Nokia has used its annual Nokia World conference in Barcelona to reveal a host of improvements to some of its Ovi services, including maps and messaging.
A beta of the latest version of Nokia Maps now allows users to pre-plan their journey on a PC and synchronise the route with their mobile phone. The mapping service has also been updated to include high-resolution aerial images, as well as some 3D features and terrain maps.
"Enabling Nokia Maps to synchronise my favourite places between my mobile and PC is the main reason for anyone to switch from other personal navigation devices to Nokia Maps," said Michael Halbherr, vice president of Nokia location-based experiences.
The new service also includes access to real-time information such as camera alerts, safety spots and traffic information for selected countries.
The new Nokia Messaging push email service adds support for consumer email and instant messaging on Nokia devices, along with an Ovi address for email and access to other Ovi services from a mobile phone or a PC.
The new service will allow users to access email and IM accounts from Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Messenger, Hotmail, Gmail, Google Talk and AOL Mail, as well as email from the majority of internet service providers.
Nokia Messaging will launch commercially in the first quarter of 2009 in the UK, Australia, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain and Venezuela, and in select countries later in the year. The service is available now for free as a limited-period beta trial, with instant messaging and support for Nokia Series 40 devices due in the second half of 2009.
Nokia also unveiled a new online portal for Mail on Ovi (PDF), which will enable PC users to create and access Ovi email accounts as well as gain cross access to other Ovi services with a single sign-on account. The company will give users 1GB of storage space and spam filters to block unwanted email, as well as cross access to other Ovi services on the mobile phone and PC.
The beta version of Mail on Ovi will roll out globally this month in 12 languages on all currently shipping Nokia Series 40 devices, while the web access version will launch in February 2009.
Nokia has also completed its acquisition of Symbian, paving the way for its launch of the Symbian Foundation, together with mobile players AT&T, LG, Motorola, NTT Docomo, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, ST-NXP Wireless, Texas Instruments and Vodafone.
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