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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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  • Outdated (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @07:53PM (#30854214)
    The problem is, will Nokia keep on updating their free directions? Generally, when you have a large company that seems to be losing money and marketshare left and right they will release a lot of paid things for free in order to not have to update them or maintain them as much as a paid product.
  • by rlillard (571012) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @07:59PM (#30854272)

    I recently drove from Portland OR to SF BayArea and was re-routed around traffic backups while in transit. This was with the TomTom Live system. Will phone based GPS apps do that and let me talk on the phone? I don't get this rush to put everything in a phone.

  • Re:Outdated (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @08:15PM (#30854446)
    Sure, but their revenue has dropped. In the past year they have lost billions of Euros, 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. 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. Saying that their smartphone marketshare is going down and the rest doesn't matter is akin to saying that computer sales have declined, but hey, we're still selling typewriters.
  • Re:Outdated (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ickleberry (864871) <web@pineapple.vg> on Thursday January 21, 2010 @08:29PM (#30854578) Homepage
    They will start charging for it when, and if they think they can get away with it. If there is no decent free alternative and they have a good market share they will most likely start to charge for it.

    This is why its important to keep projects like http://www.openstreetmap.org/ [openstreetmap.org] going, even if just to keep them on their toes
  • Re:Standalone GPS (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @08:34PM (#30854638) Homepage Journal

    Not so much for navigation as for keeping track of movement. For example if I am in a current I may not know about it visually for a while, but the GPS will tell me straight away what is going on.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 21, 2010 @08:41PM (#30854726)

    I dont either.

    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.

    If I want something to do a job, I find the best tool for the job, not one tool that tries to do everything (and badly).

    I still use a Nokia 6210 with a green screen because I use it as a phone. Its the best phone I've ever found for texting and it fits in my hand better than all these
    awful smart-phones.

    I realize that I'm an unusual case but I also dont listen to music, dont use social networks, dont drive, rarely use SMS and dont feel the need to have a camera or
    a computer with me 24 hours a day.

  • by mnmn (145599) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @08:41PM (#30854732) Homepage
    Yeah but does it have an aviation sixpack?
    The aviation screen is just software, but Garmin charges an arm and a leg for it. It would be great to have a rough altimeter, airspeed indicator along with the map as a backup while up there.
  • Re:Standalone GPS (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Idbar (1034346) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @09:39PM (#30855188)
    iPhones are not good at navigation yet, I own one, and have lots of problems. I've seen HTC tilt running TomTom software and is good, but hangs sometimes. My girlfriend bought an E75, and despite of some normal issues like thinking I'm on a parallel road, the effectiveness of their system has been, to me one the best among those I tried.

    I differ about a previous comment of not buying another stand alone in my life, as I appreciate photography and cellphones cameras are far from a stand alone one. Nokia has been doing a good work also there (Pictures of my iPhone suck real bad compared to my girlfriend's E75).
  • by Luckyo (1726890) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @09:49PM (#30855280)

    Using my own nokia xm5800 and tomtom's 4 inch mid-range navigator I had to use before it I have to note that you're ignorant of the current form factors in GPS world vs nokia phones, at least as far as Europe is concerned.

    - it's smaller then any decent navigator on the market, in every aspect. Pretty much any autonavi sold nowadays has a 4 inch screen, and is usually fairly heavy (several hundred grams) and bulky. It's not something that will fit your pocket. My 5800 even fits into the small right side "pocket inside pocket" of my levi's 501s. (For the reference, one of the reasons iphone and most android offerings weren't suitable for me is because they didn't fit there and I'm simply too used to keeping my phone in that pocket).

    - accuracy is actually very good on the phone. Problem is lock-on time, which is indeed longer on the 5800 then on tomtom. It's fast enough however for my sports tracker app to activate while I get my biking gear on, or while I start the car, fasten myself in and drive out of the parking slot.

    - durability wise, you're probably right. This is mostly because of 5800's user-changeable battery though, which most GPS devices lack. But why do you need durability for car navigation?

    - works fine without any cell phone activity. This was actually reason #1 why I bought 5800 over competitive brands - the phone doesn't actually lose most of its "smart" functionality when not on data network. Unlike google maps and such, the maps are actually stored locally on the memory card, requiring zero input from network. Internal GPS works perfectly well stand-alone (although assisted GPS may accelerate lock-on in theory - I cannot testify on this point as I have never tried it). The phone gives me the choice, do I want real time updates online, or just go offline and get no data charges.

    - screen for automobile navigation only has to be "good enough". The main reason for this is because most of the navigation is actually audio, not video - you are supposed to be driving remember? Watching your GPS screen while in a busy intersection in a big city is quite suicidal. Screen is mainly important for route design and map overview while not driving, and for that, 3.2 inch widescreen on the phone is more then enough.

    - price: believe it or not, 5800 is actually only slightly more expensive then standalone TomTom (current market leader) navigation hardware. Additionally with TomTom you have to pay for maps that didn't come with the device (for example I live in Scandinavia, and most cheaper models only come with maps for Nordic countries. Germany etc would cost a very large lump sump extra compared to initial cost of the device. Midrange covers Europe, but treck over eastern border to Russia would need me to buy maps again). Finally you have to pay for map updates - nokia provides them for free, and has done so since their naviteq purchase, even before today. The change today was that driving navigation became free - walking navigation and map function has been free for my phone from day one.

    - final point - comparing this to google maps is comparing apples to oranges. Google maps is ONLINE MAPPING with no real voice navigation. Navteq's (nokia's) navigation is a full OFFLINE NAVIGATION suite with voice navigation. The difference is rather huge:

    1. You need functional data connection for google maps to work. You do not need one for nokia/tomtom/garmin/etc. Consider that while traveling aboard, data rates go pretty insane.

    2. Your internet connection must be reasonably fast for google maps to work while driving. It's not good to see a decent resolution image of intersection AFTER you've driven past it. This is actually a fairly common occurence with google maps in areas outside 3g coverage. Sure, you can preload, but that's quite a bit of hassle and extra time you need to use, and can't really be done when you're changing your goals on the move, which you end up doing quite a lot when driving around as a tourist in a rented car for example.

    3. Audio navigatio

  • Re:Offline enabled (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted&slashdot,org> on Friday January 22, 2010 @12:02AM (#30856160)

    Although it still lacks satellite data.
    Which is understandable, because, as a Nokia guy did put it, that would be huuuge!
    (Although I thing you should still be able to download it for your city.)

    But I already use that free offline data since last month, because I had the chance to get a special offer. Which also included free routing for walking. (The one I need.) So apart from the tiny A-GPS data, and the little bit, that Maps Booster* takes, I have zero data transfer anymore.

    ___
    * Maps Booster is a W-LAN-based navigational add-on from the same company that does the iPhone navigation. Which means you get navigation, even without GPS, even inside buildings, and also a quicker fix. It integrates right into the internal API and is usable by every program. Which is a fair deal for 3€. (I’m not affiliated.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 22, 2010 @01:39AM (#30856668)

    Which is why, one of these days, I'll get around to trying to port Octave to the N900. :-)
    (More vector math than algebra, but still a damn useful thing to carry around.)

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