So there you have it, the big Ovi announcement for today is Nokia making navigation and other premium content free for its GPS enabled devices. Underwhelmed? On a personal level, yes. On a rational level? No way. I have specially traveled to Nokia India’s headquarters for this announcemnt and considering the simultaneous events they are having around the world, you would have expected more.
On a more rational level? The news is absolutely ‘HUGE’. Gamechanger, definitely. Google had announced free navigation for a select devices in the US but the sheer reach of Ovi Maps is what makes this bigger, much bigger. Based on my person experience with Ovi Maps, I can safely say that the navigation experience is solid, search needs a bit of work but for free this is a killer deal. So that’s free event guides, free lonely planet & Michelin guides, and free navigation.
The one damp squib is that Nokia has just introduced this for 10 devices as of now and that the N97 is not one of them, its younger sibling the N97 mini is. I cannot fathom why would Nokia do this? Perhaps because the N97 has had GPS issues? Here is a link to the official press release.
[Update - Other GPS devices including the N97 will also be added to the existing list of devices that support free navigation and other premium content. N97 to get it within a week].
Come March 2010, new Nokia GPS-enabled smartphones will include the new version of Ovi Maps, pre-loaded with local country map data, with high-end walk and drive navigation and access to Lonely Planet and Michelin travel guides at no extra cost.
Incase you are wondering, Ovi Maps covers 84 cities in India with over 1 million points of interest. Two large updates