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Nokia enhances free-to-download satnav app

Software 'streamlined'

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Nokia has updated its free satnav application, Nokia Maps, rolling in a range of tweaks designed, the Finnish phone giant claimed, to "streamline" the user experience. It's also integrating the software into its Ovi online portal.

The new Maps features a user interface that's less cluttered than before, Nokia said, and better able to find nearby amenities more quickly. It also provides a broader array of places-of-interest categories.

Nokia Maps
Nokia Maps: now with data use and GPS status read-outs

More handy, perhaps, is the new GPS status indicator and the new download counter, part of the map view, that gives users a clear indication as to how much data the app's pulling over the network.

Maps users can save download time by grabbing maps ahead of time through Nokia's PC-based Map Loader tool, which has been tweaked, Nokia said, to download maps up to ten times more quickly.

Nokia Maps
Nokia Maps: improved searching and POI categories

Both Nokia Maps and Nokia Map Loader are now available for download from the company's website, where you can also get a list of compatible handsets.

Maps now comes with a three-day free trial licence for Nokia's navigation service, allowing user not only to plan routes ahead of time, as they can with the free version, but also to try out the app's turn-by-turn guidance, which usually costs extra.

Nokia said it would increase the number of downloadable maps to 150 during the second half of the year. That said, only around 50 of them can be used for navigation.

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