Sunday, February 7, 2010

A follow-up of Ovi Maps vs. Google Maps

I compared Ovi Maps and Google Maps in my last blogpost. I thought give a follow-up regarding it because I borrowed Nokia N97 from my colleague and installed the newest version of Ovi Maps (v3.03 10wk01).

It seems that I was right and basically there isn't any difference between Ovi Maps v3.01 and v3.03 regarding the search results. The only difference was in searching R-Kioski. v3.03 showed only one result when there are almost 30 in Espoo area, v3.01 didn't find anything.

Picture 1. Ovi Maps v3.03 found only one R-Kioski.

Although search results aren't impressive, Nokia managed to improve usability; at least little bit with only one search option which means you can search companies or addresses same time.

Picture 2. Ovi Maps v3.03 improved home screen.

Picture 3. You can now search businesses and addresses using same search.

Nokia has added some sociality to new Ovi Maps, you can share your location to Facebook where it is shown as a normal status update as well a zoomable map.

Picture 4. Facebook status update using Ovi Maps.

Picture 5. Ovi Maps application in Facebook shows your location.

Nokia has also introduced some advertising to the new version, you can see your nearest McDonald's and their ads. These are only shown in Weather and Events categories, not in Lonely Planet and Michelin.

Picture 6. Weather category shows some ads as well as the nearest McD. "Hae lähin McDonald's" means "Search for nearest McDonald's"

Picture 7. You can get weather forecasts from Ovi Maps.

Picture 8. Clicking ad in picture 6 takes you to the landing page and shows more information. Here you can see an ad regarding 1€ cheeseburger.

Picture 9. You can see your nearest McDonald's on map, call there or check their webpage.

Like I mentioned in my previous blogpost, location-based advertising is one of main things in 2010. It seems that all major players are involved in this, e.g. Mashable reported that Apple had said to it's developers that they shouldn't use location-based ads. It indicates that they are planning something by themselves. Mashable also reported that Google Maps is suggesting places you might like.

In my opinion you can see hints that Nokia is soon introducing SportsTracker features to Ovi Maps. When you are travelling somewhere, you can see dashboard regarding the trip.

Picture 10. Dashboard in Ovi Maps which hints that soon SportsTracker features are included to Ovi Maps.

All in all, Ovi Maps v3.03 doesn't include that many new and useful features compared to v3.01. The biggest difference is the free navigation. Time will show how well Nokia can monetize Ovi Maps and it's features.

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