Just over a week ago, Nokia Maps on Nokia Lumia smartphones received its latest update. That makes it the third update to Nokia Maps in nine months! There’s been rapid development on the Maps front and we’re going to take you on a walk-through of the latest update, Nokia Maps 2.5.
When you’re looking for directions on how to get somewhere, Nokia Maps should be the first place you visit, as it’s full of everything you’ll possibly need for the journey. Does it find your position in super-quick time? Yes. Can it show you a clear and easy to understand map? Yes. What if you want to add a photo of a newly found favourite eatery on Nokia Maps for all to see? Yes, it even has that.
- Press the Search button on your Nokia Lumia and then tap Vision
- Scan the barcode
- Tap on the link when it appears on the screen
- Install the application from the Windows Phone Marketplace
Nokia Maps provides a lot of functionality while being easy to use, runs smoothly and looks great. Its most basic function, and one you’d expect from a mapping service, is to get you from A to B. So, let’s look at this feature first.
Once you’ve loaded up Nokia Maps on your Nokia Lumia smartphone – and if you haven’t installed it yet, scan the QR code on the right with your phone – within seconds Nokia Maps will have located and pinpointed you on a map – represented by a green circle.
Most people will want to know how to get from where they currently are to somewhere else. To do this, just hit the search icon at the bottom. Type in where you want to go and Nokia Maps will return a list of options. If the results are nearby, the maps screen may zoom out a little and populate with a small pin or several depending on the search results. If the estimation is further away, Nokia Maps will zoom out and place the map. It will try to show your current location on the screen at the same time unless it’s miles or kilometres apart.
Pressing on one of those location pins will bring up a number of options, such as getting directions there, phone number and address of the venue (if there is one), the opening hours and possibly the website of the venue, too. These all help to verify that the destination is the correct one and make a booking if you want to.
If you select get directions Nokia Maps will calculate the best route and present it to you in visual form on the map. Now, depending on how you’re planning to get there you may want to toggle the navigation options at the bottom. If you’re planning on walking, hit the walking icon. There’s a handy public transport method, too that shows details on what station to get on and what stop to get off at, as well as the drive (not to be confused with Nokia Drive) option if you want to jump in the car. Pressing the expand arrow icon at the bottom will show you full step-by-step details on how to get to your destination.
Those journeys can be saved to your start screen for future use, giving you easy access to the places that matter when you need it.
If, however, you don’t want to start your journey from where you currently are, the journey planner gives you the option to change your starting point. In the expanded route section of the route, just change the from point to somewhere else by clicking on it.
Another nice feature is the share button. This is really useful if you plan to meet your friends and you want to tell them how long it will take you to get to the venue. You can share this via email or using the social integration of Windows Phone which gives you access to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Windows Live.
Setting route navigation aside, if you’ve just found the perfect spot for lunch and want your friends from the office to come and join you, find the venue of Nokia Maps then press share. This will let everybody know where you are. Again, you can either choose to send this to people on your social networks, or send out an email or SMS for a more private luncheon affair.
With Nokia Maps you can add your own reviews or photos to any points of interest. Stop for dinner at a restaurant and want to tell everybody else how good it is? Open Nokia Maps, find the venue and go to the reviews page. If you’re particularly impressed with the decor or the way the food is presented on your plate, take a photo and upload it to the venue’s photo page. It’s a really great way of communicating your experience of the venue.
Adding favourite locations to Nokia Maps is easy; find a location, select the location pin and press the favourite icon, represented by a star. These favourites will be synced to your Nokia account meaning that they will also appear on maps.nokia.com or another phone where you may use Nokia Maps. This makes it really simple to get to your favourite locations no matter what device you happen to be using.
Users in the United States currently have an additional feature to Nokia Maps 2.5. Groupon Now! deals are now included in your search results. Whenever you search for a location, the same search results will appear as before, but now, you’ll see which locations are offering special deals with Groupon. This could be the deciding factor when trying to decide where to go for dinner, or where to play a round of golf.
Are you a Nokia Maps user? Have you found new venues due to using Nokia Maps? Tell us about it by using the comments section, below.