GLOBAL – Every month or two, the fast-working team at Nokia Maps pump out a new version through the Beta Labs. This week they’ve released version 3.08, that sees some improvements to the older version. Check out what’s changed in the details that follow the jump. Plus we’ve noticed the web version of Nokia Maps is working on other manufacturers’ devices, too.
Those of you who had installed the previous beta release of Nokia Maps will know the app is now split into separate parts depending on what you want to do, which make getting to your destination much quicker and easier. These are now called General, Maps & Walk and Drive Most of the updates in Nokia Maps for mobile v3.08 are aimed at the Drive section.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the icons that sit on your homescreen have changed in colour. They are now green with rounded edges. Taking style lessons from the Anna update that’s incoming.
Once you’ve loaded up the new drive app map, there are now three big buttons that welcome you. Set destination, Drive home and Just drive. If you select the first option, you’ll now see there’s an option to select an address from one of your contacts, as well as the normal methods we’ve seen in previous versions. One thing I didn’t like before was the inability to delete previously searched address, as these just pile up and look ugly. This is now rectified. Just simply long press on a previous search and then press the delete pop-up text.
When driving around town trying to get to your destination, traffic information is now used automatically – by default – so you’ll always be aware of the best route to take. This is very handy to reduce the amount of times you usually end up sitting in traffic jams. At the moment, this information is only available in Germany, France, US, UK and Russia. If you want, you can turn this off in the Route settings menu.
The red lines on the roads indicates heavy traffic.
Once you’re on-the-move and your phone is housed in its phone holder, you’ll inevitably need to press the screen for something. For increasing the volume, to set a destination or to change the view to 3D for that different perspective. One tap of the options key will bring you a selection of large buttons where all this – and more – can be done.
If you want to change between the distance you’ve got left to travel of having the estimated time of arrival displayed, now you just press the two buttons on the left of the main maps view. This is something I missed in the previous versions, too.
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As always, we need to remind you that seeing that this is from Nokia Beta Labs there may be some issues with the app, so caution is advised. But for those who are feeling adventurous, download, install and give it a try today.
On a side note, we’ve noticed something over the past couple of days. This isn’t directly connected to this app, but interesting nonetheless. We’ve discovered that a web version – in beta – of Nokia Maps will work on other devices, not manufactured by Nokia. We’ve tried it on an Android device and an iPhone 4. The results were surprising.
Here it is working on an iPhone 4.
On these devices, point your browser to maps.nokia.com and you’ll see a version of Nokia Maps. At the moment it appears to just give the option to find your current location and even plot a route from A – B, but with no voice commands or turn by turn navigation. And of course, these users don’t get the option of offline maps for super-fast access with no internet connection. However, this is excellent news. Who knows what’s planned for the future?
Have you tried Nokia Maps for mobile v3.08 yet? How about the web version on other devices? Give them both a try and let us know how you get on.