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Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Nokia Maps is trying something new: Nokia Maps 3.0 Beta and Nokia Maps Updater

Nokia Maps Maps on Ovi, Navigation
Nokia Beta Labs released the first test version of Nokia Maps 3.0. It's only available for a limited number of phones, though. You'll need a Symbian S60 3rd ed. feature pack 2 Nokia phone (but not a Nokia N96), and a PC that runs Windows XP or Vista with Nokia PC Suite and Nokia's new Map Updater program. Yep, that's right. Soon after Nokia finally made a Mac version of their map downloader, they've broken Mac compatibility again. And Nokia Maps is still not compatible with Linux.

Nokia Maps 3.0 beta doesn't come as a stand alone .sis installer. You can only install it through the new Nokia Map Updater. This will not only install Nokia Maps 3.0 Beta, but it will also replace all the maps on your phone, because maps for the old versions of Nokia Maps are not compatible with the new Nokia Maps Beta, and vice versa.

Before you run out to play test rabbit you better back up your phone memory, because rolling back from the bug-ridden 3.0 Beta to Nokia Maps 2.0 is difficult if you're lucky and close to impossible if you're not. That's really unacceptable if you think about it. When you ask people to invest their time, their phones, and their data plans to do your job for you, you should have a functional, in-house tested uninstaller ready. That's the least you can do for your unpaid volunteers.

from the Nokia Maps 3.0 Beta blog comments:

1) Delete the "cities" folder and the "qf" file on the memory card - this gets rid of Maps 3 data stuff.
2) Reinstall Nokia_Maps_2.0_4503_3.2_u.sis
3) Start Maps - no maps available - close Maps - this recreates the required directories.
4) Use Map Loader 2 to load new Maps.

(Note: you don't need to use Map Loader. You can also use the Nokia Map Loader alternative, which works on any operating system, with no need to install anything on your computer.)

Ok I’ve recovered (mostly) Nokia Maps to version 2.0 .. however I still have one minor outstanding issue .. the Icon and app name show as Smart2Go and its a generic # icon

Your navigation licenses for Nokia Maps work in 3.0 Beta too, but your licenses for guides do not, so if you want to use your guides then do not install the new beta test version.

The benefits of Nokia Maps 3.0 Beta: the map colors look sexier, panning and zooming is smoother, maps have more details such as subway station entrances, if you zoom in really close you'll see 3D outlines of important buildings and other landmarks in the big cities of the world, zooming in on mountains shows terrain maps, pedestrian navigation now features shortcuts through parks and squares, and car navigation comes with speed limit warnings and other traffic information. Future updates will include weather info too.

You don't need a phone to run Nokia Maps. There's also a web browser plugin called Maps on Ovi which puts Nokia Maps on your computer. You can synchronise favourites and collections between the phone and PC versions. The plugin works with Internet Explorer but leaves many other browsers out in the cold, and it ignores Mac and Linux users.

Nokia Maps Beta and Nokia Maps Updater from Nokia Beta Labs
Nokia Maps Beta 3.0 on the Nokia Beta Labs blog
Maps on Ovi
One week Nokia Maps navigation trial

UPDATE: Nokia Maps 3.0 is out of beta testing, and is now called Ovi Maps 3.0.

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