Wow, Nokia has just released a free GPS navigation and map system which provides free routing for 150 countries on a plethora – say it again, plethora – of devices, ranging from mobile phones to handheld computers. You download the Smart2Go application first and then select and download the maps you want separately.
It’s not a cut down offer either, these are full blown street level maps with 15 million points of interest included overall. It’s an amazing announcement, if only because it will open up the GPS navigation market to a whole new set of devices and users across the world.
- You do not get full blown GPS voice guided navigation for free, just the maps, directions, turn by turn etc etc. It’s very usable apparently, but in order to get full vehicle-rich audio navigation you have to pay extra to download. Prices range from £2.00 for a couple of weeks use of a map like UK and Ireland, to £35.00 for a year.
- There are additional travel guides available for lots of cities priced at £5.00 each. Apparently very nice guides too.
- The whole application and mapping material is available in a bundle of major languages.
- Very interestingly, Nokia has implemented a full API and Java compatibility, so expect lots of 3rd party applications to start accessing the package over time.
The application allows people to view where they are on a map, search for points-of-interests (POI) around them and create routes to get them there free of charge. Nokia plans to start offering the smart2go application for free, on Saturday, February 10th, for selected Nokia S60 and Windows Mobile 5.0 devices initially and has plans to roll out support for most of the major mobile OS platforms including Nokia S60, Series 40, PocketPC, Linux and other Windows Mobile devices.