Nokia and Bing Maps get visual makeovers

Nokia has updated the colour palette for their mapping service and this change has been reflected through Microsoft's Bing with the partnership between the two companies. The alterations are to make the browsing experience easier and more aesthetically pleasing with improved typography, colours and less obstructive icons. The above image illustrates the change with the new version of Bing Maps on the left.

While these changes are present on the web versions of both Nokia and Bing Maps, Windows Phone owners will be able to witness the improvements in the official apps. Note that Nokia Drive wont be updated with the new look for a week or two.

What do you make of said changes?

Source: Nokia Conversations

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.

  • Are they going to fix it so you don't have to tap for every turn?
  • I basically signed in to say the same thing. If they would just fix that it would be, I don't know, somewhat useful... I think it had to do with some map tile licensing agreement MS had which I hope is expired. Crossing fingers for a change in tango.
  • Is this going to be updated for other phones like the titan or just nokia
  • All phones.  This is being integrated server side to our maps get the updated info from there without needing to update anything on the phone.
  • I like tapping
  • I think the left version is harder to read. I like the yellow for major roadways. I wish Bing would have taken on Nokia's cartography instead. While I'm at it, Bing also needs to use a better color for routes, because they blend too much with interstates ... medium blue on purple ... bad idea.
  • I hear you on the color of routes. Can't distinguish the difference between your route or main highways, plus it gets totally screwed up if you add traffic. Main reason I went went ahead and purchased Navigon (which is awesome IMHO).
  • The one on the left is the new version. And I agree, now roads are much harder to see.
  • They did take Nokia's cartography, at least outside of the US
  • Nokia should of waited to release Drive until it was ready. Ovi Maps on my Nokia 5230 was 100 times better than drive. To do the same think on my Lumia, I need to use three different apps Local Scout(might be wrong on the name), Nokia Maps, and Nokia Drive. And I still can't save routes and favorite places, both come in very handy when planing a long trip. I really hope the Drive update fixes most of the problems.
  • Improvements are coming:

  • It's good that they are doing somethings to unify the experience, but I would love if they would make Nokia maps or Bing maps usable or relevant outside of Europe and North America. Bing maps and Nokia maps are unusable in Japan. :(
  • As of yesterday I started to recieve what I believe to be Navteq's cartography because Bing maps sucked here (Venezuela) as well
  • Not at all digging this new yellowey change. Bing maps had a distinct feel that I can still recall from the first time I saw a Windows Phone.
    But wow it looks great on my desktop pc. Strange.
    This is a perfect example of where MS could have implemented a change while providing us with more choice within the OS and they took the lesser road.
  • like it, nice and clean. only thing left to do is migrate bing maps to using navteq.
  • I agree about the new colors and font. I hate to admit it, but that's one thing Google has always had right. I like Bing Maps' routing engine better, but Google's map and road colors are much easier to read and distinguish.
  • Bing maps is unusable in Hong Kong, have to resort to gMaps.  I think ms is a bit behind when it comes to mapping which I hope Nokia can rectify.
  • Count me in as not liking the new change. It seems like they're trying to make everything look the same color. Seems less readable to me. Sometimes contrast is a good thing.
    Really though, Nokia needs to stop worrying about tweaking colors and give us real turn by turn. But they're not going to do that, since they want us all to buy their phones to get free turn by turn. They're not really bringing anything good to WP, only to their own devices. It's really disappointing.
  • Why should Nokia actively improve the experience on other phones? That is really not their job. Since Nokia started their Lumia range here WP7 is taken seriously for the first time. I think this way they are already doing a lot to increase the overall popularity of the platform. Nokia is still a independent company which needs to sell its own phones.
  • Because MS is paying them a ton of money, unlike the other OEMs. Back when the Nokia-MS partnership was announced, I (and also a lot of other people here) thought this would mean that Nokia and Bing maps would be merged and we could finally get real turn by turn built into the phone. Well, it sure doesn't seem like that will be happening.
    We've been told that we don't have proper built in turn by turn because of some licensing issue with Navteq. But Navteq is owned by Nokia! And meanwhile, Nokia keeps moving ahead with their Drive app. So it's not just that Nokia refuses to improve the experience on other phones, it's that they are crippling the experience on other phones for their own benefit. That's the real problem.
    I thought that one great benefit of WP was that we could get our own choice of hardware, but the software experience would be the same on every phone. It seems that MS is starting to head away from that direction.
    And yes, I understand that Nokia needs to sell its own phones. But if their hardware is really better than everyone else like so many people claim, then they should be able to sell phones on their own merit and not have to cripple the OS to do it.
  • I would like nokia drive and maps on my HTC Titan.
  • That's nice
  • I prefer the makeover. More emphasis on text labels and less and softer colors is easier on my eyes, provides better overview and helps me find places faster at this zoom level.
    When I need more details, I'll zoom in. That's one advantage of digital maps over paper maps. When I need to navigate, I'll enter A and B and the route will light up. No need for all the clutter like on paper.
  • Searching works better for me i Norway with the updated maps. And they have added some POI that was not present at all before. Seems like a good update for Norwegian users. :) 
  • It's getting worse in Hungary. There is a city nearby named Vértesszőlős. Now it shows Vértesszrlrs instead on the map. Change the encoding to UTF-8 Microsoft! :D
    But at least I can find it by using search and providing the correct name. And it seems they have added borders for the cities here, or I just didn't notice that when I've used it for the last time :)
  • I wish they would add public transit already...
  • Interesting, UK maps now have motorway junction numbers.
    (I don't think it did before?)
    Nice improvement.
  • Nokia Drive is worse than Bing navigation IMO. Had to return my wp8 because of it. Think tap by turn is bad? Wait until you have to turn the entire phone to orintate the map.