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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Nokia Maps - 360 Cities review

It's time for another post about Nokia Maps. Besides free offline turn-by-turn navigation, Nokia Maps suite offers a great deal of other useful applications, one of which is Guides.

A new addition for the Guides application is the 360 Cities section. 360 Cities offers you something that really no other mapping or trip application does, and that is panoramic views of places near you, or any other location you can think of.

First of all we have the Near you section where you can see places near your location with panoramic pictures and all. The places are sorted by the distance from your current location. When you look at a certain location, you first see a portrait picture of the place itself, but if you flip you phone, then you can see the panoramic image I was talking about earlier. You can also move around the photos, but not the way you would think. You have to tap the image and three sets of controls will appear: one for moving around, one for zoom in/out and one for a shortcut to the maps. I know there's no pinch to zoom, or swipe to scroll, but remember the app is in it's early stages, and improvements are bound to happen.

Next you have the Editor's picks, which will show you the favorite locations of the Maps guys. Next is the Most popular where you can see the locations sorted by people's choice.

The Cities section shows you exactly what you think it means. You can see the cities and general panoramic pictures with the main points of interest in those cities.

The Businesses section shows you restaurants, hotels and other businesses. Here too, locations can have more images for you to enjoy.

360 Cities is a welcomed addition to the Nokia Maps family, and I hope it will grow fast. I will be using this feature along with the entire Nokia Maps suite, when I go to Rome in March.