Ovi Maps tips 'n tricks

If you're the proud owner of a modern Nokia phone and have been following our Ovi Maps coverage, then by now you should have worked out what it is, evaluated it, downloaded it and checked out the third party content. But that's all baby stuff. It's time to enter the big league now.

It's all very well having Ovi Maps but to really get the most out of it, you need to know how to use it quickly and conveniently to get what you want and make sure you're using the service as the developers intended. So, here's a few expert tricks and tips to get you going and don't forget to add a few of your own in the comments below.

Download your maps with maploader

You might have a monstrous data plan and not care for the charges of your phone calling up to the servers for the mapping information, but if you take the time to download the complete maps onto your handset first, you're going to save yourself more than just cash. Using Ovi Maps as a cloud service is going to drain your battery quicker and cause you some serious problems the minute you start trying to navigate in areas of weaker connection signal. Each map doesn't take up that much space and memory is cheap these days. So, buy yourself an 8 or 16GB microSD, download your country's map and maybe a few other places that you're likely to visit before you go. 

Have the latest version installed

It's perhaps an obvious one but you'd be surprised how often people forget or just aren't bothered about updating their maps. They're going to get more detailed and you get more third party content added as well, both of which make the experience much better. So, next time you're offered an update, just say yes.

Fine tune your nav settings

If you've ever got wound up with a satnav sending you a route you didn't think was very good, there's an excellent chance that it's all to do with the settings behind the actions. For example, if you're navigating in a busy city and your routing is set for the shortest journey rather than the one with least traffic, then you're bound to come unstuck. Choose between the shortest, fastest and least busy routes; decide whether you want POIs to turn up on the screen automatically or perhaps just a certain type of POI and get all your units and distance readings just as you want them too. Have a dig around when you have a minute spare and experiment with the settings.

Know your shortcuts

We can all play the menus but a one click solution is always better. There's quite a few to remember for different situations, so try picking out one or two of these to begin with and get used to using them rather than attempting to blitz the lot at once. You can always come back here and pick up a few more once you've mastered the first batch.

General shortcuts
To return to your current location, press 0.
To change the map type, press 1.
To tilt the map, press 2 or 8.
To rotate the map, press 4 or 6. To return the map back to the north up position, press 5.

Pedestrian navigation shortcuts
To save a location, press 2.
To search for locations by categories, press 3.
To adjust the volume of the pedestrian navigation guidance, press 6.
To see the list of route points, press 7.
To adjust the map for night-time usage, press 8.
To see the dashboard, press 9.

Car navigation shortcuts
To adjust the map for daytime or night-time usage, press 1.
To save the current location, press 2.
To search for locations by categories, press 3.
To repeat the voice guidance, press 4.
To find a different route, press 5.
To adjust the volume of voice guidance, press 6.
To add a stopover to the route, press 7.
To see traffic information, press 8.
To see the dashboard, press 9.

Use your favourites

Of course, one of the ultimate one-touch solutions is to make sure to label addresses and POIs as favourites. That'll save you time looking them up before you navigate. It takes a wee bit of forethought but it's just a question of doing it to kill time on the bus or train or perhaps to take your mind off the sound of the drill in the dentist's waiting room. Home should be first on your list but it might also be a good idea to mark in places you've always meant to visit. That way, when you're stuck for something to do one day you can always just whiz through the list on your phone.

Use Ovi Maps on your computer

If you're going to use Ovi Maps on your mobile, then the sensible thing to do is jump right into the ecosystem and make sure that you're using the desktop version as well. Create yourself an Ovi account and then you can sync all the details from one set of maps to the other. So, rather than fiddle around on the small screen making routes and favourites, adding your own content and addresses; you can do it from the comfort of your own computer and just transfer it over automatically. What's more, if you happen to lose your phone, then all that customisation you did over time isn't lost. A no-brainer really.

You

If this is all old hat to you, then chances are that you've got a few Ovi Maps gems of your own. So, how about adding them all in the comments below so other people can become black belts too?