HTC Locations introduces service charges for turn-by-turn navigation features

HTC Locations, the GPS app from the manufacturer, has now got a price tag for the app's navigation services. After introducing offline turn-by-turn navigation to combat Nokia's offering with Lumia Windows Phones, it was seen as a smart move by consumers. Unfortunately, now it seems the manufacturer either has other ideas or simply can't afford to keep the "free" label.

When running the app, users will be greeted with an option to purchase a license for maps, which enable turn-by-turn navigation. The U.S. pricing is $4.99 for 30 days, $19.99 for a year, and $29.99 unlimited. All of North America will cost you $9.99 for the month, $39.99 for 365 days, and $49.99 unlimited. Europe will set you back €49.99 and €39.99 for Eastern Europe.

Question being, what do you guys think of this move? 

Source: WinphoneBG; via: WMPU

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • I downloaded the UK and US maps a month ago. It now prompt me to buy the maps but if you click on cancel you can carry on using them.
  • Nokia= free.99 love it.
  • Ridiculous. I thought HTC might finally have made a good move for OEM exclusivity. I loved this app, but when I saw this a week or so ago I uninstalled.
  • Is this news? We had a trial period for a long time.
  • Well it's impossible for HTC to keep it free. Wasn't this just a trial?
    There was a reason why Nokia spent 8.1 billion euros back in 2007 to buy world second largest mapping company Navteq.
  • How is it impossible?  I highly doubt that HTC uses it's own map data.  And there are nav apps like Waze that have always been free.
  • blah, the second a Nokia comes to Verizon I'll be making the switch. nothing really wrong with the Trophy, but nothing really great either, and I keep hearing all the goodness that Nokia is bringing, and HTC gives us... this.
  • Yeah I'm in the same boat. Gonna stick with my trophy until I see something else drop on verizon.
  • so is this worth it against other offerings like garmin and such?
  • I doubt that! I am using NAVIGON USA and haven't found a better offline navigation solution on Windows Phone. If you're interested in NAVIGON, keep checking the marketplace because the price drops every other week or so and then goes up again. What I like most is the CONTACTS integration as well as realtime traffic information and how information are displayed. (I think WPCentral had a review for it back in time?)
  • Yes, I used Navigon and it is the best voice guided nav with offline maps if your phone OEM deosn't offer it for free.  So far Nokia is still offering its service for free.  So I'm glad I got the Lumia 900.  Works great!!!
  • I use Garmin and it works really well. I feel it is better integrated to Windows Phone's interface. No offline maps seems like the only negative, but w Verizon's great coverage I haven't had any issues.
  • That's why I got a Lumia 900 :D
  • Just another reason for people to switch from HTC, they obviously don't have too much faith in WP and are trying to get as much cash as possible before everyone jumps ship to Nokia or a different OS all together.
  • It's not a big deal , they charge for HTC watch on Android too. Plus they are offering something that Nokia still hasn't offered which is SRS enhancements
  • SRS enhacements? Seriously? that's why you would buy an HTC phone over a Nokia Phone?
  • Yup sure would
  • I hope you're joking.
  • I had the HTC Titan and prior to that the HTC Surround.  While SRS is great addition, it really doesn't make a difference unless you are linked to full stereo.  However, all my bluetooth stereo speakers in my car, Jaybyrd headphone all have boosts in them as well.  So that's the least of my concern.
  • What has HTC Watch got to do with maps =P Also I don't mind paying to rent films on HTC Watch I don't really expect it to be a free appliction.
    As for SRS I personally don't think the speaker on the Lumia is that great and I doubt that SRS software would make it sound any better, however I digress...
  • Well, Nokia signed a deal for Dolby Digital Plus for some of their current devices (including the forthcoming 808), so it's feasible that they may be able to offer the same sound tech on future Lumia devices.
  • Dolby is crap compared to SRS
  • Obviously not a big deal, I mean who in their right mind would prefer navigation over sound enhancements (which don't even make a noticable difference to me but hey, that's besides the point)?! /Sarcasm
    Uh I'm not going to say HTC is being unfair or isn't making good phones or offering satisfactory support but the point here is that everything they are doing pales in comparison to Nokia's offering. Nokia is really giving this their best shot, unlike HTC whos main logic is to take their already developed phones, put WP on it and put it up for sale and expect it to magically do well. Still better than Samsung though.
    @big.boss211: I'm not sure what problem you have with Nokia, but honestly, they're clearly besting HTC in the Windows Phone market. 
  • I have no problem with Nokia at all, they just need to put in some SRS enhancements and then I'm on board. Music is very important to me so it has to sound good
  • It's all in the headset. A pair of quality headphones/earphones can outdo HTC's SRS app. I speak from experience. I'm a former recording studio tech who has owned an HD7 for the better part of a year. You don't even have to spend THAT much money... Sony makes a pair of cans (slang term for over-the-ear headphones) that sell for about $30 and HANDILY outdo the SRS, even at low volume. Memorex makes ear buds that sound great that I've found as low as $2! While the SRS app CAN make even the cheapies that shipped with my phone sound pretty good, (tip: the "jazz" setting gives the best bass without muddying the mids or sacrificing transparent highs) you're still better off searching for the right hardware rather than relying on software from a company that doesn't support its product.
  • Price for US maps is the same as Navigon, not sure how the Euro price compares.
  • Nokia sure knows how to please their costumers....can't say the same for Samsung & HTC.
  • I won't be buying it. I,LL be keeping to my Tom Tom for navigation
  • Wow bad form. Huge pricing too
  • I wonder if Nokia will do this as well?
  • Judging by the history of Nokia Drive being completely free during the Symbian days and on the N9, I really doubt that.
  • Great for fragmentation in ur wallet blame Nokia :)
  • Didn't we know about this already? I could have sworn WPCentral reported on this already, right?
  • Wow that's a nice money clip in the first photo, on topic tho I think there's alot of options for turn by turn navigation and if your on AT&T like me then you have the AT&T branded telenav which is a fine app, but me personally I'll just stick to my Tom Tom.
  • Nokia drive 3.0 is coming soon and its free again .
    I would advice anyone to get a Nokia who steps into WP7 .
  • Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive are really apps that makes the difference between 2 phones, when you are not sure...
  • lol who would want a Samsung or HTC now that Nokia is here.
  • Someone that wants a decent camera...Nokia should be embarrassed with what they have been trying to pass off as cameras compared to the HTC offerings.
  • HTC should be embarrassed by their shitty plastic lense.
  • I wonder what you'll have left to say after Nokia inevitably puts out a software update that fine tunes the camera. Then again, if you're on an HTC Windows phone you probably even know what an OEM software update is. LOL
  • Tacky tacky tacky
  • Maps I'm Windows Phone works fine for me.
  • 90 euro for the whole EU maps? tha is 117 USD what are they high or something? who in their right mind would pay that; If you could not decide between the Lumia 900 and Titan 2, now HTC has made that choice for you.
  • I love my Lumia 900!  :)
  • Man, we must be the only people in the world who love Bing navigation..hasnt failed me yet and its I just love the "bings" when I go the right way...:D
  • I think the emphasize is on 'offline' navigation here. But I agree Bing is great. However, I am on Tmo, so while it works in DC it ain't as soon as I drive into West Virginia. And most of the time places with bad/no reception are those where need the navigation features of Bing.
  • Bing navigation works well in the states but not anywhere else due to Licensing restrictions. As result we now have Fragmentation.
  • there has always been fragmentation with WP... A windows phone outside the USA is less than a WP in the USA... hmmm
  • Good thing they don't even support mapping in Japan. Double fail.
  • Wel we euro's quickly can chance country and provider that comes with it like on a vacation or a day trip. Than offline reduces alot of costs .
  • Rather buy a GPS.
  • Don't most of the cell phone companies provide a Navigation/GPS of their own anyway?   I know my SAprint Arrive has a TelNav on it. I installed the HTC program awhile back and downloaded the USA maps.  I won't be paying for it.  If it requires me to pay to use, it's a good thinkg it only requires a simpe touch to uninstall.  Between TeleNav and Bing, I don't see a huge need for a pay to use GPS program.
    Too bad that when you uninstall something, it doesn't give you an option to give feedback liek on your computer.  Perhaps, if they did, HTC might see the errors of thier way.
  • I see it as fine considering you can just use Windows Phone's Maps app.
  • Here goes HTC giving back to its loyal users
  • It was always pay, you just got a free trial when they brought it out a month ago that has now expired.
    Sucks to of not bought a Nokia?
  • I'm tired of HTC (HD7 Tmo USA) because they don't care for WPs but Androshit. I'll buy a Nokia device but I'll wait for WP8. I'm officially divorced from HTC I'll get marry in November with Nokia!
  • lol
  • Loved my Nokia 900. Had to switch to HTC T2 instead of dealing with a bad batch of phones. Will go back to Nokia after Apollo.
  • Bad move from HTC. I own an HTC Titan and used this app for a month, now that they charged I had to unlock my phone and install the Nokia Drive app. It's not better but it's FREE.
  • You mean steal from Nokia....not free at @luizmeme
  • they never charged for the app, so it's free.
  • You can't expect to get everything for free.
  • No, of course not. But it would be easier to swallow if they just sold an app with a reasonable one time charge under $20 and no subscription to pay for. Subscription GPS is a carrier d**k move, i.e. $9.99 a month for AT&T navigation.  IMO it is ridiculous to ask people to pay one penny more for that functionality with the absurd prices of a monthly smartphone contract with a major carrier. $100-130 a month for the phone AND you expect people to pay for GPS service which costs you viritually nothing? Really?
    Just one more confirmation that I made the right choice going with Nokia. 
  • It was always supposed to be a sub service after the trial... Don't understand why this is a shock?
  • All Nokia has to do is give me a 4.7 inch screen and I'll never again look at an HTC, until then I need my bigger screen! Hoping for some love with WP8 devices.
  • It costs 25% more for all the options in Australia... It doesn't make sense as we're 1:1 with USD. AUD is actually stronger right now. I'm tired of getting ripped off by MS (all apps are 25% more), Nokia (Lumia 900 will be $770 instead of $450), and HTC. Yes, I realise there's no recession here and we're all rolling in cash but we still shouldn't have to pay more :P
  • This is the difference between being committed vs being involved. Nokia is committed to WinPhone, HTC is just 'involved' with it. Nokia will stand or fall with WinPhone. HTC is happy to make good WinPhones, but could lose the entire line and still make a living off of its Androids. Its like eating a chicken salad sandwich. The Chef was 'Involved' in making it, but the Chicken was committed.
  • Nokia has free GPS and HTC is charging .... Wtf...
  • I think whether Nokia Drive or HTC Location, should make it FREE for its own brand handset, but charge for others who want to use it. If Nokia users want to use HTC Location, the pay for it via verses.
  • I feel the same way about Bing maps I think it works just fine. It's definitely my go to for maps.
  • Uninstalled. Wait for iGO and will buy it.
  • Shame as Locations looked good on my Titan but those prices would make an expensive trip to the Continent.
  • del
  • So freaking glad Sprint has Telenav on the Arrive.... Well I guess that's about the ONLY thing I can say good about Sprint. Telenav is pretty fantastic though
  • Has any1 noticed that the Location Service GPS is provided Route66? it's not theyre own as Nokias'.
  • HTC locations is a sat nah? I thought it was just a re hash of HTC footprints! I've been using turn by turn up to now on my titan... This right here is the difference between Nokia and HTC. Nokia push their product instead of sitting back complacently wondering why the ecosystem hasn't taken off.
  • Lol uninstall
  • I would never pay a reoccuring fee for any type of offline mapping program. They should stick with a standard app model of purchase once for the version and that's it. Online service navigation is a different story and I would consider that an acceptable billing model for monthly fees. Primarily because you would be getting live updates, traffic notifications etc.
  • Looks like my next WP will be a Nokia! Byebye HTC . . .
  • It is simply that HTC doesn't want to pour more developing resources on Windows Phone platform, why do we WP users have to pay to using the navigation funciton, when HTC Locations is for free in Android environment? It's so not fair!!
    Considering the multiple apps from Nokia, I think I'll definitely choose Nokia for my next WP, no more HTC WP........
  • Ok I finally figured it out: HTC is NOT charging for this service,it is a 3rd party company called route 66 so take it out on them and NOT HTC!
  • Its great  that we now have WP Nokia Fanboys.  Its gotta be good for Windows Phone so I am all for it but while Nokia might make a pretty phone and they might deliver value withe extra software it doesn't take away the fact that the HTC TITAN and the TITAN II are heads above the NOKIA Windows Phones in hardware and build quality.  You pay for that quality and if you are OK with that then paying for a superior navigation app such as Navigon is not a problem either.  
    NOKIA still has to the work out the issues of its camera capture quality, its screen clicking/looseness, screen purple haze, loose buttons, DATA loss issues,  etc, etc.  Personally I prefer my T-II's classy look, large screen/thin size, curved screen, button placement as well as the texture of the buttons and the textured grippable back. 
    Thats not even mentioning the far superior 16mp camera with the awesome software and great low light capture. The camera software with it hundreds of settings and options is not only functional it really nails it in operation.  This along with the 16 MP camera makes this phone the best value at a higher price even if you consider the lack of "free" GPS software. 
    Sorry fanboys but NOKIA can't touch it but I can see why the color of the new NOKIA's would be attractive to some. Their design is nice and unique but when I checked the 900 to the T-II, it was obvious which had the better build and the most value and it wasn't the 900 in my very humble opinion so the software would have to make up for it.  The 900 is very pretty but after seeing one up close and playing with it, it was obvious that they are cheaper for a reason. Then I saw another at Best Buy that had been abused and it gave me a much better idea how it would look in a year and it wasn't pretty.
  • Back to sending the Mrs. into the servo to ask for directions.