drive to start voice-guided car navigation directly from Nokia Maps
But let’s see the features of Nokia Maps for Nokia Lumia 920 and Nokia Lumia 820 in more detail.
As we revealed in June, the Nokia Location Platform is powering the whole Windows Phone 8 ecosystem with the intention of developing smartphones that bring advanced location experiences.
Windows Phone 8 partners and developers will be able to use our location assets to build high quality location-based apps and experiences.
One of the key benefits is that location-based apps specifically built for Windows Phone 8 will be able to use offline maps, for a snappier mobile maps experience. In fact, not only can maps be downloaded, but they can also be used by other apps specifically designed for the new OS.
While those features are available on all Windows Phone 8 smartphones, the experience is going to reach the next level on Nokia Lumia 920 and Nokia Lumia 820. These two smartphones also include autonomous assisted GPS and GLONASS receivers. In plain English, this means that you can see yourself on a map within seconds, even when you’re offline.
Nokia has recognized the importance of a hybrid location platform that can work online as well as offline from the first time a navigation app was introduced on a smartphone (the Nokia N95).
Now some other players are also recognizing how useful an offline mapping experience can be. However, our experience is much more advanced. It’s not only about caching a part of the map, with a size limit, in only a few countries and without search or navigation, it’s really about bringing part of the experience offline. We have covered this topic previously and you can learn more here.
Voice guided turn-by-turn navigation
We believe that Nokia Maps helps you feel like a local anywhere: you can see where you are, discover the best places around with a tap, and get to know new destinations with trusted guides and tips from locals. But this is, of course, only half the story, because once you’ve found a great place on Nokia Maps, you also want to know how to get there.
If you have a car, you can now start Nokia Drive voice guided turn-by-turn navigation directly from Nokia Maps. But most importantly, if you’re on foot, you have now voice guided turn-by-turn pedestrian navigation too. It is important to highlight that our pedestrian navigation is specifically tailored to take into account footpaths, parks, stairs and all those areas that are only accessible on foot.
Augmented reality view
So, let’s say you have found a good place to have dinner with Nokia Maps; you’ve followed the pedestrian navigation but you can’t recognize the place. This is very common, especially in very busy cities. Well, today we are happy to introduce an augmented reality view in Nokia Maps to spot the place you are going to.
And if your destination is within a venue, Nokia Maps is going to help you out too. We have been mapping thousands of venues like airports, shopping malls and stadiums to help you orientate yourself even after you have reached the destination and passed its entrance. Venue maps are available in the new version of Nokia Maps too.
What about existing Lumia owners?
Although these new feature of Nokia Maps are not going to be available for current Windows Phone users, we also have exciting news and updates for owners of a Nokia Lumia 900, Nokia Lumia 800, Nokia Lumia 710 or Nokia Lumia 610.
Nokia is continuously updating its location-based apps and after a successful beta test of Nokia City Lens, our augmented reality app is now available on Windows Phone Marketplace in the Nokia Collection. Go grab it now, while it’s hot.
Just last July we introduced a revolutionary feature of Nokia Drive, called My Commute, which learns your driving preferences and uses information about the latest traffic conditions to help you choose between the different routes you usually take to get to the places you travel most. Initially available only in the US, this feature is also going to be available in Germany, Russia, UK and Brazil in the coming months.
Soon, Nokia Transport for current Lumia devices is going to be updated with improved user experience, search history and automatic coverage update.