Nokia Maps 3.0 beta is not just for Symbian S60 3th ed. Feature Pack 2 anymore. Feature Pack 1 users can try it too.
And trying it is, because the new beta test version of Nokias navigation program is still as full of bugs as a bedsheet in a backpackers hostel.
Let's start with the good news. The new test version goes straight to your position on startup, or to your last known position if it can't get a GPS fix. You can rotate all maps (including those with 3D landmarks), the new "point me to" option routes you straight from your current location to any saved place or landmark, and you can plan routes on Ovi and send them to your phone. The user interface is cleaned up a little as well, although the map is now overlaid with an ovi logo, which gets annoying real quick.
But in order to try all these things you'll need to install it first, and then get the program up and running. That's easier said than done.
Nokia Maps 3.0 beta doesn't come as a .sis installer. Well, it does, but Nokia tries really hard to hide that installer for you. The official Nokia way of installing Nokia Maps 3.0 beta is through Nokia Map Updater, for which you need a PC with Windows Vista or XP, and Nokia PC Suite, and .net framework from Microsoft. It won't work with Linux, it won't work on a Mac. Fortunately there are ways to get it on your phone without having to find a PC and struggle with Map Updater and all its requirements (see links below).
There's a good chance that Nokia Maps 3.0 beta shuts itself down straight after you launch it. Or it may complain about an "out of memory error," which you can fix by deleting the Cities folder and the file called qf from your memory card or internal phone memory.
But before you start, back up your phone memory and the maps stored on your memory card. The uninstaller for Nokia Maps 3.0 beta will likely give you a "removing failed" message, so restoring a backup of your phone memory may be your only way to get back to Nokia Maps 2.0 if you don't want to format your phone. The uninstaller didn't work in the previous test version either. Unforgiveable, really. When people test your program for free, making the uninstaller work should have priority over everything else.
Maps for Nokia Maps 3.0 beta and those for Nokia Maps 2.0 are not compatible, so make sure to have a backup of your old stored maps if you don't want to download them all over again.
Don't expect too much from the maps. I tried to make it display the Taj Mahal (which is on the map and satellite image in Google Maps), but the greatest piece of architecture on the planet is not on the map. The entire city of Agra and the river that flows through it are terra incognita according to Nokia Maps. So for the screenshot in this post I zoomed in on the Ponte di Rialto in Venice instead.
Enough warnings. Time for the links:
• Nokia Maps 3.0 Beta .sis installer at E71Blog.com
• 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.
Tuesday, 10 February 2009