Released on July 21st [initially for Nokia’s Lumia devices], I have had a few opportunities to try out the latest app, Drive 3.0 offering from Nokia.
Over the past two years I have repeatedly used Google’s brilliant built in turn-by-turn navigation powered by the Android based Google Maps app, and was amazed at how well it was executed. Other than occasional GPS signal loss issues, I came to rely on it like a good old friend.
I was hoping for the same “WOW” factor with the Nokia app for Windows Phone 7.5 too. So how does it work? Well, unfortunately in some very critical ways, not well at all…
Nokia Drive 3.0
In two of my three GPS guided trips using the app, Drive 3.0 took me to the wrong address.
In the first instance, I was attempting to get to the Courtyard Marriot in San Jose [denoted by the “A” marker in the Google map] and the app directed me past my target location and into the roundabout that rings the airport. Fun.
My second instance was no better when it directed me to “enter the highway” without stating which direction [North or South] to “enter the highway.” Even the listed exit/entrance name on top of the map just stated a rather unhelpful “Hwy 280 Junipero Serra”.
The third guided attempt however was successful.
What I found disconcerting is that the app requires you to constantly peek at your phone to figure out where it is telling you to go, and even then the information displayed is a bit spotty. There are no exit names spoken. Generic spoken terms like “take the exit” and “turn right ahead” are all the spoken part of the app offers. So if you have multiple or closely spaced streets or exits, you can find yourself in a bind to figure out which one to take, necessitating the need to have your eyes fixed on the phone rather than on the road where they should be.