OVI Maps 3.06 Public Beta: What’s Changed

Whilst at Nokia World the wonder that is OVI Maps returned to Nokia Beta Labs with a new and improved BETA (OVI Maps v3.06 Beta) providing some interesting new features to the already feature rich application. Some of these new features are listed below:

1) Driver Assist: Now when you enter Drive mode you can choose not to enter a destination and be presented with the drive directional arrow, Speed Limit Warner, Safety Camera Warner and Traffic information, in the form of Green, Orange or Red Lines without the Blue Route Line and Voice Navigation.

2) Modifiable Main Screen: You can choose to replace the Weather, Events, Lonely Planet and Michelin with other icons from the More screen. In the UK these are Qype, Expedia, Time Out, Insight Guides, TripAdvisor, Maps Reporter and Bookatable.

3) Check-in: Users of previous versions will note changes here also. Now if you tap on the “Account” button (top right) you are faced with a screen with two options “Nokia account and “Check in settings” . If you navigate to the “Check in settings” screen you have many more options than in previous versions, namely:

(a) Facebook

(b) Twitter

(c) Friendster

(d) RenRen

(e) Kraixin001

(f) LiveJournal

(g) Hyves

(h) Studivz

4) Near Here: Now when the user taps on the map on the selected location they are presented with a new screen with the following information:

(a) Location: Information on the location including road name, city name, and country name.

(b) Check-in: This enables the user to “Check-in” at the selected/current location.

(c) Navigate: This provides the user with the “Drive to here”, “Walk to here” or “Add to Route” options.

(d) Save: This presents the user with a “Save as” text entry field, with OK adding this to the Favourite places.

(e) Share: Share is a new addition, or a simplification at least. This presents a Share menu, containing “Share via SMS” and “Share via Email” enabling the user to send their location to a 3rd party.

(f) Near Here: The final area is the Near Here area which displays locations near to the location selected.

5) If you are in one of the major cities for which the overlay has been created users can now go to the settings (cogs icon) when in “Drive”, “Walk” or “My position” map view the user can select to display “Transit lines” which overlays subways systems onto the map. If this has not been created for you city the option will be greyed out. By default this feature is turned off.

6) Users will also note that POI icons have been modified to provide higher colour contrast and make it easier for the user to identify them from a distance without being able to see their icon.

Unluckily it is not all good news for users upgrading from previous versions as the “Search” sub-menu has been lost in the GUI changes resulting in no option to “”Select from Contacts” anymore. I admit that this had required a degree of knowledge to access in previous versions, but at least it was there. Hopefully it will return in an easier to access location in future versions.

Another area of contention with previous users has been issues with the quality of route generation algorithms, although I appear to have been one of the luckier ones. From what I have seen on the forums those with routing issues are still experiencing these, inferring that this has not been solved along with previously experienced Search results issues.

My experiences so far with the newly released v3.06 BETA version of OVI Maps have been good, making good use of many of the new features and not having experienced the old issues. My message to the Maps development team is keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing what comes next.

A major point for those planning to upgrade to this latest BETA version is that you WILL need to replace all Map Data with new Map Data provided, only, via OVI Suite. This currently stops Mac users from upgrading, but I’m sure something will be done about this.

Finally, those wishing to upgrade to the new lingual supported version of Own Voice for OVI Maps need to upgrade to the new OVI Maps v3.06 BETA as Own Voice v2.0 will not work with earlier versions.


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