Free GPS mapping for 150+ countries on Your Windows Mobile Cell Phone
Nokia used to be lost. Now they are aiming to get back on the map – and do it with maps literally.
They’ve been behind lately in the cell phone game they used to dominate, but have just come up with something that has put them ahead of the pack for SOMETHING.
And this SOMETHING is actually quite practical and more important, it’s FREE! (Yes, we love FREE).
Nokia has come out with something called Smart2Go for their line of smart phones — but it is actually available for use on most Windows Mobile 5 powered cell phones.
With Smart2Go, you can download maps in something like 150+ countries around the world and load them onto your cell phone phone for routing, finding places, creating your own maps and sending them to friends, etc…
While you can download it over the air and ring up data charges, there’s a better and faster way to do it for those that don’t have all-you-can-eat data plans — and for those that are using overseas roaming, this works like a charm.
Smart2Go has a desktop loader application that you can download and then transfer maps and data to your phone via the PC connection vs. over the air. Once loaded via your PC there are no data charges at all. It is VERY nifty.
You can purchase “guides” and you can also sign-up for different uses where you do consume data usage on your cell phone plan. But for those that travel internationally and want to have a local map in your pocket for all the cities that you’ll be visiting, this is a great way to transfer them to your cell phone so that you’ll never be lost. If you have a built-in GPS feature in your phone (or if you buy an external GPS dongle which are really small and now they can connect to your phone by Bluetooth).
My freind in Canada who has a Nokia E65 phone that is not GPS-enabled is going to buy a small GPS receiver (the GPSlim 240 which can be found on eBay for $80) and have a fully voice-guided turn-by-turn GPS navigation system with no cell data usage at all! It seems pretty slick so far.
I personally use Google Maps Mobile on my Blackjack when I don’t have my GPS device in the car. If I had a GPS receiver attached, it supposedly would auto-update the position on the map. It would lack the voice directions and nifty classic GPS device screen directions, but would do the trick. The advantage Smart2Go maps would have over Google Maps or Live Maps on the cell phone is that you’re not dependent on the cell phone signal since the maps are pre-loaded on the device. You won’t be waiting ever for the maps to refresh as you move along the road and you won’t have to manually “page” through to the next step in the directions.
It is only a matter of time before this becomes widespread and other carriers and phone manufacturers offer custom solutinos for other phones.