If you have found a beautiful Nokia Lumia with Windows Phone 8 under the Christmas tree, you might wonder how to make the most out of it. We created a handy overview to guide you through all the features currently available for Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive, Nokia Transport andNokia City Lens and to answer all the frequently asked questions.
What are these apps all about?
Nokia Maps has been designed to help you find places anywhere, get reviews, photos (you can contribute too) and then plan a route to get there.
Nokia Drive is for all of you who frequently use a car, to commute or travel. It has a unique user interface developed for in-car and arm-length use. The last update includes battery life improvements.
Nokia Transport is for commuters on buses and trains who want to know the best time to leave the office or partygoers who want a one-tap access to the next bus home.
Last but not least, Nokia City Lens is the next step in augmented reality apps: it helps you find the best places around you through the camera viewfinder.
Why separate apps?
Some of you are wondering why we are developing separate location based apps. In our user tests we realized that people want an easy and fast way to solve their every day needs like walking, driving or riding the bus. With our apps and the power of Windows Phone you can for instance easily pin to start the destinations you go to more often or the apps that really matter to you. Also, we can develop much faster new features if we keep some apps separate.
Even if most of the time you will use our apps to “drive home” (Nokia Drive) or “ride the bus to work” (Nokia Transport) or “find nearby restaurants” (Nokia City Lens), there are also cases when you start using one app but you need another one to support.
For instance, if you are looking for a vintage shoe shop, you open Nokia Maps to find it, you calculate the route to get there but it’s a bit far away to go on foot. No problems, Nokia Maps can also tell you how to get there by car or public transport and lets you seamlessly start either Nokia Drive or Nokia Transport to get voice-guided car navigation or bus and trains schedules. Easy.
Where is traffic information?
While we are still polishing Nokia Drive to introduce My Commute also on Windows Phone 8, you can see traffic alerts and incidents on Nokia Maps by activating the corresponding map style. In the latest Nokia Maps release we have also particularly improved the display of such information, make sure you have the latest version! (v 3.1).
How do I get spoken street names?
When you first start Nokia Drive, you will be asked to download street maps for offline use and also voice guidance. You can select among over 50 languages, sometimes also different regionalisms or male/female voices. For a crystal clear voice-guided navigation, we have asked professionals to record their voices for you. If you prefer to hear “in 300m turn left into Oxford Street”, you can also select a voice with spoken street names. Make sure you select this option if this feature is very important to you – in this case a computer voice will guide you during your journey.
Where is Nokia Transport available?
Nokia Transport is available for 550+ cities in 50+ countries around the world. In 105 cities you can also get timetable information either according to the available schedule or to real time situation. We are closely working with different transport agencies to collect accurate information, the quality of which exceeds the standard provided by other solutions.
Additionally, we are continuously extending our coverage: just recently we added many cities in Russia.
Where are street maps available?
We have maps data for nearly 200 countries and navigation for around 100 countries. Of course we continue expanding our coverage, in fact, Serbia and Israel, which many of you were waiting for, are now in our database too. To benefit from coverage updates, make sure you are connected to Wi-Fi then go to settings > applications > maps > check for updates.
What can I pin to start?
One of the most interesting features of Windows Phone is the possibility to pin apps and features to the start screen, creating a truly personal experience. Our location-based apps are no exception and let you pin to start places, categories, routes and destinations for one-tap access to what you need.
Which of these apps do you use the most? Let us know in the comments section below or send a Tweet to @heremaps.