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Cellphones Transportation Linux

Nokia To Make GPS Navigation Free On Smartphones 300

Posted by timothy
from the las-vegas-effect dept.
mliu writes "In what is sure to be a blow to the already beleaguered stand-alone GPS market, Nokia, the global leader in smartphone market share, has released a fully offline-enabled free GPS navigation and mapping application for its Symbian smartphones. Furthermore, the application also includes Lonely Planet and Michelin guides. Unfortunately, the N900, which is beloved by geeks for its Maemo Linux-based operating system, has not seen any of the navigation love so far. With Google's release of Google Navigation for Android smartphones, and now Nokia doing one better and releasing an offline-enabled navigation application, hopefully this is the start of a trend where this becomes an expected component of any smartphone."
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Nokia To Make GPS Navigation Free On Smartphones

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 21, 2010 @06:56PM (#30854240)

    Just download standalone Nokia Maps Updater and it will update to Maps 3.0 also phones not listed on linked Ovi webpage, like my E51.

  • by viking80 (697716) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @07:05PM (#30854340) Journal

    When iPhone came out with free navigation, even if Garmin is a lot better, I concluded that I will never buy a standalone:
    - GPS navigator
    - compact camera.
    - camcorder.
    - watch
    - document scanner
    - portable game console
    - mp3 player, video player
    - a bunch of other things from last century like voice recorder, calculator, radio etc.

    With 8Gb camera, 720p video, GPS navigator, I will be better off upgrading the phone every year than buying all these devices every 3 years. I am sure it will not take more than 2 years for a feature in my phone to beat the standalone device in features/functionality, and best of all, I will have it in my hand when I need it, not in a drawer somewhere.

  • by somewhere in AU (628338) <alexm@findmap.com.au> on Thursday January 21, 2010 @07:07PM (#30854348) Homepage

    You don't get the convenience of having so much in one small package at your fingertips whenever you want it? .. wow

  • Re:Offline GPS? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AuMatar (183847) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @07:12PM (#30854408)

    Apparently not that much, since they already fit in a GPS device. I'm pretty sure my Garmin doesn't have a huge multi-gig flash drive, as old as it is. Not to mention they could just cache- most people don't travel more than 100 miles frequently, they could download the area where you're at on first use, then update it if and only if you move twoards the edges of that zone (basically in ral time for a long car ride, after landing for an airplane).

  • by somewhere in AU (628338) <alexm@findmap.com.au> on Thursday January 21, 2010 @07:15PM (#30854452) Homepage

    No more concern than what Google is doing then.. they repeat the same give away method everywhere they turn and decimate business models of any already there making it VERY skewed.

    With quarterly profit just announced US$1 Billion + they can afford to do this at competitors detriment who rely on "real" income in the normal way and who dont have benefit of large enough sise for ad support.

    Good on someone with capacity to stick something back to Google for a change if thats what its going to do.

  • Standalone GPS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @07:18PM (#30854476) Homepage Journal

    I own an openmoko and my wife owns an HTC Magic, running android. I know five or so people who own iPhones. I am yet to see a device which can replace my Garmin etrex.

    I regularly attach the garmin to the deck of my sea kayak and dunk it in the ocean. I don't plan on doing that to a smart phone.

  • by Ahnteis (746045) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @07:30PM (#30854584)

    - GPS navigator
    - compact camera.
    - camcorder.
    - watch
    - document scanner
    - portable game console
    - mp3 player, video player
    - a bunch of other things from last century like voice recorder, calculator, radio etc.

    Your GPS doesn't get traffic data.
    Your camera has a horribly small lens and is good only for taking 4x6 photos.
    Your watch can't be kept with you while doing anything active.
    Your document scanner is horrible quality.
    Your portable game console is limited by having touchscreen only and no physical controls.
    Using your mp3 player/video player (and any of the above) will deplete your phone battery so you can't receive calls.
    etc.

    I get that it may work for you, but there's a good market for standalone devices for a reason.

  • There are very few times when off-line maps are useful in a car.

    Do they put crack in the water where you live, or do you have to go down and buy it off the street?

  • Re:Standalone GPS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday January 21, 2010 @07:35PM (#30854652) Homepage Journal

    I regularly attach the garmin to the deck of my sea kayak and dunk it in the ocean. I don't plan on doing that to a smart phone.

    Meanwhile, I refuse to buy another smartphone until I can get one that I can attach to the deck of a sea kayak and dunk it in the ocean. Just got a nokia 1661... it makes calls and rings alarms, and was twenty bucks. I'd like more features, but I'd like them on a device that's not a fragile piece of shit as nearly all electronics seem to be.

  • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @07:49PM (#30854810)

    GPS apps have been insanely overpriced. There was maybe justification for paying $100 for an actual GPS receiver and dedicated computer plus software, but charing $100 for some map data and a simple app to display it was never going to be a tenable practice. The navigation companies milked their hardware for a few years and got to milk their software for a year or so. Now they're going to have to compete.

  • by mkiwi (585287) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @07:50PM (#30854826)

    Will phone based GPS apps do that and let me talk on the phone?

    For the sake of us all: Please do not drive and talk on the phone at the same time.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 21, 2010 @07:54PM (#30854852)

    It might be hard to see the screen while it's held up to their ear, no?

    Speaker phone? Headphones?

  • Offline enabled (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mliu (85608) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @08:10PM (#30854982) Homepage

    That's what's impressive about this Nokia solution. It's the first free solution that allows for downloading the map database to your phone for offline usage.

  • by mdwh2 (535323) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @08:34PM (#30855158) Journal

    Sure, but their revenue has dropped. In the past year they have lost billions of Euros

    Why, anyone would think there wasn't this great big recession. Is that really a reason to assume that they're going to stop updating, therefore this is worthless? Face it, you're just spreading FUD. One could make the same claim of any navigation system.

    have only recently came out with a good competitor phone to Android, the iPhone and the Pre and really, "dumb" phones are on the way out.

    But now you're conflating market success, with your own personal opinion. Which are we debating? If the latter, here's mine - my old Motorola V980 from 2005 did things the Iphone took years to catch up on, and now Nokia have the 5800 which works just as well as any Iphone, at half the price. (Android isn't a phone, it's an OS, btw.)

    really, "dumb" phones are on the way out. Think about it, 5 years ago, unless you were a corporate user, you didn't get a smartphone. Today, almost everyone wants a smartphone, and prices for the phones are sharply declining. Eventually, non-smartphones will fade away.

    So what's your definition of smartphone?

    If you're defining smartphone as "not a dumbphone" then non-smartphones died years ago. Any feature phone can run apps, access the Internet, they run operating systems and it's been this way for at least 5 years. Any phone today (except the absolute bottom of the market) is a smartphone, in the sense of what we once understood by the term. If we define smartphone in terms of features, then either all feature phones are smartphones, or the Iphone doesn't deserve to be a smartphone.

    In this market, Nokia are still solid.

    But when you see news articles talking about the smartphone market, they don't mean this, they simply mean some ill-defined category that covers the most expensive phones. Therefore, "smartphone" is simply the high end of whatever phones are available at the time, therefore it will never go away (unless all phones become dirt cheap). And it will also never be the case that everyone will have "smartphones" by this definition, because there'll still be people who buy the lower end phones.

  • by mdwh2 (535323) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @08:37PM (#30855170) Journal

    Indeed - everyone knows the only useful measure here of market success is "Which company gets more market share on Slashdot front page?"

  • by blue l0g1c (1007517) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @08:58PM (#30855346)
    Your $500 iPhone would never replace my $30 refurbed Sansa e260 with rockbox installed. It plays more formats, is smaller, runs longer, and I don't have to take out an insurance policy for it if I want to take it biking.
  • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @09:02PM (#30855370)

    From what I've seen, the iphone won't reroute you in transit unless you tell it to get new directions. It does show traffic, one would hope it calculates that.

    My standalone magellan does not have traffic reports at all. It could have, for extra dollars a year. It also doesn't get updated without more fees, and after a few years that becomes annoying. Granted, the iphone data plan is not exactly free, the fees for the magellan's subscription and a dumbphone would probably be less.

    I don't get this rush to put everything in a phone.

    For me at least, I never remembered to bring the magellan, wheras I never forget my phone.

    One major limitation of the phone GPS vs a standalone is of course coverage. Driving through rural colorado, the map on the phone was useless. Then again, I HAD the phone, while I forgot the magellan.

  • by mattack2 (1165421) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @09:12PM (#30855432)

    I'd rather use a proper camera that takes good pictures and not some crappy phone.
    I'd rather use a proper computer to web browse and no some tiny screened phone with an awful keyboard I cant use.
    I'd rather use a media player to play a movie and not some tiny picture on a phone.

    But are you carrying all of those with you all of the time?

    Being able to browse the web WHEREVER or take a picture NOW (maybe even pictures of your car after it was hit by somebody, or their license plate) is useful. I say this as someone who thinks the monthly rates are very expensive btw. (I have one supplied by work now.)

  • by mgblst (80109) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @10:38PM (#30856016) Homepage

    Ok, but more importantly Nokias profit are slipping, while Apple now make more profit with their iphone, than Nokia do with ALL their phones.

    Profit is the most important measure of how well a company is doing, and Nokia are suffering.

    That is why the recently announced that they are going to concentrate more on smartphones. That is where the money is. Of course, they might be too late, just like Microsoft.

    N900 might be an amazing phone, technically, but most people don't, and never have cared about that. They care about how nice it is to use. Most people here still don't seem to understand that.

  • Re:Standalone GPS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tpwch (748980) <slashdot@tpwch.com> on Friday January 22, 2010 @12:21AM (#30856584) Homepage
    I have this waterproof casing for my N800: http://www.otterbox.com/handheld-pda-cases/2600-series/2600-series-pda-case/ [otterbox.com]

    Waterproof up to one meter, and it floats so no worries about loosing it in the water. Also shock resistant and crush resistant. I bought it many years ago for the palm I've used then, and I was happy to see that the N800 was also usable in it. I hope the N900 is as well since I plan on getting one at some point, but it should be, since its about the same size.

    I use my N800 as a GPS outside sometimes, and use this so I don't have to worry about dropping it in a moist terrain or if it starts raining. I also use it for reading ebooks when taking a bath.

    So a smartphone/pda doesn't have to be unusable in conditions like the ones you describe. Altough I'm not sure if you could make phonecalls while its inside the shield, it might block the sound waves too much. Touchscreen devices work great on it, since one side has a soft transparent plastic film over where the screen is. Buttons on the front work well trough it too. Buttons on the side or top are not reachable however.

    I did some tests with mine, among other things leaving it at the bottom of my bathtub for 24 hours with something heavy on it to make it stay at the bottom. No moisture got in.

    So pdas/smartphones aren't necceserily useless in the conditions you describe, you just have to have the right gear for it.
  • by Rexdude (747457) on Friday January 22, 2010 @01:49AM (#30856966)

    Don't go by Nokia's lack of popularity in the US, and the hyperbole of largely American tech news websites, who have never seen a smartphone before 2007.
    Nokia still has 39% of the smartphone market worldwide [blogs.com]

  • by digitalchinky (650880) <dtchky@gmail.com> on Friday January 22, 2010 @02:25AM (#30857134)

    Yeah, and a drunk driver kills your loved one, get over it. Think about it.

  • by rdnetto (955205) on Friday January 22, 2010 @03:39AM (#30857404)

    N900 might be an amazing phone, technically, but most people don't, and never have cared about that. They care about how nice it is to use. Most people here still don't seem to understand that.

    Perhaps, but owning an N900 I can say that it is a pleasure to use. The interface is fairly close to the iPhone in terms of polish. I believe the main reason most people haven't adopted it is that it's fairly thick (2 cm), and also kind of heavy (181g).
    On a side note the submitter is wrong - the N900 has Ovi Maps built into the OS, and a new version was released today as part of a major update. The only downside is that it doesn't support outputting the directions as audio, which would be useful when driving. It's completely feasible too, since espeak has been ported to Maemo.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 22, 2010 @07:02AM (#30858256)

    Slashdot is constantly updated... do you pay for it?

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