Nokia Maps is as solid a Google Maps rival as you can get. While Nokia’s been making tracks in bringing the service to non-Nokia phones for a while now, the company’s just made a big leap forward; Nokia Maps with proper voice navigation has just come to both Android and iPhone, in-browser.
If you’ve got an iPhone or Android handset, direct your web attentions to m.maps.nokia.com. Assuming you’ve got a decent web connection it’ll prompt you that it wants to use your location, before promptly loading up said spot. Nokia claims that it works on Android 2.3, but we can confirm that it also runs fine on an Android 4.0-stuffed Samsung Nexus S.
From here it’s a simple case of finding an end destination – Nokia will find you the quickest way there via car, public transport or on foot. Crucially though, if you’re on foot you can download a 2MB file for full voice navigation. We’d guess that this function is coming to the ‘car’ sub-section of guidance soon, too.
It’s impressive stuff given that it’s free, and it’s beaten Apple to it by some way. While Android’s had free, turn-by-turn voice guidance from Google for a long time, the iPhone’s not been so lucky. Your only other options are a few relatively pricey apps from the likes of TomTom and Navigon.
Those companies may well be starting to sweat. This iteration of Nokia Maps doesn’t run completely seamlessly just yet, as it’s at the mercy of an often-ropey 3G connection, but look at the bigger picture, here: this is sat nav guidance in your browser for nothing. If this sort of system becomes the norm, then Apple may have to launch its own version fairly soon.