updated 08:40 am EST, Wed February 3, 2010
Sets stage for other GPS-aware apps
Nokia today revealed that within one week of relaunching Ovi Maps as a free service, over 1 million users have downloaded the new version. There have been over 1.4 million downloads in total since the January 21 launch, or an average of one per second. The number is faster than Nokia had predicted, according to the smartphone maker.
The company made the move in response to the introduction late last year of the free Google Maps Navigation app for Android-based smartphones. Nokia claims its service is better, because data preloaded in Ovi Maps speeds route planning and decreases the need for downloads.
Ovi Maps is optimized for ten of Nokia's smartphones and is meant primarily for Symbian S60. Beginning in March, all new Nokia GPS-enabled smartphones will include the new version of Ovi Maps, pre-loaded with local country map data. The app also provides access to Lonely Planet and Michelin travel guides at no extra cost.
Nokia has made location-aware services such as mapping and navigation a key part of its marketing strategy. The handset maker has hopes that the large installed base of Ovi Maps users will spur development of other 3rd-party GPS-aware apps.