Google maps Vs Nokia Ovi Maps

This is the second post, I am typing from MaStory of Nokia N900. Sure, typing from Windows Live Writer is a much better and comfortable thing to do, but I really want to explore this beast Nokia N900 and really enjoying typing from its qwerty keypad.

Something I am kind of hating about Maemo is unavailability of Java Support with it as of now, although their wiki page for java suggest a lot of things, but still I find it frustating for a majority of users. Gmail and Google Maps client is something that people really gonna miss here and unavailability of these gonna be deal breaker even when OS has much potential, but ……


Nokia already provide their implementation of Maps and its free as well, then why one look for Google Maps?

There are many features that Google Maps offer you better than Nokia Maps. listing some of them below:

1. Quicker Locking of location: There might be arguments over this, but by personal experiences still gps find Google Maps quicker about this. Call it quicker and robust servers of Google of something else, but it is. May be the reason is that Google Maps get assisted by a service My Location from Google, which helps you out in finding your location even if your cellfone might not be having a GPS chip at all using your cellular network id. Sure, not exact though (diameter of 300-500 meters depending on nearest tower location). Although there is a my location icon in Nokia Maps, but I dont think it works that way. Working without GPS is sure something great (though not accurate)

2. Imagery of Google Maps is so much richer than Nokia Maps:street
Although Nokia still provides you satelite view, but I still dont see actual imaginary with it like the way Google Maps does. Moreover, recent additions of Street view makes it invincible in a kind. You get a real look over thing in place of looking over just pre-designed maps. Things like
street view could make you go crazy about the way Google Map put it.

3. Integration with other Google services like Lattitude and Buzz now:buzz1
Although it depends on you that what you use, but sure Buzz is here to stay and so Google Maps get one more reason. Lattitude gives you the way to share your location, so that your friends and your circle may find that where are you. Sure, Ovi maps have started the same, if I am right, but still …. Call it my own preference or I lived a lot with Google Maps.

I am not sure that there is any, but should be applications that which might be utilizing your location on more than one account like on Lattitude and Ovi, so that one would be able to see that where their friends are whether they are using Lattitude or Ovi Maps. This is highly crucial as one could find it by my instance.

4. Synchronization with desktop version of Google Maps:starred
If I am right then recently Nokia had tried to cover this issue by providing syncing the starred locations via their ovi accounts implementations, but still it can,t be compared with the level Google has brought it by My Maps. Here in India, we already started getting marriage invitations with routes defined in Google Map. Much convenient is to have the same into your cell.



So, this all was about Google Maps, but Ovi Maps have some dominating advantages and some solid reasons to be with it, specially after covering many flaws with ovi maps now. Let’s see how ….

1. Accurate locking:
Yes!! I said that Google Map seems to locking position quickly that too sometimes without availabilty of GPS signal, but how this actually work? It gets your nearest cellular tower and reports your destination with a good precision. While for actual locking through Satelites requires at least signal from two-three satelites. Nokia Maps might seem late in locking, but they lock you accurately in the same time or better than Google does.

2. What’s you care? Fancy imaginary or efficient navigation:
You might be confused that I am taking whose side? But I am talking about some facts here. Have you noticed the data usages by both the applications? Nokia does it offline and Google rely on live dynamic imaginary, sure fancy and detailed but ten times more costly than Nokia’s kind of offline ways. Checking your location that how it look like from satelite to show off is another thing and daily cost efficient navigation is something else.

3. Voice guided turn by turn navigation:
This is real deal breaker with Nokia Maps. Google’s voice guided navigation still not available for devices other than Android, while Nokia made it free for many of its devices which are sure in pocket of common man. More of that its so accurate and rich that you can imagine only on using the same. A perfect replacement for old GPS base navigation devices. Just put your phone on deck of your car and keep on driving or keep your headphones on and take a walk enjoying turn by turn witty navigation. While Google could provide you data-consuming text kind of navigation only not real time yet (even though directions and alternative routes might be innovative and dynamic, but all comes for a price in terms of data usages that too without any voice). Do one expect to look into cell all the time while driving?

4. Social side:
As I said, I dont see it a distant reality when sharing location could be unified means it’ll of no matter that you are using ovi or lattitude to share your location. If Google shares location live with lattitude then so does ovi with its own implementation and even with recent changes it provides option to share your location with Facebook. So, as Om Malik mentioned, “co-ordinates itself are of no means, but what matters with them is their social context.”

5. Synchronization:
After overhauling of their Nokia map, Nokia really faired enough about covering up many things. One was sync of things like Map locations. So, Nokia too have a solution with an ovi account of yours. Sure, till now No Buzz for ovi map, but who knows there might be apps out there to share your tweets with ovi maps someday.

6. More features are being added:
Though not of that mention, but Ovi stated adding other features like weather reports as per your location, finding nearest happening places etc. I am really looking for a twitter layer for Ovi Maps, it will put some spice in the game.

So, I think I discuss enough basic points here. What I think Google Map has enough features for people having Unlimited data plans, but if you are asking about accurate and cost effective solution for navigation use then Nokia Map sure a choice. Note that google is not providing you offline maps means if you are low on balance for GPRS use, then forget navigation.

I wish to have more points, if you could offer about this comparison and would love to hear about moments you might have spent with both of these great apps.


photo of Nitish KumarNitish Kumar



20 thoughts on “Google maps Vs Nokia Ovi Maps

  1. 1> You can get Google Map to lock using satellite / cellphone towers. But you cannot start navigation without locking onto satellite. Google Maps and navigation are 2 software components. Google Maps is the mobile version of the desktop google maps, whereas Google Navigation is a full fledged GPS navigation system. The idea behind using cellphone towers to lock in maps is simple: although inaccurate than GPS, it uses very little battery.

    2> Advantages of accessing maps from the cloud – The maps that you receive are the updated maps ALWAYS. And once you decide your destination, Google Navigation caches the entire route. So the only time it will talk to the cloud maps server is when you need to reroute.

    3> Voice guided turn by turn navigation is available on almost every device running Android OS (Android 1.6 and upwards). I dont think the Ovi maps is available on devices other than Symbian! To say that Nokia puts it in a common mans pocket would be incorrect. There are cheap android phones running on Android 1.6 which support google maps navigation system too.

    1. FiRa,
      You are right at points,

      I also loved features in Google Map, but still the disappointing fact is that unlike other Google products, Google Navigation is something that they decided to keep restricted to themselves, to Android like Nokia keeping their products to Symbian only.

      But one thing is sure, with Hardware prices, Nokia is far better deal than anyone else. They are leader and sell much more than anyone. You can get a lifetime Navigation from them on their less than 200$ phones that will obviously consisting of other great features as well. There is nothing in such price with Android (e.g. Compare any Android with E52).It was better if there was Google Navigation available for Symbian as well.

      In next as you said that there are advantages to access maps from cloud, but there are disadvantages too. High data usages and this increase the cost. Caching the entire route is a good idea, but reroutes are part of life, specially in subcontinents like Asia.

      What I like in Google Maps, is its richness and satellite imaging. When I visit my hometown Azamgarh, UP, then sure even Google fails to show me routes as their Maps can’t be detailed about interior places, but its shows me at least visuals while Nokia Maps even after getting exact lock go blank as they have data from limited cities.

      At the end, thanks for being part of conversation, we all want both of these services to compete and exceed our expectations in near future. Good luck

      1. There are < 200USD Android phones with the navigation support. However these are Chinese phones and I am not sure how good they are in terms of hardware quality yet. However, the China android market is growing at an extremely fast rate, which means that some of the better manufacturers will jump in and make the common man phones at a price point where Nokia will find it hard to compete.

        Secondly, Android has been designed with the internet in mind. To the point where they probably want to make the netbook concept irrelevant. If you raise an enhancement in the Android google code page which requires you to pair the phone with the desktop, it will get instantly rejected. The reason – Android is designed to independently do activities. This is unlike the iPhone where you have to use iTunes (a desktop software) to sync a lot of things onto the iPhone. The minute you start using an Android phone, you understand that there is seamless transition. If data usage is what worries you, you wouldnt be using an Android phone / iPhone.

        I would seriously recommend that you get your hands on the Nexus One running Android 2.2 and try it for a few days to really understand what I am trying to say. The UI is not as great as the iPhone(but its not bad by any standard). Android 3.0 is expected to come in Q4 2010 which will completely overhaul the UI.

        I was a Symbian user myself but I think that its a sinking Titanic. I hope Nokia does a good job with Meego and does it fast. The Meego day1 preview looks promising, but its a long journey ahead.

        Good discussion by the way 🙂

        1. Definitely an open OS based on something like Linux changes the game entirely and even if it seems to lose tracks of UI at moments, it worth recommending for. I have seen the same with Maemo of Nokia, which was far and far better I ever would have seen till then. iPhone is not even considered by me due to poor multi-tasking. Being a fanboy of Google services, I don’t mind having an Android.

          Just what holds me, is I know the hardware required by Android, like iPhone, you can’t expect Android phones coming down in terms of prices and when they come, they will trim down features of their OS and there Symbian been a champ already. A phone of more than 500$ never gonna my piece of cake.

          For me, Maemo and Android been in the same boat, Maemo a little more open than Android due to no layer of Java over the core OS, while Android had advantages due fastest growing support of developer sand sure God of internet services today Google itself. It would have been better for industry, if Google might have joined hands with Nokia than HTC.

          MeeGo sure has the same core as Android and you will be surprised that how many people already behind it due to Intel. Wait and see.. this all going to be very interesting all of sudden.

  2. Hello guys..
    Those who are using android… check Brut Maps.. It alows to store the maps onto SD card and load from SD card for offline navigation…U do need data connection while navigation but that’s only for getting the directiond not to download the map provided you have already navigated the map in your home on wifi …I wish google themself make this official though.. just google for BRUT Maps.. you will get all info u need…

  3. Hi Nitish,
    You seem to be well versed with technology and therefore i have a question. Am planning to buy a Nokia X6. Now, it`s got a front-cam and is it possible to use it for video chat. Basic intention is to use WiFi, and use the front cam as a webcam and Video chat with family (whose got a laptop with webcam) as i travel a lot. Skype/GTalk/Fring.. etc
    Your early inputs will be of great help.

    1. Well!! Nokia X6 should serve your all needs as you mentioned, but as the days pass, technology always move a step ahead, so I have another suggestion for you.

      If you ask me then I would have gone for Nokia C7-00 in around 18k with 3.5″ screen size, 8 MP camera and far better RAM/ Processor combo. Not to mention with state of art brand new Symbian^3 OS to make all the difference in performance. That would be a great looker in terms of appearances as well.

  4. My opinion is different from yours .
    I have both Nokia E7 and Samsung Galaxy S II and my experience is that “my Location” finding in Nokia maps is far better than in Google maps. In fact location locking in Google maps is so bad that its almost useless to use Google maps while navigating outside.

  5. I was searching for stuff on Google maps, and wanted to share abt my experience

    I have used Ovi maps for a long time..
    it rules..!

    Complete offline navigation and free voice guided system…

    There are lot of people who cant depend on Google maps to load online every inch of the way, when a proper 3g internet connection on their mobile costs a hell-of-alot of money

    u get all the basic needed stuff on ur Ovi maps + more support if u update it when u can..

    Google maps kind of falls back on online connectivity and it needs a valid internet connection and streams large data everytime u want to enter into Google maps

  6. Thanks Nitish…ur article helped me to decide in favor of Nokia Maps….one question to u…which is the best Nokia phone less than < 15K INR with 1) Nokia Maps 2)good video recording 3)expandable memory

  7. One point in favour of nokia is it shows your speed when you are travalling, I found it much more needed on my android… I am missing nokia maps….

  8. hi fellas, i own an e7 wich i upgrade it too belle recently. I have nokia maps ver. 3.08 and google maps 4.1.1 on my phone. The only resone for using google maps is its much more detailed maps. But it lacks voice guidance and offline usability wich realy limits its usefullness as a navigation application; nokia maps uses gps. Bluetooth. Gprs and cell network too find your position as quick and precise as possible and i compare it with profesional car navigation device (megaforce and garmin) and it dose very excellent and smooth. But i would be much happier with nokia if it had anabeld new route recording (like mentned above car navigation systems) and possibility of using google maps layers inside of nokia’s application. I look forward to more open minded decisions in nokia teem

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