In an unexpected move, Nokia have announced that the new version of Ovi Maps will feature free walk and drive navigation, a change from their previous subscription based model for this service. Ovi Maps was always free of course, but if you wanted it to tell you where to go – in the nicest possible way – then you had to cross their palm with silver.
The maps cover 70 countries worldwide and in addition to the walk and drive navigation, provide Lonely Planet and Michelin guides, plus localized event details. You can add favorites and share you location via Facebook, and just like previous versions, all future updates will be free too.
The new platform is available now from the Nokia Maps website, and is compatible with a variety of Nokia smart phones including the new X6, the N97 Mini, the E52 and E55 and the other ‘navigation’ editions of the 5800, 5230, 6730 and the 6710.
Nokia’s decision to make the full Ovi Maps service free has obviously been influenced by the latest version of Google Maps, which includes free turn-by-turn navigation too. Just how this will affect the makers of standalone GPS units remains to be seen, but there are likely to be some concerned faces in boardrooms across the country this morning.