Nokia Maps 3.0 beta updated

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Nokia Maps 3.0, currently in beta, has received its second major release. The new beta extends compatibility to popular S60 3.1 (3rd Edition Feature Pack 1) devices such as the Nokia N95 and Nokia E71. The new version adds support for map rotation, more shortcut keys, better 3D support, a 'point me' function for saved landmarks and fixes a larger number of bugs. Based on my initial experience, I would add that the performance is improved and the application is much more stable. You are now also able to synchronise routes (in addition to favourites/landmarks) between Nokia Maps and Maps on Ovi. Read on for screens and more detail.

UI tweak   terrain   building

The application's UI has been reworked in several places. For example the 'History' entry, which offers quick access to recent locations, has been moved up the menu list. Terrain and satellite map mode both now work in 3D mode. Most usefully, the map can now be rotated, making it easier to orientate yourself and, incidentally, allowing you to fully view the 3D building rendering built into Nokia Maps 3.0.

Maps on Ovi

The new version brings improved integration with the browser-based Maps on Ovi. You can now plan a route using Maps on Ovi in your PC's web browser and, once you have saved the route, it can be synchronised to your phone. This is in addition to the existing landmark/favourite synchronisation.

sync with maps on ovi      sync

Nokia Maps uses the Ovi single-sign-on username and password. Synchronisation can be set to take place automatically every time you start and close Nokia Maps or you can choose to manually sync.

route   pointmeto

It is generally much easier to plan routes (especially complex ones) on the PC, before viewing and using them on the phone. Another useful addition is the  'Point me to' function, which shows you in which direction a selected landmark is on the maps, based on your current position.

Full details on the new version and detailed download and installation instructions are available from the Nokia Beta Labs web site. It is worth stressing that Maps 3.0 remains in beta and if you are looking for stability then you will be better served by staying on Nokia Maps 2.0. However, the new release does seem to be more stable than the initial release from early December 2008.

Nokia Maps 3.0 beta is now compatible with the following devices:
S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 1 (E71, E66, 6110 Navigator, N95, N95 8GB, N82)
S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 2 (N96, N85, N79, 6650, 6210 Navigator, 6220 Classic, N78)

Rafe Blandford, All About Symbian 9 Feb 2009