Nokia Turns Smartphone into Sat-Nav

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TechRadar, amongst others, is reporting the very cool news that Nokia is about to turn its smartphones into sat-navs. Nokia have announced that it has made worldwide walk and drive navigation “free” and that the new functionality will come with the new version of Ovi Maps, available on the Ovi Store.

Nokia's latest move will likely prove a challenge to makers of standalone satnavs such as Garmin and TomTom

Anssi Vanjoki, executive VP with Nokia said in a statement: “We want to make using your mobile for navigation as familiar as using it to send a text or take a picture. We believe that making the best maps with voice guided navigation available for free will be the catalyst to do this.”

In association with mapping firm Navteq, which Nokia has owned since 2007, Ovi Maps will cover 180 countries, and offer turn by turn information for 74 of those, in 46 languages. Traffic data will also be available for 10, including the UK, although its use would form part of a mobile phone tariff. Preloading maps, however, means expensive data roaming charges can be avoided when abroad.

You can download Ovi Maps now on your compatible Nokia handset – which includes the Nokia N97 mini, N97, 5800 XpressMusic, E72, X6, E55, E52, 6730 Classic, 6710 Navigator and 5320 – for free here.

Nokia has also announced that from March 2010, new Nokia GPS-enabled smartphones will include the new version of Ovi Maps, which will sport local country map data and access to Lonely Planet and Michelin travel guides for no extra cost.

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