1. Download our Official Android App: Forums for Android!

Android and GPS software (Google Maps vs Nokia/Ovi Maps)

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by wildetudor, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. wildetudor

    wildetudor Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    16
    Posts:
    84
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2011

    Apr 13, 2011
    84
    2
    16
    Hello everyone

    I'm searching for a new mobile phone (with touchscreen) to buy, I tend to like those based on Android but I just have one hesitation about it - the GPS software.

    So far I've been using Nokia (Ovi) Maps on my old Nokia N85, which, even though is not as advanced as Google Maps, it has two big advantages over it:
    (1) maps data can be downloaded to the phone, whereas Google Maps requires you to always be online to download maps data on the fly, which is particularly annoying when roaming and data costs are high
    (2) has voice guidance (for driving mode) wherever you use it, whereas Google Maps, as I understand it, only has voice guidance for use in the US

    My questions are therefore: is there a way to overcome these limitations of Google Maps, and is there some way in which Nokia Maps could be used on an Android phone (I know Nokia said they will release an Android version but I have no idea when or if that will happen)?

    Many thanks for any help!
     

    Advertisement

  2. Stuntman

    Stuntman Android Expert
    Rank:
     #67
    Points:
    353
    Posts:
    3,550
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010

    Nov 18, 2010
    3,550
    831
    353
    Vancouver, Canada
    The latest version of Google Maps does cache the map, so that if lose the signal, you can still navigate. You have to start off in an area with signal, though.

    I believe it is available for other countries now. I know it is available in Canada.

    I do not believe you can run Ovi Maps on an Android phone. There are a number of other mapping apps that you can run. I know that on my Desire Z, there is a second mapping app. I don't use it since it costs money and Google Maps serves my purposes well enough.

    I do really like Ovi Maps (formerly Nokia Maps). One of the best features is the lane indicators which Google Maps does not have. Google Maps does have its advantages over Ovi Maps such as better search capabilities and showing back lanes as well as streets. When I was using my N97, I used both mapping programs. Now, I only use Google Maps and so far have not missed Ovi Maps at all.
     
    rubiconjp and wildetudor like this.
  3. Spaceprobe

    Spaceprobe Android Enthusiast
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    53
    Posts:
    405
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011

    Mar 1, 2011
    405
    57
    53
    Male
    Retired Nurse
    Brighton. UK
    I loved Ovi maps and thought it would be one of the things I would miss when i went over to Android. I am on a data plan so I have not noticed any increased costs. I love the way when you arrive at your destination the street view appears on the screen. All about Symbian tested both mapping services and said they were both equal but Ovi won because of the horrible computer generated American voice on the Google service. However you can now download other voices including decent American ones from the Market. I put Michael on yesterday, cost
     
    wildetudor likes this.
  4. wildetudor

    wildetudor Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    16
    Posts:
    84
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2011

    Apr 13, 2011
    84
    2
    16
    Thank you both for your replies!

    Even if Google Maps caches already-downloaded data, it still doesn't let you download whole-country maps onto the phone ahead of time, so when you're abroad you still need to go online, and not just for A-GPS but for maps data! I really don't understand why they insist on maintaining this..

    So Spaceprobe, once you buy an additional voice this then allows you to have voice-guided navigation for Driving mode anywhere in the world? I can live without the Ovi Maps voices (even though those are *really* nice and clear, and with any accent you like, and FREE), but I wouldn't have much use for Google Maps if I weren't able to use it for voice-guided driving navigation, throughout Europe.

    If these two shortcomings of Google Maps were solved, then I'd definitely prefer it over Ovi Maps, because it's updated much more frequently and, as Stuntman says, it has much better search capabilities (huge database of locations). Plus, of course, Street View!
     
  5. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Android Expert
    Rank:
     #58
    Points:
    443
    Posts:
    7,413
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011

    Jan 24, 2011
    7,413
    2,654
    443
    I played with OVI maps for a bit (never used it after that)
    The one really strange thing was whatever formula they used for house numbering.
    For some reason - my house number is 4975, the next house is 5005. Our yards adjoin,, typical smaller lots - Ovi always used 4995 or some other strange number for my house. They had the house in the right place, just never the right house number even with GPS. Google Maps (which I don't use either) does get the house number right. I did set up the location for astronomy use.
     
  6. Usta

    Usta Android Expert
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    333
    Posts:
    2,585
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2010

    Jul 8, 2010
    2,585
    1,375
    333
    The Netherlands
    I have used OVI maps on my previous Nokia phone, but never liked it because of certain missing features. There was no proper search prediction, the offline search was very inaccurate, the UI was too restrictive, no proper signpost info, no proper POI management, etc. For that reason, I've simply used other SatNav software (nDrive and Sygic on Nokia).

    The Google navigation doesn't really use that much data, has a voice instructions in many countries, is able to cache the maps and the navigation route and gets better every time. Every Android phone should have a data plan (otherwise, you are missing a lot), so using Maps is not a problem.
    For a complete off-line solution, simply buy one of the many SatNav packages out there: Copilot, Sygic, nDrive, Navigon, etc...
     
    wildetudor likes this.
  7. Stuntman

    Stuntman Android Expert
    Rank:
     #67
    Points:
    353
    Posts:
    3,550
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010

    Nov 18, 2010
    3,550
    831
    353
    Vancouver, Canada
    I'm not that impressed with the TTS engine on my Android phone either. When I first used it, I found it difficult to understand. I have since gotten used to it.

    I have noticed that Ovi Maps seem to have an unusual weighing of streets. At least in the Metro Vancouver area, I feel that Ovi Maps does not weigh parallel, major streets equally. It selects some questionable routes compared to my knowledge of the streets here. Google Maps selects routes that I would feel are more appropriate. For instance, when going from the north east of Vancouver to the southwest corner, Ovi maps always wants to take you west into the city centre and then south. The reason is that it weighs a few streets heading into the city centre higher than similar, parallel major streets. This is a stupid route since traffic is pretty bad through the city centre. The sensible route would be to go south then west avoiding the city centre.

    I find that with both mapping apps, there are some unusual house numbering algorithms for certain streets. Sometimes the street numbering by the city is unusual. Sometimes, it is simply mistakes in the maps.
     
  8. dan330

    dan330 Android Expert
    Rank:
     #24
    Points:
    1,123
    Posts:
    12,241
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2010

    Jan 22, 2010
    12,241
    3,803
    1,123
    Google maps is great for the supported areas..
    With a lot of great features.

    But if u are in areas that make it difficult to use Internet based maps... there are many offline maps apps that will work on android but they cost money.. cost for each country map and updates.
    Co-pilot is a good one
     
    wildetudor likes this.
  9. Usta

    Usta Android Expert
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    333
    Posts:
    2,585
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2010

    Jul 8, 2010
    2,585
    1,375
    333
    The Netherlands
    Indeed. Offline GPS software has for me a certain upper hand over Google Navigation.
    This is especially true if you often travel to neighboring countries, where roaming charges are high. Copilot is a very good package with a lot of features.
     

Share This Page

Loading...