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Friday, 20 June 2008

New Nokia Map Loader: same old junk

Nokia Maps
Nokia beta labs cooked Nokia Map Loader 2.0 beta.

What's new? Not much. Nokia's new map loader lets you choose between PC Suite mode and the standard mass storage connection method. It also has a built-in shop where Nokia tries to sell you voice navigation, city guides, and traffic info. In fact, "With Map Loader 2.0 you can buy navigation and city guides directly from your PC!" is the opening line of the page where Nokia announces its new baby, and the rest of the page is full of similar "buy this" and "enter credit card number there" phrases. Could this be the reason why Nokia tried to kill the Nokia Map Loader alternative?

What's not new? Unfortunately, quite a lot. All the old flaws remain unfixed. The old requirement for Windows with .net framework is still there. It still won't work on Mac or Linux systems. You still can't download maps over WiFi or 3G with the Symbian browser of your phone. In terms of unnecessary overhead, Nokia Map Loader is still as badly designed as ever. All those megabytes won't even tell you which maps you already have installed on your phone. And if you update one map, the new map loader still erases every other map you already had loaded on your phone so you'll have to download all of them all over again.

And the shop? It only works in PC Suite mode which requires that you have PC Suite installed, and credit card is the only payment option available.

The verdict: the new map loader will make Nokia's marketing department happy, but it doesn't offer any useful improvements for the users of Nokia Maps, other than an extra cash register where you can hand over your money.

Fortunately the Nokia Map Loader Alternative is still alive and kicking.

Nokia Map Loader 2.0 beta, only works on Windows XP and Vista with .net framework 3 installed.

Nokia Map Loader Alternative, works on any operating system. You don't even need to install anything on your computer.

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