Chandrakant 'CK' Isi
14th Apr 2012
Pros: Voice guided navigation; Supports offline mode; Detailed maps; Thoughtful interface.
Cons: Battery intensive.
Nokia's offline maps and navigation apps are quite popular on the Symbian platform. Therefore, while debuting Windows Phone handsets, it made sense for the Finns to replace the lackluster Bing Maps with its in-house sat-nav solution.
The Nokia Drive app is accompanied by the Maps and Transport software to sweeten the deal. There's nothing exciting about the Nokia Maps, except for live traffic updates for Mumbai and Delhi. The Transport app provides local public transport information to help you plan your journey, which comes handy when you prefer not to use your car.
On the other hand, if you're planning a car trip, Nokia Drive is your friend. This app is similar to its Symbian counterpart, Ovi Maps, except for a better UI.
The app allows you to download map data on the device itself. Simply go to, Setting > Manage Maps, and you are ready for download. Nokia offers maps for most countries across five continents. Additionally, there's an option to download map data for an entire country as well as for individual states. For example, you can install the India (All) map, which is 372 MB in size or opt for the Maharashtra/Goa map that fits into 106 MB.
Once you've downloaded the desired maps, you can avail free voice guided navigation, even in the offline mode. To start with your journey, just click on Set Destination to choose point B. After that, the app gives you detailed turn-by-turn voice-guided navigation. The app marks the route in blue, and keeps you notified about the road you're driving on. The interface features a speedometer, and from the settings you can choose to set speed limit alerts. The interface is clean, and is devoid of unnecessary distractions. If in case, you don't like getting instructions in a feminine voice, you can download additional voice packs. What's more, there are over 50 languages to choose from. I tried Hindi, and it works well.
The app was tested on a Lumia 800 and I must say that the device's GPS performance is superb. It never took more than two minutes to lock onto satellites. The only issue here, is the app's battey usage, but then locking onto satellites is expected to be battery intensive. All in all, it's a stellar navigation app, and the best thing is that it's free for the Lumia users.
Pros: Easy to use; Quick at rendering effects; SNS friendly.
Cons: Limited number of effects.
Instagram has become a rage on iOS and Android. Sadly, it's not available for the Windows Phone platform yet. However, Nokia has made sure that its Lumia users get a decent alternative.
The Creative Studio app not only allows you enhance the captured snaps, but also lets you to add effects in real time. It offers various filters such as Sketch, Dreamy, Night vision, and Cartoon. Additionally, you can select any of the images already saved in your photo gallery, to edit and enhance it using numerous effects including Watercolour, Freaky, Back to ’76, and Auto enhance. However, I think Nokia should have included a few more filters.
The software allows you to change the contrast, sharpness, and exposure values for any photograph. While applying effects, the app provides a split-screen view to evaluate changes. This option is very helpful since it enables you to obtain desired results more often. Needless to say, you can add multiple effects to a single image. My favorite option among the lot, is Face Warps. It lets you make your friends look super fat, monstrous, or even like aliens.
The developers have also added an option to capture panoramic images. In this mode, you just need to capture the first photo and the app guides you through the rest of the process. The image stitching is neat, but for great results, you need to have steady hands. Similar to Insagram, Creative Studio allows users to share images though Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. Although the app could have been even better, it's still a must have photography app for the shutter bugs.
Review: Nokia Drive, Creative Studio
A look at two killer apps for Nokia Lumia handsets that live up to the hype.
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