As product differentiation goes, Nokia have proven more than once that they’re trying as hard as they can to diversify their Windows Phone devices: no easy feat, with the somewhat locked down nature of the OS in comparison to Android, but now they’re bringing one of their previously exclusive apps to the broader Windows Phone 8 market.
What is Nokia Drive?
Nokia Drive was one of the first apps which Nokia touted on their Lumia-branded Windows Phone handsets which featured alongside other Nokia mapping apps designed to outperform the stock mapping experience built into Windows Phone. The original Drive app brought both top-down and 3D navigation with driving directions for 110 countries worldwide.
What’s new in Nokia Drive+?
Technically speaking the Nokia Drive+ app is still in beta, but has been made available to Windows Phone 8 users in the aforementioned markets irrespective of manufacturer. The most significant addition is full turn-by-turn navigation which, when paired to a UI designed for in-car use, means that it looks like it’ll offer an experience competitive to many standalone sat navs.
Nokia Drive+ also features: voice guidance, speed limit warnings (even when navigation mode isn’t on), the ability to cache maps offline for reduced data costs and less of a reliance on a solid connection, select road avoidance (e.g. toll roads, tunnels, unpaved streets etc), location saving and an automatic night mode designed to make night time viewing easier.
Which devices will support Nokia Drive+?
As we’ve already mentioned, the app is technically still in beta so we can’t vouch for its complete stability, but for the moment, owners of the first wave of Windows Phone 8 handsets should be able to pick it up from the Windows Phone marketplace now. Naturally Nokia Lumia 620, 820 and 920 owners should already be able to find the app install on their handsets, but now HTC 8S and 8X users along with Samsung Ativ S owners can get in on the action too.
We’ve already had reports from readers of a solid experience on the likes of the HTC 8X, but let us know if you like it or conversely, find any issues.