[the times] Nokia today announced that it would make full GPS navigation available to all users of its current mobile handsets worldwide, with a new version of its Ovi Maps application.
Although mapping services are common on mobile devices such as the iPhone, BlackBerry and Nokia's own smartphones, this is the first time that turn-by-turn voice navigation, normally a feature of dedicated GPS units, has been made available for free by any handset manufacturer.
Nokia claims that the new version of Ovi Maps will include all essential car and pedestrian navigation features for 74 countries in 46 languages, and traffic information for over 10 countries, as well as detailed maps for over 180 countries. Users will pay data charges to their mobile carrier for GPS usage, but Nokia itself will not levy any charges.
“We want to make using your mobile for navigation as familiar as using it to send a text or take a picture," Anssi Vanjoki, the Executive Vice President of Nokia, said. "We believe that making the best maps with voice guided navigation available for free will be the catalyst to do this. We can help you get around almost any city in the world, whether you’re on foot or driving.”
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