Nokia Beta Labs launch Nokia Nearby

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Nokia Beta Labs has announced a new project entitled Nokia Nearby. Aimed at emerging markets, it aims to provide ‘hyper local search’ capability, especially for devices not supported by Nokia Maps. Nokia Nearby is a Java application which runs on almost all S60 and S40 devices; with an emphasis on the latter. Utilizing network-based location, it doesn’t require GPS. The application allows you to search by category or name, and add locations to a list of favourites. Read on for a demonstration and download link.

From the announcement:

With Nokia Nearby you can discover places & listings like restaurants, movie theaters, and malls and get details about the places that interest you and contact them from within the app.

  •     Discover & access info on places & listings around your location
  •     Search for location specific information within your vicinity
  •     Share place information with friends via SMS
  •     Send the entire app to friends via Bluetooth
  •     Call the listing from within the app

Nokia stated its goal for launching Nokia Nearby as a Beta Labs project as:

In this beta pilot, our goal is to understand the usability of this service. We would like to understand the usefulness of the service as well as get your thoughts on what features you think could be a part of such a service in the future.

Given that S40 will continue beyond Symbian when Nokia switch over to Windows Phone (over the next couple of years), this is evidence that Nokia are still working on building and expanding S40 functionality. Given the local knowledge that Nokia has built up for Maps, and its strong sales of S40 devices in emerging markets, this hints at how Nokia might try to bring S40 up to meet the usability of S60 devices

Nokia Nearby will work on your S60 devices, apart from the following: Nokia E51, Nokia N70, Nokia N72, Nokia N73, Nokia N90, Nokia 6600, Nokia 6630, Nokia 6680, Nokia 6681, and Nokia 6682.

If you have a compatible phone on which you'd like to try this, you can sign up to the beta project by visiting its labs page.

David Gilson for All About Symbian, 30th August 2011.