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Nokia To Make GPS Navigation Free On Smartphones

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the las-vegas-effect dept.

Cellphones 300

mliu writes "In what is sure to be a blow to the already beleaguered stand-alone GPS market, Nokia, the global leader in smartphone market share, has released a fully offline-enabled free GPS navigation and mapping application for its Symbian smartphones. Furthermore, the application also includes Lonely Planet and Michelin guides. Unfortunately, the N900, which is beloved by geeks for its Maemo Linux-based operating system, has not seen any of the navigation love so far. With Google's release of Google Navigation for Android smartphones, and now Nokia doing one better and releasing an offline-enabled navigation application, hopefully this is the start of a trend where this becomes an expected component of any smartphone."

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300 comments

Navigation on Nokia phones works very well (3, Informative)

Tillmann (859300) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854192)

My experience has so far been rather positive. Even an old N82 is an adequate replacement for a dedicated GPS, IMHO.

Re:Navigation on Nokia phones works very well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30854306)

Navigation works very well on my verizon droid as well.

Re:Navigation on Nokia phones works very well (1)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854344)

Yup. With smartphones and a car cradle, Tom Tom will be gone gone.

Re:Navigation on Nokia phones works very well (2, Interesting)

mnmn (145599) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854732)

Yeah but does it have an aviation sixpack?
The aviation screen is just software, but Garmin charges an arm and a leg for it. It would be great to have a rough altimeter, airspeed indicator along with the map as a backup while up there.

Re:Navigation on Nokia phones works very well (1)

rattaroaz (1491445) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854900)

I have a blackberry, and the GPS application works well, but the reception sucks. Dropped calls = dropped GPS directions, at the worst possible time. That is why I need a stand along GPS. How is it for Nokia if the cell phone reception sucks? Do you get some dropped signals as well?

Offline enabled (4, Insightful)

mliu (85608) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854982)

That's what's impressive about this Nokia solution. It's the first free solution that allows for downloading the map database to your phone for offline usage.

Re:Navigation on Nokia phones works very well (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30855124)

There's a package from NIM (not to be confused with RIM!) called Gokiva Navigator that does voice turn by turn directions including lane guidance, route caching and route recalculation. Unfortunately it's a monthly fee instead of a one time purchase so I decided to just stick with Google Maps Mobile which was good enough for my recent 3200 mile cross country trip.

Outdated (1, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854214)

The problem is, will Nokia keep on updating their free directions? Generally, when you have a large company that seems to be losing money and marketshare left and right they will release a lot of paid things for free in order to not have to update them or maintain them as much as a paid product.

Re:Outdated (5, Informative)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854354)

You overestimate their loss of marketshare. The smartphone market is a tiny part of the overall phone market, and its only there that they've lost anything at all. They're still the 800 lbs gorilla.

Re:Outdated (3, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854446)

Sure, but their revenue has dropped. In the past year they have lost billions of Euros, have only recently came out with a good competitor phone to Android, the iPhone and the Pre and really, "dumb" phones are on the way out. Think about it, 5 years ago, unless you were a corporate user, you didn't get a smartphone. Today, almost everyone wants a smartphone, and prices for the phones are sharply declining. Eventually, non-smartphones will fade away. Saying that their smartphone marketshare is going down and the rest doesn't matter is akin to saying that computer sales have declined, but hey, we're still selling typewriters.

Re:Outdated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30854648)

There's always going to be a decent sized market for dumb phones. There are far too many people who only want a simple phone for occasional calls or the smallest one that will fold up like it's not even there.

Re:Outdated (1)

Dare nMc (468959) | more than 4 years ago | (#30855024)

Eventually, non-smartphones will fade away.

Maybe the price of the phone is decreasing, but the monthly fees are actually increasing. Sure I would like a smart phone, but a smart phone costs 2-3* as much per month. Currently I pay $70 for 2 cell-phones per month ($35). The Droid plan I was looking at was $75 per line, and the iPhone was around $90 per line (last I checked).

Non-smartphones went out years ago (5, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#30855158)

Sure, but their revenue has dropped. In the past year they have lost billions of Euros

Why, anyone would think there wasn't this great big recession. Is that really a reason to assume that they're going to stop updating, therefore this is worthless? Face it, you're just spreading FUD. One could make the same claim of any navigation system.

have only recently came out with a good competitor phone to Android, the iPhone and the Pre and really, "dumb" phones are on the way out.

But now you're conflating market success, with your own personal opinion. Which are we debating? If the latter, here's mine - my old Motorola V980 from 2005 did things the Iphone took years to catch up on, and now Nokia have the 5800 which works just as well as any Iphone, at half the price. (Android isn't a phone, it's an OS, btw.)

really, "dumb" phones are on the way out. Think about it, 5 years ago, unless you were a corporate user, you didn't get a smartphone. Today, almost everyone wants a smartphone, and prices for the phones are sharply declining. Eventually, non-smartphones will fade away.

So what's your definition of smartphone?

If you're defining smartphone as "not a dumbphone" then non-smartphones died years ago. Any feature phone can run apps, access the Internet, they run operating systems and it's been this way for at least 5 years. Any phone today (except the absolute bottom of the market) is a smartphone, in the sense of what we once understood by the term. If we define smartphone in terms of features, then either all feature phones are smartphones, or the Iphone doesn't deserve to be a smartphone.

In this market, Nokia are still solid.

But when you see news articles talking about the smartphone market, they don't mean this, they simply mean some ill-defined category that covers the most expensive phones. Therefore, "smartphone" is simply the high end of whatever phones are available at the time, therefore it will never go away (unless all phones become dirt cheap). And it will also never be the case that everyone will have "smartphones" by this definition, because there'll still be people who buy the lower end phones.

Re:Outdated (3, Interesting)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854578)

They will start charging for it when, and if they think they can get away with it. If there is no decent free alternative and they have a good market share they will most likely start to charge for it.

This is why its important to keep projects like http://www.openstreetmap.org/ [openstreetmap.org] going, even if just to keep them on their toes

Re:Outdated (1)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854610)

The problem is, will Nokia keep on updating their free directions? Generally, when you have a large company that seems to be losing money and marketshare left and right they will release a lot of paid things for free in order to not have to update them or maintain them as much as a paid product.

I suspect they'll have to. Now that they've released their app for free, other vendors will be forced to do likewise to remain competitive. At that point, the vendors will be forced to compete on quality of service. If Nokia doesn't maintain the quality, somebody else will, negating the advantage of providing it in the first place. I don't think they're dumb enough to let that happen.

Re:Outdated (5, Informative)

INeededALogin (771371) | more than 4 years ago | (#30855258)

The problem is, will Nokia keep on updating their free directions?

You do realize that Nokia owns Navteq which re-sells the map data to other companies. Free doesn't mean that it can't be monetized and profitable.

Apple, Not Nokia Is The Leader (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30854226)

"Nokia, the global leader in smartphone market share"

Now you've done it. You've directely insulted and threated the self worth of every single iPhone owning hipster douchebag reading Slashdot...

Screw monthly fees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30854588)

I use an iPod touch, you insensitive clod!

Re:Apple, Not Nokia Is The Leader (3, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#30855170)

Indeed - everyone knows the only useful measure here of market success is "Which company gets more market share on Slashdot front page?"

Not listed phones works too, i.e. Nokia E51 (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30854240)

Just download standalone Nokia Maps Updater and it will update to Maps 3.0 also phones not listed on linked Ovi webpage, like my E51.

Re:Not listed phones works too, i.e. Nokia E51 (2, Informative)

Night64 (1175319) | more than 4 years ago | (#30855032)

Yes, you can download it for non listed phones. But just the software. The license for navigation isn't free for non listed phones. I have an N95 8GB. Did you saw it in the list? Neither did I...

GNU components. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30854254)

"... hopefully this is the start of a trend where this becomes an expected component of any smartphone.""

GPS because of E911 already is a standard component.

What about live traffic updates (2, Interesting)

rlillard (571012) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854272)

I recently drove from Portland OR to SF BayArea and was re-routed around traffic backups while in transit. This was with the TomTom Live system. Will phone based GPS apps do that and let me talk on the phone? I don't get this rush to put everything in a phone.

Re:What about live traffic updates (3, Insightful)

somewhere in AU (628338) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854348)

You don't get the convenience of having so much in one small package at your fingertips whenever you want it? .. wow

Re:What about live traffic updates (1)

nigelo (30096) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854716)

You don't get the convenience of having so much in one small package at your fingertips whenever you want it? .. wow

Not if it means my passenger can't navigate and have a phone conversation at the same time, no.

It might be hard to see the screen while it's held up to their ear, no?

Re:What about live traffic updates (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30854852)

It might be hard to see the screen while it's held up to their ear, no?

Speaker phone? Headphones?

Re:What about live traffic updates (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 4 years ago | (#30855330)

My G1 speaks the directions loudly and clearly even when I am talking on the phone. In fact, it's rather annoying until I remember that I need them to tell where I'm going.

Re:What about live traffic updates (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30854726)

I dont either.

I'd rather use a proper camera that takes good pictures and not some crappy phone.
I'd rather use a proper computer to web browse and no some tiny screened phone with an awful keyboard I cant use.
I'd rather use a media player to play a movie and not some tiny picture on a phone.

If I want something to do a job, I find the best tool for the job, not one tool that tries to do everything (and badly).

I still use a Nokia 6210 with a green screen because I use it as a phone. Its the best phone I've ever found for texting and it fits in my hand better than all these
awful smart-phones.

I realize that I'm an unusual case but I also dont listen to music, dont use social networks, dont drive, rarely use SMS and dont feel the need to have a camera or
a computer with me 24 hours a day.

Re:What about live traffic updates (2, Informative)

zaax (637433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854380)

They still change you for it (even though they get it for free), but Google don't.

Re:What about live traffic updates (1)

JoshDD (1713044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854434)

My BB's GPS does that. And my CD deck has built in bluetooth so my phone calls come in on my sound system. All I have to do press one button on the deck and talk to my steering wheel. Only problem I have is the sound from the GPS app does not come in over the BT, just the BB speaker.

Re:What about live traffic updates (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854470)

Interesting capability; I wasn't very impressed with the TomTom when trying it in stores, myself. I asked it to find a route from San Jose to New York City and it sat there with a progress bar that looked like it would take half an hour to complete. The Garmin unit next door had something in two or three seconds, tops.

Re:What about live traffic updates (2, Insightful)

mkiwi (585287) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854826)

Will phone based GPS apps do that and let me talk on the phone?

For the sake of us all: Please do not drive and talk on the phone at the same time.

Re:What about live traffic updates (1)

rlillard (571012) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854956)

My car is equipped with a Bluetooth device that interrupts the sound system when the phone is active. Talking on the phone for me is no different that talking with someone in the passenger seat.

My TomTom is like a backseat driver saying, "After 400 yards, turn right", etc... Even if a so called "smart phone" can manage the GPS functions while I am talking on the phone, the audio GPS directions would cause cut-outs in the conversation. That is not desirable.

Offline GPS? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854318)

How much memory is required to store the entire database for GPS navigation? Do most smart phones even have that much memory? Sure, Google maps is annoying when you drive out of range of a data service cell tower and it suddenly tells you "I have absolutely no fucking idea where you are now!" but I assumed there was enough data there that it actually _needed_ to be connected. I'd be more than happy to just have it update the data when connected and still work when not connected.

Re:Offline GPS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30854362)

9.65GB for europe and north america with a bit of africa, middle east and some island stuff. thats from my google maps on my samsung i8510.

Re:Offline GPS? (1)

somewhere in AU (628338) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854378)

Google technology is image tile based and generated on demand - so out of luck having such a thing stored on any phone any decade soon now.

With vector you might stand a chance but still huge but least current capacities exist for it but download would be PC sync only as data costs otherwise nightmare.

Re:Offline GPS? (1)

Vegeta99 (219501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854574)

Huh? The TomTom app for iPhone is 1GB. My Garmin's map update is 4. I could fit that map 4 times over on my iPhone.

Re:Offline GPS? (3, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854408)

Apparently not that much, since they already fit in a GPS device. I'm pretty sure my Garmin doesn't have a huge multi-gig flash drive, as old as it is. Not to mention they could just cache- most people don't travel more than 100 miles frequently, they could download the area where you're at on first use, then update it if and only if you move twoards the edges of that zone (basically in ral time for a long car ride, after landing for an airplane).

Re:Offline GPS? (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854540)

I actually have Garmin on my windows mobile (ATT Fuze) - so it's possible to do this.

What would be cool from my perspective (to get me off Garmin totally:)

1. turn by turn by google (already doing this on other OS/devices)
2. Store my route/maps to cover the route and then some in case of loss of signal (x miles in each direction?)

Re:Offline GPS? (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#30855020)

We have a PostGIS database and just using the data available from the USGS and various state mapping agencies, our database is around 300 MB for roads, town, and zip code boundaries for the United States. Granted I'm sure that will be increasing as more data is added. It is an on going process.

Re:Offline GPS? (1)

jgreco (1542031) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854650)

Navigon for the iPhone is currently weighing in at about 1.5GB, and most roads are accurate and may even include posted speed data. On the down side, it has very few POI's, especially compared to our Toyota built-in navs (runs off a DVD).

Re:Offline GPS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30854872)

I have the nokia "Ovi Maps 3.0" on my e63 and i installed the complete maps for Aisa Europe and Africa it all came to about 3GB.

Re:Offline GPS? (1)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854922)

To give you a real answer (since noone else has done anything besides speculate about their dedicated GPS units)

My nokia maps installation gave me the choice of what maps I wanted available offline (it could download others) I could choose it by country and in the US I could choose state (and maybe even city). I added the entire US (or maybe north america). the cities folder on my microsd card is currently sitting at 1.4GB although it told me 1.2 would be used. I think the world was about 8gb.

I don't have the version with free nav yet (and it was kind of a hack to get it on my AT&T phone at all) but it is nav capable...I just have not paid for it. I think currently it connects to a server to figure out nav stuff...but that may just be to speed processing as I can't imagine navigation needs more than the already pretty detailed data I have.

Re:Offline GPS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30855216)

iGuidance offline GPS maps and application for the entire US take up less than 1.5 GB on a Windows Mobile phone. With a 16 GB SD card, space is really not a big deal.

Re:Offline GPS? (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30855270)

You can download the OpenStreetMap maps for offline use. There's a rather neat Java app that creates a J2ME app with a selectable subset of the data for you. How much space you need depends on how large an area you want. I put everywhere within about an hour's drive of my house on my old phone. With a bigger flash card it's pretty easy to fit the whole UK on (around 150MB, as I recall).

Will never buy standalone again. (5, Insightful)

viking80 (697716) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854340)

When iPhone came out with free navigation, even if Garmin is a lot better, I concluded that I will never buy a standalone:
- GPS navigator
- compact camera.
- camcorder.
- watch
- document scanner
- portable game console
- mp3 player, video player
- a bunch of other things from last century like voice recorder, calculator, radio etc.

With 8Gb camera, 720p video, GPS navigator, I will be better off upgrading the phone every year than buying all these devices every 3 years. I am sure it will not take more than 2 years for a feature in my phone to beat the standalone device in features/functionality, and best of all, I will have it in my hand when I need it, not in a drawer somewhere.

Re:Will never buy standalone again. (1)

peipas (809350) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854392)

While I agree with your sentiments, what is an 8Gb camera? Is that like a 1.6GHz hard drive?

Re:Will never buy standalone again. (2, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854474)

You can name your camera and hard drive whatever crazy combination of letters and numbers you want.

(He was of course referring to the storage size of the iphone.)

Re:Will never buy standalone again. (1)

wbren (682133) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854530)

8Gb seems a bit small. Photos, music, and applications will fill up 1GB pretty quickly. /nitpick

Re:Will never buy standalone again. (5, Insightful)

Ahnteis (746045) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854584)

- GPS navigator
- compact camera.
- camcorder.
- watch
- document scanner
- portable game console
- mp3 player, video player
- a bunch of other things from last century like voice recorder, calculator, radio etc.

Your GPS doesn't get traffic data.
Your camera has a horribly small lens and is good only for taking 4x6 photos.
Your watch can't be kept with you while doing anything active.
Your document scanner is horrible quality.
Your portable game console is limited by having touchscreen only and no physical controls.
Using your mp3 player/video player (and any of the above) will deplete your phone battery so you can't receive calls.
etc.

I get that it may work for you, but there's a good market for standalone devices for a reason.

Re:Will never buy standalone again. (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 4 years ago | (#30855134)

Google maps on my Blackberry gets traffic updates. The accuracy seems to be about 15 to 30 minutes. The camera is the one thing I would not sacrifice as an inclusion in the phone - the lens is just far too bad.

Hate to tell you... (2, Insightful)

blue l0g1c (1007517) | more than 4 years ago | (#30855346)

Your $500 iPhone would never replace my $30 refurbed Sansa e260 with rockbox installed. It plays more formats, is smaller, runs longer, and I don't have to take out an insurance policy for it if I want to take it biking.

Re:Will never buy standalone again. (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854702)

At this point, the stand alone GPS industry is in trouble. It came of age too late. A stand alone GPS has a few advantages, some of which may disappear:

  • It's cheaper than a phone with an equivalent screen/storage... for now.
  • Better accuracy (phones probably won't need to ever be as accurate)
  • Smaller / more durable
  • Works without cell network (although phones are capable of that

GPS will stick around for some applications. A in-dash GPS will always have a bigger screen than your phone. No one would be stupid enough to use a cell phone as their marine/aviation GPS (even if they made it legal).

But for the end user? Google Map's interface is way better than any GPS I've seen. Having street view and satellite view is very useful, and having the cell network means it can find any business, pull up their website, etc.

The prices on stand alone GPS units stayed high much longer than I ever expected. As they started getting cheap, phones came along and made them useless for many people. I'm happy with Google Maps on my phone.

Re:Will never buy standalone again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30854840)

> Smaller / more durable

Really? Most GPS navigation devices I've seen have been significantly bigger than a smartphone.

Re:Will never buy standalone again. (2, Interesting)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 4 years ago | (#30855280)

Using my own nokia xm5800 and tomtom's 4 inch mid-range navigator I had to use before it I have to note that you're ignorant of the current form factors in GPS world vs nokia phones, at least as far as Europe is concerned.

- it's smaller then any decent navigator on the market, in every aspect. Pretty much any autonavi sold nowadays has a 4 inch screen, and is usually fairly heavy (several hundred grams) and bulky. It's not something that will fit your pocket. My 5800 even fits into the small right side "pocket inside pocket" of my levi's 501s. (For the reference, one of the reasons iphone and most android offerings weren't suitable for me is because they didn't fit there and I'm simply too used to keeping my phone in that pocket).

- accuracy is actually very good on the phone. Problem is lock-on time, which is indeed longer on the 5800 then on tomtom. It's fast enough however for my sports tracker app to activate while I get my biking gear on, or while I start the car, fasten myself in and drive out of the parking slot.

- durability wise, you're probably right. This is mostly because of 5800's user-changeable battery though, which most GPS devices lack. But why do you need durability for car navigation?

- works fine without any cell phone activity. This was actually reason #1 why I bought 5800 over competitive brands - the phone doesn't actually lose most of its "smart" functionality when not on data network. Unlike google maps and such, the maps are actually stored locally on the memory card, requiring zero input from network. Internal GPS works perfectly well stand-alone (although assisted GPS may accelerate lock-on in theory - I cannot testify on this point as I have never tried it). The phone gives me the choice, do I want real time updates online, or just go offline and get no data charges.

- screen for automobile navigation only has to be "good enough". The main reason for this is because most of the navigation is actually audio, not video - you are supposed to be driving remember? Watching your GPS screen while in a busy intersection in a big city is quite suicidal. Screen is mainly important for route design and map overview while not driving, and for that, 3.2 inch widescreen on the phone is more then enough.

- price: believe it or not, 5800 is actually only slightly more expensive then standalone TomTom (current market leader) navigation hardware. Additionally with TomTom you have to pay for maps that didn't come with the device (for example I live in Scandinavia, and most cheaper models only come with maps for Nordic countries. Germany etc would cost a very large lump sump extra compared to initial cost of the device. Midrange covers Europe, but treck over eastern border to Russia would need me to buy maps again). Finally you have to pay for map updates - nokia provides them for free, and has done so since their naviteq purchase, even before today. The change today was that driving navigation became free - walking navigation and map function has been free for my phone from day one.

- final point - comparing this to google maps is comparing apples to oranges. Google maps is ONLINE MAPPING with no real voice navigation. Navteq's (nokia's) navigation is a full OFFLINE NAVIGATION suite with voice navigation. The difference is rather huge:

1. You need functional data connection for google maps to work. You do not need one for nokia/tomtom/garmin/etc. Consider that while traveling aboard, data rates go pretty insane.

2. Your internet connection must be reasonably fast for google maps to work while driving. It's not good to see a decent resolution image of intersection AFTER you've driven past it. This is actually a fairly common occurence with google maps in areas outside 3g coverage. Sure, you can preload, but that's quite a bit of hassle and extra time you need to use, and can't really be done when you're changing your goals on the move, which you end up doing quite a lot when driving around as a tourist in a rented car for example.

3. Audio navigation. With google maps, you're essentially required to navigate visually from device screen. With nokia/tomtom/garmin/etc. maps, you can focus on the road, your phone conversation, your make-up, or whatever else you're multitasking - the phone will tell you in clear sentences what, when and how you should do to get where you want to get, down to changing lanes. Essentially to get automobile navigation in busy cities you don't know with google maps, you need a second person being the actual navigator. You do not need one with nokia/tomtom/garmin/etc.

Single Point of Failure (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854710)

As long as you are fine with having a single point of failure then go for it. I'll stick to my standalone GPS and my MP3 Player to augment my smartphone.

A toolbox > a multitool. The multitool is great for quick fixes, but nothing replaces using the right tool for the right job, not to mention my aforementioned single point of failure problem.

Re:Single Point of Failure (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854936)

As long as you are fine with having a single point of failure...

Speaking for myself, I usually lose these gadgets before they fail with one exception; for some reason I was able to hang on to my ancient RCA 5 gig b/w display usb mp3 player for something like 6 years. It finally gave me a "File system failure" error that a reset couldn't correct. Other than that, my gadget collection is one long list of lost or stolen devices over the years, not one of them "failed" in the broken sense. Unless you can say my tom tom one "failed" me when my house was broken into over the summer and the thief took it (without the usb car charger, and without that it is useless, battery life of miliseconds). So when I lost my rather expensive Palm Centro, and since my plan was up, I decided to go with a pay as you-go-plan, and a brand spanking new Samsung FreeForm. Best desision I ever made. Not only does this thing have an mp3 player w/stereo bluetooth and with a capacity limited only by the size of your mini sd card, it also has by-direction gps, pretty much like the tom tom. And it comes with the plan, no extra charge! A dandy WAP web browser too. All in the plan. Goodbye to the gadget assortment. Frankly, you can have your gaggle of crap. I'm very happy with my new phone. $80. Not bad. If anything fails on the phone I'm just going to buy a new one.

By the way, Nokia seems like they are touting their gps feature as unique among cellphones. This phone I just got has been around for a while.

Re:Will never buy standalone again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30854790)

When my blackberry came out with all of the above, I thought the same thing. When the iPhone came out with it several years after the fact, I didn't really take notice.

Re:Will never buy standalone again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30855022)

For the record, as a camera the iphone sucks. Actually every phone sucks, compared to even the most basic compacts you can buy today. Even your SE handset or your 12MB phone.

Re:Will never buy standalone again. (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | more than 4 years ago | (#30855142)

The one thing I disagree with heartily is "calculator." The computer algebra system of my TI-89 is excellent, far better than anything I've seen for an iPhone.

Undercutting the market? (1)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854386)

While I'm all for this (because what guy doesn't want free GPS on his phone?) isn't there an aspect of it that paints Nokia as essentially undercutting the entire GPS market? The leader in smartphones is now offering a product for free - am I wrong in thinking that there's something not so nice in relation to the market going on there? I'm thinking of a cross between Microsoft and steel dumping.

Re:Undercutting the market? (2, Insightful)

somewhere in AU (628338) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854452)

No more concern than what Google is doing then.. they repeat the same give away method everywhere they turn and decimate business models of any already there making it VERY skewed.

With quarterly profit just announced US$1 Billion + they can afford to do this at competitors detriment who rely on "real" income in the normal way and who dont have benefit of large enough sise for ad support.

Good on someone with capacity to stick something back to Google for a change if thats what its going to do.

Re:Undercutting the market? (1)

abulafia (7826) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854688)

It can't be dumping, which is selling comparable commodities below cost. (These measurements don't make a lot of sense when we're talking software -- what is the per-unit "cost" of making an instance of software that runs on a phone? All the physical items for GPS navigation are already there, and break-even cost of development depends on how many instances of the software are produced, so per-unit costs go down when you give it away.)

And Nokia may be huge, but with strong competitors in Apple and Google, I don't think anyone (at least under US law) would call them a monopoly.

This isn't even anyone targeting Garmin and friends - this is Nokia, Google and Apple gearing up for a pretty furious brawl. I think it just qualifies as a casualty of competition. Although I'm willing to bet you that Apple is talking to at least one of the dedicated GPS players about M&A.

Re:Undercutting the market? (5, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854810)

GPS apps have been insanely overpriced. There was maybe justification for paying $100 for an actual GPS receiver and dedicated computer plus software, but charing $100 for some map data and a simple app to display it was never going to be a tenable practice. The navigation companies milked their hardware for a few years and got to milk their software for a year or so. Now they're going to have to compete.

Re:Undercutting the market? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30855222)

Seems to me they're just catching up with the competition. TFS positions this as a blow against Tom Tom at al, but this is something that other smartphones have been offering for quite some time.

Offline is less important than real-time updates (1)

dlevitan (132062) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854458)

There are very few times when off-line maps are useful in a car. For those times, there are real GPS units (ones that have batteries that last for 16 hours instead of 2 hours and can survive a fall or water or the like). The thing that makes Google maps navigation so useful to me (on my Droid) are the live traffic updates. Plus, I don't have to worry about downloading maps onto my cell phone. Everything is updated all the time, and I can have my phone re-route me on alternate routes based on current traffic.

Re:Offline is less important than real-time update (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854538)

Also to note... Garmin has several models with built-in traffic from Clear Channel's Total Traffic Network (running in an RDS feed on most of their FM signals), and now provides lifetime service with add-on devices for other models at a much lower price. They also offer a lifetime map update download service, with refreshes every quarter. So, if you're in an area that has radio but not good cellular, the up-to-date info can be with you.

Re:Offline is less important than real-time update (2, Informative)

Kessler (23923) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854568)

Ovi Maps does real-time online map downloads just fine, along with real-time online traffic updates, weather, events, location sharing, etc. However, by allowing you to store maps on the memory card (a few gig can cover the US and most of Europe) you aren't *forced* to be online to use it. Handy for those treks into more rural areas (where 3G coverage, not to mention road signs, is a luxury and offline nav becomes really beneficial). Also nice when you're off-network and don't want to pay crazy data roaming charges.

Re:Offline is less important than real-time update (1, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854600)

There are very few times when off-line maps are useful in a car.

Do they put crack in the water where you live, or do you have to go down and buy it off the street?

Standalone GPS (4, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854476)

I own an openmoko and my wife owns an HTC Magic, running android. I know five or so people who own iPhones. I am yet to see a device which can replace my Garmin etrex.

I regularly attach the garmin to the deck of my sea kayak and dunk it in the ocean. I don't plan on doing that to a smart phone.

Re:Standalone GPS (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854564)

Pffff...you use a Garmin to go kayaking in the ocean? Lemme guess, you also wear a helmet and a life vest? Yuppie detected.

All ya need is a Frenzy and a paddle, bro. Backpack full of beer optional.

Re:Standalone GPS (3, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854638)

Not so much for navigation as for keeping track of movement. For example if I am in a current I may not know about it visually for a while, but the GPS will tell me straight away what is going on.

Re:Standalone GPS (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854652)

I regularly attach the garmin to the deck of my sea kayak and dunk it in the ocean. I don't plan on doing that to a smart phone.

Meanwhile, I refuse to buy another smartphone until I can get one that I can attach to the deck of a sea kayak and dunk it in the ocean. Just got a nokia 1661... it makes calls and rings alarms, and was twenty bucks. I'd like more features, but I'd like them on a device that's not a fragile piece of shit as nearly all electronics seem to be.

Re:Standalone GPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30854654)

I'm guessing not even 1% of GPS users need a waterproof device.

Re:Standalone GPS (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854734)

I'm guessing not even 1% of GPS users need a waterproof device.

Maybe but they were the original market for dedicated GPS devices anyway.

Re:Standalone GPS (1)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854728)

True. iPhones and the like have nothing on my Foretrex 401, or even the ordinary yellow eTrex. The interface on these devices is even much better than that on smartphone GPS applications - some are so oversimplified you can't even see the coordinates.

The foretrex is wrist mounted so its actually more convenient than an all in one device, unless you feel like strapping an iphone to your wrist.

The market will survive (1)

mliu (85608) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854964)

Without a doubt the market for standalone GPS units will survive, but the question is in what form. It would be a huge loss for Garmin et al if they're reduced to making rugged specialty GPS devices while smartphones take over the lucrative in-car navigation that represents 99% of consumer usage.

The advantages of a GFS device with a data connection are numerous. Live traffic, live updates, live information (such as gas prices). Those are all download-oriented, but many of the promising usages are bidirectional communication-oriented. Live display of other cars on the road, live traffic tracking through precise vehicle placement. Plus all sorts of other Big Brotherish stuff that is less pleasant.

These advantages are compelling enough that we've already seen movements towards getting a cellular radio in standalone GPS units. However, those haven't seen much traction because who wants to pay another monthly fee for their GPS. Once the smartphone based GPS applications become mature, the standalone manufacturers are in a world of trouble.

Re:Standalone GPS (3, Interesting)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 4 years ago | (#30855188)

iPhones are not good at navigation yet, I own one, and have lots of problems. I've seen HTC tilt running TomTom software and is good, but hangs sometimes. My girlfriend bought an E75, and despite of some normal issues like thinking I'm on a parallel road, the effectiveness of their system has been, to me one the best among those I tried.

I differ about a previous comment of not buying another stand alone in my life, as I appreciate photography and cellphones cameras are far from a stand alone one. Nokia has been doing a good work also there (Pictures of my iPhone suck real bad compared to my girlfriend's E75).

Standalone Systems will just be enhanced (1)

djtwo (925751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854514)

Drivers in Japan and Korea already use much higher spec standalone GPS's (10+ inch screens, built in TV etc) that phones cannot match. This is worryingly evident driving through Seoul in rush hour, where most of the drivers are watching the latest soap on their GPS screens. You can't even buy US size GPS's because phones match their capabilities.

motorola droid v garmin (0)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854548)

Droid gps sucks smegma compared to my garmin etrex hac.

Droid couldn't keep a signal in a relatively flat urban area with moderate overhead vegetation. Disappointing .....

Sprint + WebOS +GPS is already "free" (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854590)

Please note that the Palm Pre and Pixi (WebOS) already has "free" navigation. The base Sprint dataplan (unlike Verizon) for those phones includes turn-by-turn Sprint navigation at no extra cost (Verizon is $10/mo more, I believe for that feature and that is on top of the service plan already $20 beings per month than Sprint when you include unlimited text messaging. Sprint also has free mobile to ANY mobile communication, and better nights/weekends.) My point is, although it is not "stand alone" navigation, it is essentially already free with the above combination. And coverage is very good. Unless users are way out in nowhere, those users already have most all of the same features of a stand-alone GPS. So although the Nokia news is interesting, it is not quite as "fantastic" as some might think.

Re:Sprint + WebOS +GPS is already "free" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30854838)

You're wrong, for this reason: You can buy unlocked Nokia or Android phones and use them on any carrier. You only get Sprint navigation WITH SPRINT.

Re:Sprint + WebOS +GPS is already "free" (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 4 years ago | (#30855014)

I am not "wrong" for any reason. I said that Sprint + WebOS already has "free" GPS/Nav services. That has nothing to do with Nokia or Android phones. If I bought an unlocked Nokia GSM phone, that phone can't be used on Verizon or Sprint. But that has little to do with anything I said.

Re:Sprint + WebOS +GPS is already "free" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30854842)

Not everyone lives in the U.S., it is fantastic for a lot of people, specially those who already own one of the affected devices.

Re:Sprint + WebOS +GPS is already "free" (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854856)

Unless users are way out in nowhere, those users already have most all of the same features of a stand-alone GPS.

On the other hand, if I'm way out in nowhere, I definitely need directions in order to get somewhere. That's where downloadable maps shine.

Also, keeping that connection open to the Internet in order to get your maps probably does not do wonders for your battery life. This isn't a big deal if you're in a car, granted, but some of us use alternate means of transportation.

pay to use my hardware (1)

anglophobe_0 (1383785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854740)

Yeah...I was really surprised when I got my wife a gps-enabled smartphone, then found out it doesn't work unless you pay...Shouldn't you not have to pay to use the hardware that you already purchased? Maybe their justification is you pay for the maps, but overall it really seems ridiculous.

Maybe it will be good? (1)

sarhjinian (94086) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854772)

Maybe now that they're planning to make it free, it won't be so deplorably poor?

I have an E71 and I'd abandoned Nokia's mapping solutions because a) it seems impossible to search for anything and b) street numbers seem to have no relation to your physical position.

Nokia makes very good hardware and the operating system seems solid, but the software is incredibly half-baked. It's like the developers give when they've met the bare-minimum specifications and move on. In the case of GPS, I've yet to see another phone lock my position so quickly and use so little battery, just as I've yet to see a phone give me such a crash-proof and battery-friendly mail experience. But the GPS software is just wretched (even up to Maps 3.0), just as the various mail applications (Mail, MfE, Messaging) can't give the kind of email experience RIM nailed nearly a decade ago.

It's the kind of behaviour that will see Apple and Google eat them alive.

What, no E75 love? (1)

cavehobbit (652751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30854848)

Just checked and they do not offer it for the E75, one of their pricier, GPS enabled phones. Man, do I feel like an idiot for buying one now.

Re:What, no E75 love? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30854954)

I understood they'll get to the other models eventually. Including the Maemo one.

GPS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30854912)

For me, a phone is impractical for navigating. A phone is a LONG way off from helping me as far as my GPS needs go (I drive A LOT) and using it to navigate and talk at the same time is just cumbersome.

hey Big Bro (1)

goga_russian (544604) | more than 4 years ago | (#30855000)

should read > Nokia will make easier to keep tabs on you. Long live NSA! #1 - I love NSA ! #2 - I love NSA even more !

This is not new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30855040)

Nokia have had free navigation for years [reghardware.co.uk] .

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