back to article Nokia's free Ovi Maps scores a download every second

Nokia is on a roll after its stagnant 2009, with strong quarterly results and rising smartphone share. Now it says its recent decision to make its Ovi Maps navigation service entirely free, in an aggressive shot at Google, has already been fully justified, with downloads hitting over 1.4m in just a couple of weeks. "We're …


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  1. Joe Harrison

    Download not same as Install

    I downloaded it but was entirely unsurprised when it failed to install to my phone with an unhelpful error message. Check the forums there are plenty more baffled people who can't get <some Nokia app> to work. If Nokia don't tell you the answer you have to give up, it's not like a PC where you can use your 1337 diagnostic skills to patch it into action.

    1. Sir. Bernard Forsythe Dunstable Montague

      Nokia Ovi Map v3.03

      I downloaded it and it went on a breeze worked first time after initially locking onto a sat, in fact installed it on 3 differant phones in pub last Sunday they gave me a few problems to start with but it came down to uninstalling the existing version then installing the new version and setting various settings but after that on those 3 phones it worked a treat.

  2. Andrew 6
    Thumb Up

    Not on full blown N97

    There is no download for the original N97 (as of yet).

    Apparently its to do with where it needs to install stuff and the N97 not usually having the space on that part (labeled the C drive)

    I managed to get it installed (and more importantly working) by grabbing down the mini version and installing by hand after deleting a lot of guff.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns

      "Not on full blown N97"..... ?

      Andrew 6,

      What's that I have running on my N97 then?

      The downside is that it appears to be hard coded to use the celluar network for data traffic (as you'd expect if you're outside but if I'm in my house and want to find say a restaurant near me I can't use my wifi connection to do it.....

      Other than that, it ain't bad....


  3. MyHeadIsSpinning


    Google Maps > Oivi Maps

    Google Maps is far easier to use, has more accurate GPS, does not require the user to pay for a patch to get directions, and is faster.

    Oh, and it looks nicer.

    1. MattWPBS

      No data connection overseas...

      = no Google Maps to use.

    2. Rasczak

      Comparisons ?


      Google Maps is far easier to use, has more accurate GPS, does not require the user to pay for a patch to get directions, and is faster.


      You obviously haven't used the latest OVI Maps on one of these devices have you.

      The interface for OVI is much improved over what it was. Turn by turn navigation is free on OVI maps, you can't even get turn by turn navigation at all on Google maps unless you are in the USA, and then only on maybe two models of device. Over 70 countries, 11 devices and counting for OVI.

      The GPS fix will only ever be as good as the receiver in the phone, however if you mean the accuracy of the maps then on a quick check the Navteq ones used by OVI seem more up to date on a few newer changes I know of, and OVI is certainly a lot faster to display the maps on screen, especially when I am in a mobile network blackspot.

      Not that OVI maps are exceptional, some of the routing algorithms could do with tweaking, it likes to go up back roads in town for me, and it seems to think it will take 35 minutes or so to travel the 8 miles on country roads to my in-laws.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Let me know when it works...

        ... on the iPhone, BlackBerry or Android phones.


    3. Sir. Bernard Forsythe Dunstable Montague

      Nokia Ovi Map v3.03

      There is no patch required or anything now turn by turn navigation both driving and walking is as it states FREE !

  4. chr0m4t1c


    The app has been downloaded most on the phones they've launched it on?

    I have to say that the new app is quite nice, but it does have some odd quirks, like once you've put in a destination you can only add waypoints from well known places or favourites - you can't add a postcode or point on the map for example.

    Would have been nice if the latest firmware fixed the lock-swtich problem on the N97 too...

    1. Daniel Hall

      Post Code

      You can use post codes, I did this yesterday, you can also go by house number too!!! and its pretty bloody accurate!

  5. petur
    Thumb Down

    Ovi Maps on n900 = crap

    I downloaded the maps to my n900 to try it out, and found the following:

    1) regardless of the installed maps it still wants/needs an internet link

    2) it stops looking for satellites after 30 seconds and thus never gets a lock. You need to run another GPS tool in the background to keep it alive *sigh*

    3) Ovi Maps offers no actual navigation help, not spoken or with arrows/... best you get is that the route is drawn on the map and the map stays centered and in the correct orientation, and you must try to stay on that road (no rerouting if you drive off or so)

    4) no support for favorites

    5) no possibility to use a contact as a destination

    nuff said... let's hope tomtom ports their code to the n900 or Nokia gets to work.

    1. Sir. Bernard Forsythe Dunstable Montague

      Nokia Ovi Map v3.03

      As I have mentioned to others v.303 offers turn by turn on everything both driving and walking and full voice navigation including street names, other voice packs can be downloaded using the maps applet in their Nokia Ovi Suite (not to be confused with Nokia's PC Suite)

    2. moonoi
      Thumb Down

      Ovi Maps + N900 = Crap

      Well if you paid attention to the Ovi Maps website you would know that the N900 is currently not support for the free turn by turn navigation and offline maps. V3 is currently being ported to N900 and will be available soon....apparently. V1 which is the current version for N900 works the same way as Google maps and needs a permanent data connection.

      Besides why would you download Ovi Maps V1 on your N900 when its already pre-installed?

    3. archengel46

      Wrong device

      'Nuff said

  6. Andrew 63


    Wish they would hurry up with it for this device!

  7. nigel 15

    N97 + vodafone UK = no free maps.

    vodafone UK wont sign off on the release of maps via the phone's internal sw updater. and for the N97 that is the only way you can officially get it.

    honestly they just have to check a box to OK the release, but they wont. it's difficult to know if they are just incompetent or if there's some other more sinister agenda. i don't know which is better either.

    1. Farai

      I'd say..

      It's an agenda matey, pure and simple..

  8. D. M
    Thumb Up

    Download and installed

    on my N95. It is good for basic map. I have GPS in car, there is no need to use my phone when I'm driving. However, load your "local" map on your phone (so you don't need internet connection to use the "GPS" service), you have a pretty decent map with you free of use.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      I don't see any option to download for the N95, do you have a direct link?

      1. Havin_it


        Not a direct download, but then it's 279MB worth of maps so kinda understandable. You need to install the Nokia Maps Updater from here:

        (First you'll need the Nokia PC Suite installed and your phone connected to it)

        The updater will sideload the app and maps into the N95 over USB - I guess you could use bluetooth but that would take _days_. It claimed to have failed when the loading was finished, but when I re-ran it it said it was already installed, and indeed it works fine.

    2. Andy 40

      why is this not available for n95?

      Very annoying that us n95 users cant get the free version - seems like a completely artificial restriction. I refuse to pay anymore now that other Nokia mobiles can get this for free. Why not just make the licences free? Anyone managed to get the free version running on the n95? Which version did you download?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Downloaded two days ago onto N97, must say expected nothing, BUT it is very good, even choice of whatever voice you want. Pretty impressed Nokia, now if you could just get the N97 to take calls or make calls....

  10. Flossie

    Only free for some

    I have OVI maps on my E51 and it isn't free. They are only giving away the free version to people who have phones with a built in GPS receiver, if you have a bluetooth receiver (as I do) you still have to pay.

    I also found that you need to re-download all of your maps, it dosn't like the map data used by Nokia Maps 2.0, once that is done it seems to be happy without an internet connection.

  11. Neiljohnuk
    Big Brother

    Typical pratnav really...

    Installed it on my 5800 and its works ok most of the time, bit late with instructions and got its self lost in East Sussex (I knew where I was and going so I didn't get lost). And if used like most pratnav users use their devices it'll cause just as many accidents, where the device is god and the user follows its instructions without looking or allowing for other traffic... However as its a phone and touching it is illegal for a driver when driving... And as it connects a mobile to networks how long before your phone is reporting back your exact location?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Neiljohnuk If the phone is in a holder it is legal

      If the phone is in a holder it is legal to press the buttons. Well as legal as changing a station on a radio anyway.

  12. sporkman
    Thumb Down

    Thats all well and good....

    but they still haven't released it for S40 devices :(

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Moon on a f***ing stick much?

    It's not available on S40. The announcement was about free navigation on Symbian smartphones which come with integrated GPS, which is most of them but not 100%. At the time nokia promised to extend the list of devices; so far the original N97 was added when they said it would be. Software-wise the N97 is very close to the others on the list, but it needed a workaround to compensate for the well documented internal space limit. I expect others are coming or they wouldn't have mentioned it, but it would be nice to know what's eventually going to get a release and if they'll make obtaining a license for the old version free so that older devices can still navigate.

    I used the old version with a 30 day trial for walking around London, and I was very impressed - it showed me some new ways to get to places and I saw some really interesting things I would never have seen if I'd stuck to the main roads. The new version has a nicer UI and seems good although I haven't used it to navigate anywhere yet.

    BTW, touching a sat nav is just as illegal as touching a phone while driving. You're not supposed to operate any electronic device which is probably intended to be a fairly wide catch-all for plod to get you with if you cause an accident.

  14. Dazzz

    Waiting for operators

    I'm still waiting for 3 to pass on the firmware upgrade so I can update my phone and download it, any guesses how long thats going to be?

    <Gets a wooly hat while waiting for hell to freeze over>

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You whining mingebags should read the article before spouting misguided and uneducated crap.

  16. mmm mmm



  17. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Why wait for your operator to approve it?

    They might not even get round to approving it.

    Use NSS to change the phone's product code to the standard version and update the firmware using Nokia Software Updater...

  18. Usko Kyykka

    Surely ...

    ... this must mean that I get a refund for the remaining time of my 3 yr license ? This would be most welcome as this never quite worked well enough to be depended on.

  19. Sir. Bernard Forsythe Dunstable Montague

    Nokia Ovi Map v3.03

    I have noticed one thing however when updating various phones as mentioned in a previous post that uninstalling the existing version seems to work if you have initial problems.

    However, I helped install it on a N97 last weekend and 2 other N5800 XM's but a third N500 XM wouldn't allow it because its own firmware wasn't up to date and they had v20.

    I have v40 and the other N5800 XM I installed it to had v31 and it worked fine on there so also checking and updating the phone's firmware may also help - this is of course in cases

    where you have a N5800 etc.

  20. Anonymous Coward


    "The top five most popular devices installing the download ... "

    You mean it is available for more than five devices? Not when I last looked.

    I use the maps, which is free anyway, on my N82 --- but I have to wait a while for the navigation.

    And by the way... just to get in a whine: Nokia PC software is sub-MS, with its stupid error messages (see post 1) and its repeated downloads and its lack of communication while you wonder if it is still doing anything. Even the basic Nokia PC Suite doesn't do anything useful, like keeping copies of contacts, messages, etc (in readable form, not just backups). All shouting and no content.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Works fine

    Apart from Vodafone giving me the run around on updates for the last year on my 5800, meaning I had to spend ages getting the phone up to date before I could actually get to use the maps, I got it installed and it works just fine for me.

    It may not be amazing. I mean it was telling me to turn around a lot on my route to work as it thought it new better. On another trip, It also took me on a ridiculous single track road because it thought it was a better route.

    However, it serves a purpose. Up 'til now I was happy to borrow a sat nav for a big trip, or rely on the maps features or maps and directions from the person next to me in the car, in general. At the end of the day if you are lost it will tell you where to go. Been holding out on getting a sat nav so I'm very happy with this.

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