Nokia Drive gets full offline access, Maps / Transport also updated


For the smattering of hardcore argonauts on staff here at Engadget (guilty as charged), we've clung tightly to Android when it came time to navigate on the move. Why? Google Maps Navigation, that's why. To date, there's simply no better all-around navigational app from a global perspective -- one that gets updated daily in the cloud gratis, and one that provides at least basic roadways in pretty much every nation that's fit to visit. Slowly but surely, Nokia and Windows Phone have been building a formidable opponent, and today's updates to Nokia's trifecta of navigational tools might be just the thing Google loyalists needed to cast a glance in Microsoft's direction.

For starters, Nokia Drive is seeing a monumental update -- one that supports a completely offline experience. Anyone who has traveled overseas and been forced to find a local SIM (or worse, eat roaming charges) in order to navigate understands just how crucial this addition is, and we're hoping that Nokia's inclusion will force Google to take its own offline offering to the next level. Moving right along, Nokia Maps has seen an update that makes sharing favorites a bit easier, and you'll also get live traffic in a slew of countries. Public commuters will appreciate the overhauled Transport app, which is now capable of providing walking / mass transit directions for over 510 cities in 46 countries. The new kit is available in the Windows Phone Marketplace today for those lucky enough to own a Lumia.