Nokia Offers Free Turn-By-Turn Navigation Software Worldwide

nokia-free-ovi-maps

Nokia entered the professional navigation software race—and yes, there was one going on. The major competitors were Google, Garmin and TomTom; all were able to develop advanced GPS navigation software and became leaders in the market.  But today, the Finnish mobile phone maker referred to its new GPS software as “game-changing,” causing the competition to take a second look.

Nokia is basically giving away its mapping software on 10 of its smartphones—the service is completely free. Nokia says it had made available through its website a new, free version of its Ovi Maps software which includes turn-by-turn instructions for 74 countries, with vocal prompts in 46 language, plus additional maps for another 106 countries. The GPS mapping software has been one of the most popular applications for smartphones and Nokia’s choice to turn it into a giveaway may boost its handset sales, but still not completely rid the company of debt.

The New York Times reports that Nokia’s stock had hardly changed after it made the announcement this morning and the company’s share of the smartphone market has slipped to 38 percent from 53 percent two years earlier.  The move to free navigation announced today may not give Nokia a giant boost in sales, but it will get more consumers and competitors to think twice about the company—and that’s probably what they’re going for.

“By adding cameras at no extra cost to our phones we quickly became the biggest camera manufacturer in the world,” says Anssi Vanjoki, a Nokia executive vice president, in a statement. “The aim of the new Ovi Maps is to enable us to do the same for navigation.”

Nokia says its software giveaway has the potential to dramatically increase the number of people worldwide using GPS satellite navigation on cell phones to 50 million from the current 23 million.

Emerging Tech

From the moon to mass production: 10 pieces of modern tech indebted to Apollo

This article is part of Apollo: A Lunar Legacy, a multi-part series that explores the technological advances behind Apollo 11, their influence on modern day, and what's next for the moon. You may have heard that freeze-dried food was…
Photography

50 years later, the first camera on the moon is still collecting lunar dust

The cameras aboard Apollo 11 captured some of history's most iconic images, including shots of Earth and footprints on the lunar surface. To commemorate the first moon landing, we look back at how Hasselblad's stripped shooters came to be.
Emerging Tech

Mars 2020 rover enters its final year of engineering before launch

The countdown has begun for the last year of development before the Mars 2020 launches between July 17, 2020 and August 5, 2020. Progress on finalizing the rover is right on track, according to NASA.
Emerging Tech

Could Mars’ now-barren Gale Crater lake have once supported life?

The Gale Crater is the site of an ancient lake which existed for millions of years. But even after the lake disappeared, groundwater could have remained for billions of years. Now, a team of scientists is searching for clues of life there.
Emerging Tech

Practically perfect in every way: Hubble shows galaxy with amazing symmetry

This week's Hubble image shows the spiral galaxy NGC 2985, located over 70 million light-years away. Hubble scientists describe NGC 2985 as having near-perfect symmetry, showing tightly wound spiral arms which converge in the center.
Cars

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Wearable chargers and A.I.-enhanced keyboards

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Harvard University has a bold new plan to make Mars livable for humans

Want to live on Mars? Harvard researchers have a bold new way to make it happen. Their plan involves covering portions of Mars with an insulating aerogel. Here's why it could work.
Emerging Tech

China’s space station, Tiangong-2, has burned up in the atmosphere

China's space station, Tiangong-2, has burned up in the Earth's atmosphere as part of a planned deorbit. It was originally scheduled to be in space for two or three years, but it survived longer than expected and spent 1,000 days in space.
Emerging Tech

NASA’s Artemis capsule is complete, will carry the first woman to the moon

The crew capsule which will carry American astronauts to the moon as part of the Artemis project has been completed. The completion of the Artemis 1 capsule was announced by Vice President Mike Pence.
Emerging Tech

Three new astronauts join the International Space Station crew for Expedition 60

Exactly fifty years after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon, a new team of astronauts from NASA, Roscosmos, and ESA have arrived at the International Space Station to begin their stay there.
Emerging Tech

How re-engineering an old technology could give us EVs with 700 miles of range

Battery supply has been a critical limiting factor in electric vehicle adoption. Now Portland-based XNRGI has developed a battery based on old silicon wafer technology, and it could revolutionize the battery industry.
Emerging Tech

Parrot exits low-end drone market to focus on its Anafi quadcopter

Parrot is exiting the low-end drone market to focus on developing its more advanced Anafi drone for the commercial market. The company recently won a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense to develop a drone for use in combat.
Emerging Tech

Jetpack pilot flies around Sydney Harbour and stays dry, unlike before

Ten years ago, a jetpack demonstration by Aussie entrepreneur David Mayman saw him end up in Sydney Harbour, but on Sunday he returned with a far more sophisticated design that this time kept him dry.
Emerging Tech

Space tourism is coming, and it’s going to wreak havoc on Earth’s atmosphere

NASA has announced it will be allowing tourists to visit the International Space Station. But experts who spoke to Digital Trends warn that space tourism could hurt the environment by damaging our planet's fragile ozone layer.