Nokia makes navigation free on its GPS devices

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Nokia has announced that it will make all GPS-enabled Nokia devices allowed to access for free its Ovi Maps service – including turn-by-turn navigation and city guides -to over 74 countries in 46 languages. Previously, Nokia has limited basic map navigation for those using it for free, and turn-by-turn navigation and city guides were additional extras.

By making this free, according to Executive Vice President Anssi Vanjoki, he hopes to make Nokia the largest manufacturer of GPS-enabled devices, like cameras, by making this feature for free.

““By adding cameras at no extra cost to our phones we quickly became the biggest camera manufacturer in the world. The aim of the new Ovi Maps is to enable us to do the same for navigation,” Vanjoki said.

This is seen as a move to better compete with rivals Apple and Google in the smartphone market. Both Apple and Google use Google Maps for their GPS navigation.

Starting today, only ten Nokia phones – including the Nokia N97 Mini, 5800 XpressMusic and E72 – will be able to download the new software; but that is set to be expanded eventually. In March, the company will ship the new Ovi Maps software pre-installed on new GPS-enabled Nokia devices, with the maps of the country and city guides from Lonely Planet and Michelin already present in the software.

Other devices that will be able to download the latest update immediately are the 5800 Navigation Edition, E52, E55, 5230, 6710 Navigator, 6730 Classic and the X6.