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Exclusive: Nokia Maps Come To iOS & Android Via The HTML5 Route

By - On 11 July 2011 32 Comments

Nokia recently made it clear that other manufactures of Windows Phone based devices would also have access to their famed Ovi Maps, slightly surprising, but I guess that was part of the deal they struck with Microsoft. But what’ll come as another pleasant surprise is that users on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android will not be left bereft either. Nokia’s soft launched a brand new HTML5 powered, mobile optimized Nokia Maps website that as you will see below works perfectly on Android and iOS.

Exclusive: Nokia Maps Come To iOS & Android Exclusive: Nokia Maps Come To iOS & Android

The website (m.maps.ovi.com) is still very much beta (read basic), with the last update being carried out on July 7, but you can still browse worldwide maps on the go and plan a route, both driving and walking. Coupled with access to the GPS, it lets you track your movement accurately. On Android, you get small zoom keys to let you zoom in and out, but on iOS pinch to zoom works perfectly making the experience a tad better. This is probably down to better support for HTML5 technologies on iOS v Android.

Here’s a quick video overview Nokia Maps on Android and iOS:

With the speed at which Nokia’s Maps team works, I can imagine that the website will get pretty regular updates, perhaps incorporating POI and other goodies soon. This move marks a clear assault on Google Maps which for a long time were the sole runners when it came to cross platform deployment. In a lot of countries where Google doesn’t offer navigation, Nokia Maps via their HTML5 foray have the opportunity of matching the functionality the native Google Maps app provides.

I can see Nokia going the Google way with this, offer everyone your Maps so they get hooked but keep the best experience for your own platform. If you’re wondering this is how it looks on the iPad 2.

Check out the video for the full blown overview of Nokia Maps on Android (Galaxy S2) and iOS (iPad 2).

Finally before you start making your mind about it, remember this is a soft launch, a first step so to speak.

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  • Aatif Sumar said:

    Sweet. However, the most loved features of Ovi Maps won’t be there like Offline Maps. Still, nice find.

  • Varun said:

    wow great find .. almost tot it was a native app :) but html 5 is not bad

  • Vaibhav Sharma (author) said:

    Thanks guys, the thing people should note is that they shouldn’t judge the offering right now, give it time to mature at least.

  • flex said:

    we now need a descent HTML5 browser on our beloved N900 to get an “update” of the map application ;)

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  • Windows 7 Help said:

    it’s so interesting seeing how companies are being forced to work together

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  • lassi said:

    ehh. the title is highly misleading. “ovi maps web version works on decent web browsers” would be more accurate, much more accurate. and it’s a side effect of building a site with decent compatibility.

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  • android-systematix. said:

    I like Nokia maps and I am supporting it.

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