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I’m not too sure if walk and drive directions in was available on the Nokia N900 prior to the new firmware v20.2010.36-2 (PR 1.3), but I’m sure it wasn’t there the last time I checked, which I guess was a while back as Ovi Maps isn’t exactly an asset for this Maemo 5 powered palmtop. However I stumbled across it and thought I’d give you guys a quick heads up, so check out the mini preview after the jump.

To start with, as you launch Ovi Maps on the Nokia N900 you’ll be presented with this screen. The two rectangles in the top left will show you the multitasking screen, pressing the time next to it doesn’t do anything at all and of course the cross in the top right will exit the application. On the bottom of the screen you’ll see the ‘Search’ option at the bottom left and the ‘Get Directions’ in the middle followed by the ‘Clear Map’ and ‘Full Screen’ toggle on the bottom right.

Pressing the ‘Maps’ bar at the top of the screen will bring up the maps settings. Here you can select the type of map you wish to view i.e. ‘Map View’, ‘Terrain’, ‘Satellite’, and you also get the options to activate ‘3D View’, ‘3D Landmarks’ and ‘Night Mode’. I’d recommend ticking the ‘Tips’ option as it gives you some pretty useful pointers in getting familiar with the new features. Further to this you have the ‘More’ option, which will give the option to change the units of measurement and time format.

Hitting the ‘Get Directions’ button will bring you to this screen. Simply enter the destination in the ‘B’ box and hit the search icon to set the route. The purple ‘Plus’ icon lets you add more destinations to your route which is pretty cool.

The walk and drive icons will bring up the options of the ‘Route Type’ and let you set the means of which you wish to travel by.

On the left, in the walking options you have the choice to set the maps to avoid ferries on your journey. On the right, for the drive directions, you have the options to select a number of travel methods or deselect the same. You also get the option to choose whether you wish to travel using the ‘Fastest’, ‘Shortest’ or an ‘Optimized’ route.

Once your route is calculated, hit the ‘Full Screen’ toggle in the bottom left of the screen and you’re set to go!

The right and left arrow keys on either side of the street name will let you skip through the different turnings on your route.

The two other keys within the address bar will let you search the database on your location or destination, and let you view your route in a list.

In the ‘Search Bar’ you can enter a destination and you will be shown details of that location. It would be good to integrate contact numbers, etc, within this feature of Maps but this is a small aspect on the list of desired features that I’d want Ovi Maps to provide on my Nokia N900.

The list of you route shows you the journey itinerary, with the name of the streets you’ll be turning into and the distance to each turning.

If you’re familiar with Ovi Maps, you’ll recognise the zooming keys. However pressing in between the plus and minus keys will bring up a cool optimized zoom function. This will give you the option to zoom instantly to either ‘Street’ level, ‘City’ level, ‘State’ level or all the way out to ‘Country’ level.

One feature that is still not up and running properly and is a common issue in Ovi maps across the platforms is ‘Street View’. A constant ‘downloading data..’ notice is displayed and even when connected via WiFi the maps just don’t seem to appear.

Ovi Maps for the Nokia N900 (PR 1.3) has been improved quite a bit. However voice guidance in still missing along with the familiar navigation screen with relevant details being displayed. The word at Nokia World 2010 was that since the Maemo platform is a department in which Nokia will be paying less attention to due to MeeGo, it all now depends on whether or not the code for the Meego version of Ovi Maps works on Maemo. If it’s going to be too much work, Nokia is not going to develop the service further for Maemo. Fingers crossed eh!

Read More | Nokia N900PR 1.3 | Maemo 5 Apps

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