Navigation on Nokia Lumia 800 – Bing Maps and Nokia Maps:
It wasn’t an easy job converting someone who is coming from Google Maps on Android and Nokia Maps on Symbian and I won’t call myself won hands down by Bing Maps on Nokia Lumia 800 or even Nokia Maps for Windows Phone, but one needs to give the due to Microsoft Team for blending a navigation app UI in terms of Metro experience.
On the contrary of what you might have heard of Bing Maps till now, I want to bring some exciting things for your display. First see this …
Yes! unlike Nokia\Ovi Maps, you get the areal view here means satellite imagery for my office in Delhi that was available to me via Google Maps only (in UK etc, Nokia was used to provide the satellite imagery but not in Indian continent). I was able to see images of even non-prime time places like Azamgarh, UP (my Hometown). It was a nice and pleasant surprise for someone like me, who had no experience with any other Maps service other than Google Maps or Nokia Maps.
I tried to ask it for a route from my Office to my Hometown (around 1000 kms away) and it didn’t took more than half a min to give me a route.
The display of maps data was also with some tiny tricks that one will find neat in action. The satellite imagery appears smoothly from fog like animation and then doesn’t allow you zoom in from the extent you may find the images as blurred. Though on negative part, Bing maps doesn’t tell you that how much accurate the lock is (like in between 400 mtr or 10 mtr). Also there is nothing like Google Labs options that may tell you that how much distance there is between two places.
No voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation in Bing Maps yet,but the app has a split-screen mode that shows the list at the bottom and the map corresponding to the currently-selected list item at the top (like the picture above). As you swipe through the list and highlight different items, the map moves around. That would be a thing that gonna be useful in real life situations when you wanna know about the upcoming turns and building etc in advance.
Both pedestrian and car modes are available, but no public transport mode yet that would be sure a disappointment as of now (not actually as Nokia Maps already available on Lumia devices).
The bottom of the maps will always have fours buttons names scout (same functions as were in bing search app), directions, me and search. I don’t think I am required to explain the functions of them as the name are self explanatory. Options are simple and what came as surprise to me was no option for 3D mode or traffic info etc.
In all, Bing Maps is a good solution in itself and even if you don’t have Google Maps or Nokia Maps then you wont be living out there as cursed in Windows Phone world. But what happens when Nokia Maps also join the list?
Nokia Maps\Drive brings super popular Offline and Turn-by-turn navigation to Windows Phone platform. As about UI etc, then its pretty much the same as you might have seen with latest version at Symbian^3 devices or Nokia N9, but thing is, its on Nokia Windows Phones as well. Performs wise, I seen Windows Phone specific tweaks like fog like screens clearing up when zoomed in, but in most of the part, its been a familiar experience for earlier Nokia users.
Call it good or bad, Nokia Maps still uses the same data as provided by Navteq means Indian users still wont get the satellite imagery when using Nokia Maps. Hope in near future Microsoft and Nokia will share their resources more closely to enjoy features from each other more better than offering just an app. But as of now, this is it.