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back to article N95 struggles to find itself

The latest firmware for the Nokia N95 offers many new features and much better memory management, and is free to download - but it also takes away the tracking feature from Nokia Maps, which the company now claims was a limited-time promotional offer. The ability to track your current position is a fairly basic function of GPS …

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Heart

Free Alternatives

N95 owners may like the following FREE GPS / Mapping applications.

Google Maps Mobile - http://www.google.co.uk/gmm

Nav4All - http://www.nav4all.co.uk/

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Unhappy

GPS that doesn't tell you where you are?

What, exactly, is the point of that?

Lucky that Google Maps runs faster, with much better maps. The downside is that you can't pre-install the whole of the UK for Google, so you end up downloading more data and needing a permanent data connection.

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A bit of a worrying trend

It is a bit worrying when Nokia decide to charge for something that is no longer free retrospectively but to be honest the built in maps is crap, overpriced (if you want to use the turn by turn direction) and the GPS inst that good. I have a tom tom so I don't use the GPS bit for anything other than playing with Google Maps.

Overall, the N95 is a very nice phone, I listen to my music on it a lot more now I have a phone with that feature and the camera is quite good. having WiFi means I can check out the web on a whim if I am in a Wifi area which is great. Install Truphone for VOIP and you have a truly great piece of kit. The only thing I would recommend for anyone with one is get rid of the default software (branding) as I am with orange and they had initially disabled the VOIP capabilities of the phone.

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Hint:

Press the zero key in Maps and you'll get a "you are here". Or install google maps (free). Or pay the small amount that Nokia always said would be payable for "navigation features".

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N95 a desktop equivalent?

The only thing on my desktop that my N95 replaces is my old mobile. I switched back to Nokia after finally losing patience with my Windows SPV but far from wanting a device that more closely resembled my desktop, I wanted something that

If the maps app could help me to find food and an economical way home at the end of a hard night's Christmas revelry then great, but unless you're prepared to stand under the stars for ten minutes whilst it latches onto whichever satellites can be reached through the limited city horizon, or are happy for the network to figure out where you are at the expense of your packet data bundle, then you're probably better off heading for the tube and using a good old fashioned map: even London Underground hasn't figured out how to give maps away only to have them disappear from your pocket just when you really need them.

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Way to go Nokia

Finally a decent response to the Apple & the iPhone.

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Happy

RunGPS

I use RunGPS on my VarioIII and it is stonkingly brilliant! Not "free", but seventeen beer tokens is a small small price to pay for something so addicitive!

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Go

Missed point

The bit that's missing is not the "You Are Here" type tracking.

When creating a route it will show you the route on the screen with a line indicating the track you should take. You used to be able to keep this on the screen whilst it tracked where you are, this was like a poor man's navigation - you had to manually keep to that line - it didn't tell you how to.

They have removed that ability. It will still show the projected route and you can still make the map track where you are, it just will not do both unless you pay for the upgrade to turn by turn navigation.

Personally, whilst driving the "trying to keep to the blue line" approach without the instructions was dangerous - every junction you had to check the phone to see where you went.

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Unhappy

Dodgy beyond dodgy

Where is the information that telling you where you were was a limited time function?

Why not decide to remove the phone application as well, could charge customers a £100 to reactivate the phone part fo the software.

This stinks, and I hope nokia regret this badly.

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It's not the first time they pull this kind of stunt

On my old 3310 model, I had the ability to create ringtones and send them by SMS, therefore bypassing the operators ability to extort some cents from users, as several people I knew would copy the keys from ringtone selling sites (sshhh...).

I had to put it up for repair (a keyboard problem) and when it was returned to me, the ringtone by SMS feature was gone. When I asked Nokia support what had happened, I found out a new and "improved" firmware version was the culprit...

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Anonymous Coward

Nokia - bastards

The last firmware update borked my phone - its now a paperweight. They don't answer their emails or telephone either at their call center or at the store service centers.

In the end I gave up...

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Dead Vulture

As Chris said

Nokia haven't removed the real time cross, just the ability to follow a route. Real time route following was always flagged as some sort of premium service.

The blue GPS position cross is still very much functional in the 2.0.015 firmware. I would have never found the Red Lion last night without it. In fact, the GPS positioning in the new firmware is rather excellent.

I've still not got into the TomTom/Garmin set and I still think it's neat to have a Global A-Z in my pocket at all times, along with a flashing "You are here" symbol.

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Go

Works great for me

I have an N95 8GB and have paid £5 for a 30day trial using the maps software and have found it to work perfectly. For the odd trip to places you don't know it's a cheap solution. For someone who is on the road all the time going places though i would buy a dedicated Sat Nav unit though for the better flexiabilty in programming routes.

The N95 8GB is by far the best phone on the market for all round features.

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Coat

Strange...

... To the one moaning about Nokia being bastards and the update borking the phone, did you follow the instructions exactly, to the letter? Because if you didn't, then you ARE borked. The update utility clearly stated to NOT remove the phone unless clearly instructed to, and to ensure that it was fully charged and plugged into the mains.

I felt my heart sink when the phone rebooted the first time and showed absolutely nothing after the reboot, but the update continued and then, after the second reboot, hey presto - Everything was back to normal. Instructions, when followed to the letter, work in Nokia's instance.

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Go

The GPS is too slow anyway

As much as I appreciate the GPS functionality, in built-up areas the damn thing takes too long to get a fix anyway, even with the help of the mobile provider's masts.

So I won't be missing that functionality at all. Give me my TomTom and Bluetooth GPS any day.

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Google Maps

I hadn't even noticed that Nokia maps functionality had changed post upgrade as I use Google Maps for "you are here" style functionality. It will also position you based on your GSM cell then refine the accuracy as the GPS satellites are located, which I don't think the Nokia maps did.

I've got TomTom for proper route planning...

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Shameless plug: JohnJohn

I could do with some help with this python clone of maema mapper.

I'm running it on a nokia 6600 and using a separate bluetooth GPS unit, but it shouldn't be much work to have it work with the N95's on board GPS.

Code is here: https://launchpad.net/johnjohn

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3's Crippled Variant

N95 comes with plain GPS, which is utterly useless, and AGPS, where a server on the Internet helps out the GPS - which works really nicely.

However, the 3 AGPS server that their phones comes configured to connect to doesn't bloody work! So all but the persistent and pseudo-technically-minded just end up thinking the whole package is a white elephant! Point it to Nokia's AGPS server and all is well...

I hate how re-branded phones lack polish and updates, but I'm not brave enough to mess around (de-brand) with something I can't afford to replace...

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Anonymous Coward

it's nokia, what do you expect?

if u go and buy crap like nokia, you've got noone to blame but yourself. "I've got an n95 and only have to carry one extra battery round with me to last the day!!" losers

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Go

Not much of a loss - didn't work anyways

Cant see it being much of a loss. The GPS tracking feature never worked that well. It was generally faster to find a shop, buy a map, and manually work where you where.

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More free alternatives

aMaze - you need to register to use it, but otherwise free.

http://www.amazegps.com/

Nokia Sports Tracker - What Nokia gives, Nokia can take away, and can give for free again in another app. This is a beta app, very good, and there's also a website where you can upload your "workouts", and it can also automatically add any photos you took to the map.

http://sportstracker.nokia.com/

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google maps gps

http://www.google.co.uk/gmm as stated at the top there made me giggle. Both of them look good and I'll give a go tonight. The best thing on the http://www.google.co.uk/gmm is the video of john trying to find this famous London curry "Chicken Tikka Masala" er........ Isnt that Indian not English. Made me laugh. Cant wait to get to America this new years try out that well known All American dish sweet and sour chicken. HEHE

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Stop

RE: Nokia - bastards

what, you just gave up?! what model was the phone? are you made of money?

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Jobs Halo

Chicken Tikka Massala

.. is as Indian as Fish and Chips.

Apple expand the feature set on their phone, Nokia take them away.

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Dead Vulture

Re: missing "feature"

As other people have said, the thing that actually IS missing is the "tracking" feature, NOT the "here you are" basic feature (The Reg should amend their article, it's inaccurate as it is). The tracking feature is the one where you define a start and end point, plot a route, then (here's the feature that they have taken out) select "Start Tracking" to show your position in real time with the route highlighted. It's this feature that they have now made "pay only".

Tracking is very useful, but ideally only when you're travelling by foot or when someone else is in the car with the phone, you should NEVER use it while driving yourself (unless you have turn-by-turn voice navigation). Obvious really. If you are having to use it for driving, then simply pay for turn-by-turn voice navigation (which was always "pay only" or get a proper GPS kit (like TomTom or Garmin).

As others have pointed out already, Google Maps works perfect on the phone and gives you tracking. In fact, it gets a lock far far far quicker than Nokia Maps with AGPS (due to it using info from the mobile base you're logged into). Even when the GPS does kick in (to give you a more accurate position), it's still far far quicker (proving that there's nothing wrong with the internal GPS at all). Only thing is you ideally need an "unlimited" data plan (like T-Mobile's Web n Walk) so you don't run up a big bill thanks to normal data charges. Whether this plan also applies when you're roaming is unknown by me (I suspect not, so you'll end up paying through the nose even if you have a data plan).

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Coat

Chicken Tikka Masala ... British

... it's hard to say exactly, but there are a lot of people who think it's Scottish in origin, having been invented by a chef at an Indian restaurant in Glasgow in the late 1960s

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/special_report/1999/02/99/e-cyclopedia/1285804.stm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tikka_masala

Though apparently *everything else* is Indian

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodness_Gracious_Me_%28TV_%26_radio%29#Recurring_characters

Mr. "Everything comes from India"

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RE: google maps gps

Well, I suppose Chicken Tikka Masala, though invented in England (OK, so it might have been Scotland), was based upon dishes brought here by immigrants from the one-time British Empire -- so it's not really English at all. Mind you, following that logic, neither are roast potatoes. Just how English do you want it?

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Question

Question - do you get the tracking feature back if you by the navigation upgrade? Anyone know? From what I can see the tracking feature is just 'gone'.

.

Looking at some of the other comments I wonder what some people are on?!

Some people don't understand what the feature is - I've lost count of the number of times I've seen the 'press 0' comment. All I can say is RTFM.

The full nav doesn't seem to be a replacement - on foot turn by turn voice commands aren't much use!

And how exactly is Google Maps (great as it is) any use if you're somewhere where you can't get at your bundled data access? Say, for example, roaming in Europe? Do you seriously want to pay all that money for data? At least the Nokia Maps lets you pre-cache the countries you want to use so it doesn't need network access. In the UK I don't have a problem with Google Maps, certainly now the GPS works with it, but if (for example) I'm wandering around Frankfurt it's not the kind of thing I'd activate.

Personally I think this decision is dubious by Nokia - it's an advertised feature, it's documented in the manual, and it hasn't been 'improved or upgraded', but deleted, just to make people pay money for something they already had. Can't even make the 'safety' claim stick as the user is just as easily distracted by other features of the phone.

Ultimately this is about a manufacturer making a decision to cripple an advertised, documented and working feature of a product post sale, with the only apparent explanation being they want to increase subscription revenues for an optional service. And surely this is wrong?! After all, where does it end?

Nokia better put this back in the next firmware, as they seem to have upset a fair proportion of their customers.

Personally I'm sticking with older firmware (which works adequately) until this settles down a little.

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Flame

@Anonymous Coward

Posted Thursday 20th December 2007 12:56 GMT

Quote: [if u go and buy crap like nokia, you've got noone to blame but yourself. "I've got an n95 and only have to carry one extra battery round with me to last the day!!" losers]

I don't know where you get your information, but I'd take it back for a refund if I were you.

Sure if you have GPS turned on all day you'll do your battery in, even purpose designed satnavs like TomTom will only manage a few hours away from the car and on battery, it is the nature of the GS beast.

If you use the phone as a phone/mp3 player/radio, the battery life is fine. GPS is for those moments when you need a helping hand, which exactly how I've used it to find restaurants and bars... And the station after leaving the bar several hours later!

The recent(ish) V12 firmware update has made battery life even better, so much so that I regularly get to day 4 without having to reach for a charger.

And at least when the N95 battery finally discharges it last charge we can swap it out for another from a local store, unlike your iPhone (well you whine like a Jobite).

Thank you, and good night.

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E90 also suffers.

Nokia's otherwise wonderful E90 comes shipped with a version of Nokia Maps that also loses its ability to route between A and B when upgraded to the decent firmware (which adds the 'A' to AGPS amongst other important things). Mildly irritating.

Google Maps won't do turn-by-turn instructions in the way that Nokia's will if you pay for it, and TomTom does. I suspect that this is due to licensing agreements for the map data.

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ian
Unhappy

Nokia Lying scumbags

I presume anyone who recommends google maps over the previous tracking has never taken their phone abroad. Can you imagine the roaming data costs?

If anyone can point me to the page in the manual that says "This feature is time limited and will be removed" I'd like to see it.

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Paris Hilton

Phone borked

The Nokia Software Updater borked my N95 too. I took it back to Vodafone and they ended up replacing it with a refurbished unit to the same mint quality (well done Vodafone). As soon as I got it back I put it through the NSU and that time it worked.

The NSU is prone to an amount of risk. I've had it do the same to a 6280 - a common occurrence according to comment from T-Mobile when I returned it for repair (it too was replaced with a refurb).

It does appear that the NSU can bork handsets randomly even if following instruction to the letter. Being an old hand at using the NSU since it launched I cannot see that it is something that I am doing wrong. The NSU occasionally seems to have its own Paris moment.

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Anonymous Coward

Author = Nokia hater

Rather than publish the fact that Nokia continue to serve its customers on older phones with updating it inline with the latest developments (virtual memory), improving battery life, better accelerometer usage, better RAM usage, improved MAPS app. It just said Incorrectly that it takes away the where are u part of MAPS. This is incorrect that is why Nokia aren't telling you.

The question here is what doe Bill Ray have against Nokia. Come on, if I wawnted ridicous articles I'd read the Daily Mail in the UK.

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Stop

Orange?

No updates from Orange yet?

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ian
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Anon Cow = Nokia PR

Start tracking is removed. Fact. No warning is given. Fact.

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re: author = Nokia hater?

"The question here is what doe Bill Ray have against Nokia."

I think there *is* an element of tabloid mischief here. This is a non-issue that has already been laughed off symbian forums. Having said that, we're all grown-ups and we all know what journalists do; part of their job is to stimulate debate, and he's achieved that in this instance.

Also, to occasionally get a viewpoint that we disagree with, puts into perspective those that have us thinking, "Yeah, dead right".

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Nokia can go and do the proverbial to themselves

I bit the bullet and got my N95 recently and will not be buying a Nokia again.

Poor software, support and firmware that is nothing short of shite!

£400+ phone that is no better than my daughters pay as you go flip phone that cost £100.

When it works it's nice but with a few hrs (If your lucky) battery life Nokia should get a boot in the knackers for this failure.

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