Nokia has today unveiled a significantly updated version of its Ovi Maps application, which now provides users with free access to turn-by-turn navigation and traffic information, as well as travel guides from WCities, Lonely Planet and Michelin.
If you happen to own one of those Nokias, go to www.nokia.com/maps to download the just minted version of Ovi Maps. We'll have a review of new Ovi Maps up early next week.
According to Nandita Pal, head of service sales in Asia, over time more existing models will be made compatible with the new, freer Ovi Maps. GPS-equipped Nokia mobiles launched from March 2010 onwards will have this Ovi Maps app installed and relevant maps preloaded. Overseas travellers can obtain maps to over 70 countries in Europe, America, Africa and Asia for free — either side loaded via a computer or over the air straight on to the mobile.
Depending on the mobile phone, previous versions of Ovi Maps required users to pay fees to use turn-by-turn navigation, traffic or travel guide info. Pal says that Nokia decided to make Ovi Maps' features free to "ensure mass adoption and remove any barriers to uptake".
Almost as important as those four little letters — f-r-e-e — the new Ovi Maps sports an overhauled interface that can be seen below.
As we've mentioned already, turn-by-turn navigation is now free.