Ovi Maps and roaming abroad

Nokia has a great advantage in Symbian phones against competition, free maps and navigation with the Ovi Maps (future Nokia Maps) application. I downloaded maps for Trentino area in Italy before my trip here to the Garda lake with Nokia Maps Loader for Mac OS X. It was an easy and fast task. http://europe.nokia.com/support/product-support/nokia-map-loader

Ovi Maps has both map and satellite image views. I have set it to offline mode, but it seems to download something in the background anyway.
Ovi Maps has both map and satellite image views. I have set it to offline mode, but it seems to download something in the background anyway.

The latest version of Ovi Maps adds a useful feature to also pre-load maps directly on your phone. This is useful if you don’t have a PC with you. I have downloaded maps to Nokia N8 when using my pre-paid Vodafone SIM or hotel’s Wirelesss LAN.

However, I think Nokia should still improve Ovi Maps (Nokia Maps) for travellers. There should be more advanced and clearer choices when roaming abroad.

On my trip to to Italy I have quickly noticed in Italy Ovi Maps 3.06 and 3.07 want a mobile access all the time, even though I have downloaded maps. Is there supposed to be one selection to disable online traffic when roaming? I haven’t found one. Ovi Maps keeps asking for a connection even though I’ve selected the offline mode and should have maps installed.

I haven’t traveled a lot abroad with Android and iOS phones, but I recall they have one switch do totally disable roaming. Google Maps has some kind of an offline cache, and there are Offmaps and other 3d party apps for offline navigation. Any thoughts of how well these work compared to Ovi Maps?

Of course it would be nice if you didn’t have to worry about roaming costs so much at least inside EU. I have found a reasonable solution to this by getting a pre-paid SIM with a large enough data plan, such as 3GB in Vodafone’s HSPA/WCDMA networks for two weeks here in Italy.

This way I can use Google Maps too without extra cost (up to my data limit). It often has a better selection of ’points of interest’ (or POIs) than Ovi Maps.

2 thoughts on “Ovi Maps and roaming abroad

  1. The only reason I kept my Nokia C5, purchased July 2010, was Ovi Maps. The phone cost less than 100e at the time and it’s fast enough for Ovi Maps to work reasonably well as a GPS-enabled map. They still sell the phone for 160e..

    I noticed similar problem with the Maps application, it’s just impossible to get it quiet about data access. It worked despite the warnings and errors, though.

    I would consider OffMaps2 a serious competitor, though. Last week I used it exclusive on the iPad and didn’t bother with the Nokia.

  2. I also used prepaid w/ unlimited data in england (or pay-as-you go with all-you-can-eat data as the crazy brits calls it) and it was extremely useful. Google Maps has now a possibility to cache any area in advance, but there’s not much point in that; the service is useful when searching something, checking restaurant reviews or servicw hours. Nokia Maps is good for navigation but not for much else, at least in my experience.

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