Nokia Drive+ Beta for Windows Phone 8 Updated, power saving added

We contacted Nokia a short while ago to check in on their navigation apps and we were told to expect some updates soon. Today one of the first of the updates has arrived to bring the Nokia Drive+ Beta to version 2.1.

So what’s new? As well as the usual bug fixes they have introduced a better way to manage power consumption. Read on past the break for more details.

We have been using Nokia Drive+ Beta since it first popped up and on the whole have been pleased with its performance. That’s not to say it has been all plain sailing, there have been instances where the map stops updating and the occasional crash here and there. We’re still waiting for Drive on Windows Phone 8 to pick up the much vaunted “My Commute” feature that exists on the Windows Phone 7 version.

Highlights of the update

In the settings menu you’ll now find the Battery Saver option.

“Save battery power between charges with the battery saver. When you switch this on, the app runs in the background, and you’ll hear navigation instructions when being guided along a route. In other cases the GPS will be switched off to reduce power consumption.”

On the main map display, you can return to your present position by clicking on a button to centre the map again. Hardly a drastic UI improvement, but its welcome nonetheless.

After we updated the app we were also prompted to update the voice files for the app which didn’t take too long. We’ll need to test the latest version over the next few days and we hope that the overall stability of the app has improved. Good to see the updates starting to hit for this app, we’re really keen to see this pick up existing features from the Windows Phone 7 version while taking full advantage of Windows Phone 8.

Nokia Drive is one of the crown jewels in their app line up and so we’re expecting great things down the line with this. You can download it from the Nokia Collection on the Windows Phone Store hereThanks, ryansstuff, for the tip!

QR: Nokia Drive+

Robert Brand
  • Thank goodness! That thing sucked battery life like ... I don't have a good simile...
  • (insert any android phone here)
  • Robert any word on when it's going to come out for rest of us such as the people with an 8x? I find the navigation to a step back in wp8.
  • you are never getting Drive+ on your 8X.  You can get the base Drive if HTC decides to offer it.
  • What do you mean by the base drive? Every Windows Phone 8 is getting Nokia Drive it's part of Microsoft and Nokia's licensing agreement.
  • Nokia Drive+ is exclusive to Lumia devices. Nokia Drive (no plus) will only become available to other devices if device manufacturers offer it. So far, no one else has said a thing. Two different versions of Nokia Drive, with Nokia Drive+ probably being the best and most fully-featured version only for Lumia devices.
  • When MS and Nokia announced their partnership to offer Maps and Drive on WP8 I thought it would be great.  But honestly, the whole thing has turned into kind of a mess.  From a developer perspective, I'm appaled that they tell us to develop against Nokia API's on phone and Bing Map API's on W8.  From a user perspective I find Nokia and Bing maps both on the phone and accessible from different methods.  Now I see you telling us that Nokia is in fact only releasing a stripped down version of Drive and only for OEM's that actually choose to implement it?  WP8/W8 is MS's big shot and they are already screwing it up.
  • rom a developer's perspective why do you care if the drive + is offered on the 8X. In fact all it means is that third party devs have accces to Nokia's Maps API to build their own navigation apps and make money out of it....
  • Any word on when HTC will allow it?  I am highly considering the 8X but I fear that this app and many other Nokia exclusives like Draw Something, ESPN Fantasy Football, and others will not come to HTC.
  • Btw we have Draw Something on our 8x it's just not free like it is on Lumia devices ;)
  •   Right, well I have to help clarify the situation a little. Nokia Mapping platform forms the base of Windows Phone 8. “But” that doesn’t mean that Nokia Drive is coming to other devices. What is said is carefully crafted in that Drive “IS” available for other device makers to implement in their phones. What does this mean? Likely they HTC and others are welcome to licence it from Nokia. There have been no further announcements on this matter. RB
  • What? It's suppose to be free on Lumia devices? Ugh I had to pay $2.99 for it on my Lumia 920. Wonder why? It's not showing up under Nokia collection.
  • Just search for it, and it's there.  It's buggier than the paid version though - basically unusable.
  • The Garmin StreetPilot app is excellent but cost me $35 in the app store.  I prefer the Garmin app (I live in the US) It has a lane preview mode (it will give you a preview of all the interchange lanes ahead and shows which one(s) will keep you on track)  This has  nothing to do with navigation but I like that when I'm listening to music, the Garmin will reduce volume when speaking; Drive+ cuts the music out completely.  It's a little thing but demonstrates the polish in the product.  
  • I got the Garmin, and i like it better then, google and nokia maps, and it has google search if you need it,
  • False. Drive does not cut the music out.
  • Drive cuts my music out.
  • If you use English US without street names it doesn't cut music off. If you use either male or female English US WITH street names it DOES cut the music off completely.
    On a cold Friday afternoon, I had come home from school. I had been thinking of the Windows Phone all day. I was hungry, didn't have any lunch. In fact, I didn't eat because I spent the money. For the past month I was saving up for something. Something special which I bought at Microsoft Store. I was surprised they didn't ask for ID; I was pretty sure the cashier noticed how nervous I was. Anyways, my mom asked my how my day was when I got home, but I ignored her. I have more important things to do. I run to the bathroom and unpack my bag. In my school bag is a white plastic bag from Microsoft. I open the bag, first removing the receipt and flushing it down the toilet to get rid of the evidence. My heart was racing now. I unpack the monster from the bag.
    I wonder what Lumia fans will be asking me when they see that I have the HTC 8X. Should I say I got it for free? I remove the label from the box and tear it into a thousand small pieces. I flush that down the toilet, too. It is time now. I run up to my room when my mom ask me what I am holding. I panic, sweat drips down my forehead and my teeth chatter. "Mom, it's just for a school project". "What project?" "I don't know mom I just started it!". A tear runs down my cheek. I run upstairs and turn on the phone. What have I gotten myself into? I enter my Microsoft Account data and hit accept. There is no turning back now. The HTC monster is inside me now, it will control me. What should I do if I die? I can’t let my family know about this.
    I take the box and rip it to small pieces, throwing it all out the window; a white cloud of mysterious paper shreds into the wind so graciously. I feel the phone taking control of me; I am now the monster. I walk downstairs, it’s time to sync data; time to finish what I started. Now I worry, I don't want to get too attached to my phone; people will think I am crazy. I am crazy. No I don't. HTC. All I see is the Metro UI now, I am almost downstairs when I hear "Do you want a cookie I just baked". I know I do not have time for this shit now. "No mom I do not want a cookie" I walk in the basement and drop to my knees before the phone, tears running down my cheeks. I turn to the right and look at myself in the mirror. Oh god, what have I done?
  • What drugs are you on and where can I buy it? Lol
  • Long read and so worth it. Haha Thanks! -8x owner
  • There is a shorter version too
  • hiiiiiiii is awesome! good read i died
  • LMAO!  That was great, thanks for the laughed!
  • Hahaha.... Thank you. I stopped crying now.
  • This was freaking hysterical.
  • OK, after just having installed the Garmin app, I can say it is SO much better than Nokia Maps, and Google Maps (even though it costs $29).
    This is the only thing stopping from switching to HTC.  I got the Lumia 822 a month ago, because the 920 is temporarily exclusive to AT&T (ugh!).  I actually wanted the HTC 8X when I went in, but a salesperson convinced me otherwise because the vaunted Nokia Maps.  Big mistake.
    I have had so many issues with Nokia Drive not tracking my position well, stopping to track me altogether, and a severe lack of features.  I had no idea this amazing Garmin app was available, but now I will be returning this Lumia garbage and switching to HTC 8X!! :)
  • Should have bought a 920!
  • I know right, plus where's the part when HTC start rebooting constantly and he smashes his head of the wall in panic lol
  • Yay, now I can use it to drive into a lake since there is still no wifi fix for it.
  • Get offline maps
  • But then I can't complain
  • Thanks again for the QR codes. hopefully MS gets the missing store notifications fixed.
  • Any word on when it will introduce directions on the Live Tile like talked about in June/July?
  • This isn't to start a flame war so please keep that in mind.
    I really want to like Nokie Drive but last week on 3 of the 5 locations, I was guided to the wrong streets. They were all close  but most of the time I was in the street behind the neighborhood I needed to be in, and a furniture store I was trying to get to was just completely wrong and said that it was in the middle of a residential neighborhood. 
    Luckily I had Navigon which got me to all my locations without a single hickup. 
    I do realize that you mileage may vary (pun intended :) ) depending on where you live, but I can say that in Vancouver WA  and parts of Portland OR, it's pretty spotty. 
    I hope these things get fixed, and most importantly I wish MS and Nokia would merge there map data not remove bing maps entirely. Nokia Maps thinks that an old restaruant near my house "Bostons" is there. They've been closed for the better part of 4 years now and it's now an auto parts store. 
  • You should report that information to Nokia, so that they can update it then. That's the piece that people always neglect.
  • I did for the first two.... but then I got kind of tired of sending in more and more problems to them. In fact I sent in a problem about a week ago. 
    I tested out the Nokia Maps for example and typed in Winco (A big grocery store chain in my parts). It is literally across the street from my work. I didn't find it... however If I go to that location manually I have the blue print to that store on maps, I can see the aisle information, where restrooms are, etc.
    SERIOUSLY you have that kind of detailed info for my store but you do not mark it on your maps as POI? 
    I have probably sent in (including the Nokia Drive app) 10 fixes for them. Not one has been updated (although they responded to my email with automated response) and I just got tired of it. 
    So yes I neglected to say in my initial post that I didn't send in the feedback, but I have done so. I have used Nokia Maps more then drive and I stopped using Maps because it's just not great, or even really close to good. 
    Again that is in my area, with a population of 165,000. 
    By the way gMaps is a great alternative as well as Bing's Maping service.
  • By the way, in addition to this you can't even report these problems on the phone (within the app) you have to go to the website. Kind of rediculous IMO.
  • nokia isnt a serach company unfortunately and thats why they need to get MS to power serach in nokia maps at some point just like nokia powers the maps info on bing maps... some day (soon hopefully) search on nokia maps will be on par with bing maps/google maps and then well have fewer complaints
  • Yes, if you got a bad result you need to contact Nokia so they can check it out. RB
  • Check out my reply please.
  • The update's not showing up here ... version in the store is, either by browsing directly or via QR code. Lumia 920, ATT-US. Did this just get updated in certain regions or something?
  • Just got the update here 3 minutes ago - L 920 on ATT-US.
  • I got it on my 920 here in the US
  • I am in the same boat as Bkaul
  • Odd.  Lumia 920 on ATT-US here as well.  The version from both the phone and web (desktop) are both showing up as the older version.  Strange how other people gets the newer version now.
  • I absolutely love that Microsoft is now using Nokia / Navteq's maps throughout the OS, and I love that Nokia provides a free driving app for their customers.  However, Nokia really needs to take a look at their competition.  First of all, there is zero reason to have separate applications for Nokia Maps, Nokia City Lens, Nokia Drive, and Nokia Transit / Transport.  Those should be tightly integrated into a single program.
    More importantly, Nokia needs to go out and buy a standalone TomTom, a standalone Garmin, check out Google Maps on Android (and now iOS), and check Apple's Maps as well, and compare their app against those.  Nokia has the CONTENT / the maps correct, but they are missing so much basic functionality that it's completely ridiculous.  My Commute is the least of the things that is currently missing.
  • Nokia Drive and Nokia Maps is quite robust - on the Symbian platform.  While I find the both on the Lumia 900 to be acceptable, and I'm looking forward to Nokia implementing the additional features from their Symbian version to the WP version.
    Given that Nokia had virtually no presence, or at least just a small presence with Symbian, in the U.S. for 4+ years, it may take some time for Nokia to get the data they need to update maps and Drive.  But since there are more and more Nokia Lumia users coming on board, as long as we report back to them, the better the improvements will be.
  • Like I said, the maps aren't the problem in my case.  The maps are great.  They don't need to take time acquiring data, they need to write a decent application to use that data.  Some things off the top of my head that are missing in Drive + ... global options for toll-roads, ferries, tunnels, type of route, etc (there's a selector when you're planning a route, but every single time it goes back to the defaults), live rerouting based on traffic data, there's no voice-activation / TellMe integration, etc.
  • Understood; Again, the Symbian version of Nokia Drive is more robust and includes those features (i.e. toll, ferry, and other options, as well as route preview, etc.) and I am hopeful that Nokia will somehow, and soon, be able to implement those features in the WP version.
  • Wow, I use Nokia Maps on 2+ year old S60 and Symbian^3 phones, and it's way more integrated than what you all are describing. I was seriously considering getting a Lumia instead of Nexus 4 just because I love the Nokia navigation (particularly on Symbian^3) so much. I can choose walking directions, re-route based on traffic, look up Trip Advisor, etc., all from one app, and no mobile data connection required. There's no City Lens though.
    One would think that two years after switching platforms, Nokia would have gotten their one killer-app fully polished on WP8. Personally, I think they would have been at the same place (at least) sales-wise if they had persevered with Symbian and Meego, especially since one could use QT to develop for both. Looks like they've spent the past two years trying to catch-up.
  • Combining those is a terrible idea for most everyone. It may work for you, but a person taking the train doesn't need driving directions, a person walking down the street and finding a place to eat doesn't need transit and driving directions, etc. Just like on Google, those things are really separate parts of their Maps applications. Having them separate makes people able to use the one they need when they need it, not launch one huge, battery draining program for just a small use.
  • It doesn't drain battery for an app to have extra features, that's ridiculous.
    On top of that, the Nokia Maps application already HAS directions for transit, walking, and driving, and then launches a separate application on top of that for voice directions or scheduling your public transportation trip.  Google does it in a single application for Android and for iOS, so I don't know what you're saying about it being "separate parts".  But more importantly, having it all split out and showing Nokia Transit, Nokia Drive+, Nokia Maps, Nokia City Lens all as separate entries in the app list just is a confusing experience for the end user... maybe not those of us browsing this site, but the general consumer.
    Don't even get me started on how if you launch Nokia Maps from the app list you get Nokia Maps, but if you try to launch maps from a search or Local Scout you end up in Bing Maps, either.
  • Hi this is Pino from the HERE team at Nokia. This is a quite old blog post (WP8 wasn't out yet) but it provides a good overview why we are developing separate apps
    Already with WP8, you can start Nokia Drive from Nokia Maps and expect more integration in the future.
  • Hello Pino,
    I'm quite suprised not finding a live rerouting feature on my Nokia Drive on Lumia 820. I've just switched from Nokia N8 (Symbian) and I can't believe I'm not finding this feature implemented on Nokia Drive by default. This is incredibly important for anyone driving, at any time. I don't want to wait a year hoping. Reason I'm with Nokia is mostly Nokia Drive! Should I go back to the polished Nokia Drive on the Nokia N8?
    Without mentioning that Nolkia Walk (in Nokia Maps) has all the fancy detailed  type of maps but no vibration or voice notifications. Let alone the possibility of switching off the screen while with Nokia Walk. 
    Please let me know about Nokia Drive traffic rerouting.  I'm deciding if I should return my Nokia Lumia 920 and have very little time left. 
  • I sure miss "my commute"! I used that feature everyday. Now I'm forced to bring my One-X for traffic rerouting. I also downloaded and started to use Waze on that phone. Gotta say I'm jealous. I love the police notifications, though, its probably not the safest thing...considering all the other "wazers" are using theirs phones while driving.
  • Is the update showing for everyone else? Still not showing update for me.
  • Not showing here either.  ATT Lumia 920 in Chicagoland.
  • I just downloaded the new version this morning. I would keep checking. att Lumia 920 dallas
  • I can't see the update either.
  • Did the update get pulled. It was showing and then when I went to download I could not. The next time I went in, it shows 2.0 is the latest.
  • Agree that Drive, Maps, etc should all be integrated. I have a 920 and use Garmin. Superior product - but it did cost me $30.
  • You would think Drive + would be all the apps combined, but that would be logical.
  • Verizon is trying to push their navigator on you for a cost, I'm guessing that's why their 8x doesn't come with drive.
  • Also for those of you that just want directions without actual voice nav, you can still get that via the directions button at the bottom of maps. That's all I use anyway so my music isn't interrupted.
  • just to be clear, this is a Beta software?  or does Beta signify some other meaning other than not fully developed and released for consumption?
  • Yeah, i think everyone's missing that small detail
  • My argument would be that Beta or not, Nokia was touting how superior there solution was to Apples and Googles. I don't agree. Nokia Drive is way behind the Google Maps released on iOS.
  • Update showing now in CA, USA 7:30am.
  • Still not for me, Southern California (Los Angeles). :'(  Hopefully it comes soon as I am driving behind the Orange Curtain later today!
    Edit: Just got it!! Yay!
  • I just checked the store and it isn't showing any update. :(
  • same here...used the qr code and everything
  • Still wondering why they haven't added a list view for all turns in a trip yet. And how about displaying (better yet reading aloud) the end destination address when you arrive and what side of the street it is on? Surely those shouldn't take that long to implement.
  • Yes, there are many things like this that are missing!
  • I have a 920 but I still prefer the Navigon app. It is pricey but I got it when it was on sale.
  • Applied the update and unblocked from running in the background.  Battery immediately went into freefall on my 920. 
  • Thanks Robert for posting this update.
  • I agree with the other's who are saying that Drive Beta+ plus is missing serious basic features. I've been using it for a couple of days, and I just simply cannot use it in offline mode. It loads the location, then stays frozen. OR, it will run for literallt one minute, and then freeze. It renders it unuseable.
    Also, where the $%#& are alternate routes? Seriously? I can't look at any alternate routes? That's just total garbage. I might as well just pick up an HTC 8X and download the Navigon app since everyone is drooling over it.
  • Did they fix the "keep left, then exit left" problem when it's trying to tell you not to exit the highway on the right?
  • i sew that the update have israel map on nokia drive
    will it be on the htc 8X to? not the features
      just the map, the data, i need it
  • Map data version is - this is what has been updated. some ine who have a 8x can say what is the latest version he got?
  • I was told by HTC today that they "are currently reviewing the possibility of releasing Nokia Drive on future releases and updates.  Please stay tuned."
    My wife has a Nokia and while I prefer my lighter phone, I like the drive app a lot.  I hope this goes somewhere.  
  • It still drains the Lumia 920's battery while it's on a charger.
  • I think it got pulled off from the store... I got it updated this morning to 2.1 -- few hours later got notification to update it again. Now its back to v2.0....
  • Same happened to me L920 ATT
  • Same here, but if you go through wpcentral link I updated it back to 2.1 version
  • I have an 8X and would welcome Nokia Drive. Since HTC has no navigation option & windows doesn't pre-install anything with voice-guided turn by turn directions, I took the plunge yesterday on the Navigon app after reading so many good things about it on here yesterday. I must admit that I'm pretty disappointed thus far. There is no turn by turn list (really?) and getting around inside the app is less than intuitive. The music stops (not fades) when the voice speaks, and it doesn't run in the background, meaning you always have to be inside the app to get voice guided directions. My wife has the Garmin app on her iPhone and it blows Navigon out of the water. I regret spending the $30 now and wish I could get a refund. Since Navigon has already included 2 updates since WP8 rolled out, I'm hoping that's a sign of their seriousness to making the app a pleasurable experience and commitment to the platform. Time will tell if they make it better, but I would jump on the Nokia train if it came along. If the 822 weren't so darn ugly on Verizon, I would've gotten it just for the navigation. Its that lacking with HTC, unfortunately.
  • I didnt get the update yet. Still version 2.0. I did notice that UK voices with street names are available suddenly. 
  • Update now available here (CA 11:56AM)
  • It didn't show the update automatically for me either, so I went to the app on he store and the update button was activated. Done!
  • I swear I'm seeing 3D buildings that I didn't see before. Is that an example of "UI Changes"? I think Nokia would be smart to list this separately. :)
  • You're right! I'm seeing 3D buildings in downtown Phoenix now in the app.
  • When are they gonna show destination address at arrival on the screen like mt Garmin? All they show now is a flag, so I have to look at. A piece of paper for address number. Come on Nokia fix this.
  • For what it's worth, I got a second Nokia Drive+ Beta update this afternoon after getting the first one this morning, so maybe they found something that needed a quick fix.
  • There really should be some kind of "check for updates" button in the store. I keep having to manually find the app in the store and update it that way. If I didn't keep up with wpcentral I wouldn't know about any of these new updates...God knows when the store would actually find them.
  • I'm confused. I saw the update, walked away from my phone and came back and it had finished installing all the updates. I then open this article and see that there is a battery saver option. I then open the app and I can't see the battery saver option. I then go back to the store and see that the app was last updated on 10/31/2012. That just doesn't make sense. Has this happened to anyone?
  • I am sad to say I think the Map and Direction experiance on Windows Phone 8 is worse than on WP7. Who would have thought that integrating The excellent Bing search with Nokia Drive would result in less features. Now, when I search in Bing for an address I no longer get a map as the first result. If I get a text message or e-mail with an address, it takes me to Bing maps with no way to get to Nokia Drive without cutting and pasting. And when I do cut and paste, Nokia Drive is horrible at interpreting addresses.
    I would say this is the single biggest disappointment I have had in the 920. I use maps frequently and this just doesn't cut it. Beta or not, Nokia was talking smack at Apple about their maps. They have zero room to talk after appling Windows Phone 8.
  • Wrong. i can search on bing for "Chinese Food' i get a option for directions to use an app, it then brings up Nokia drive whoch loads the address for navigating. Im using a Nokia 920 on ATT.
  • Some things do give you that option, but not everything. Click an address in a text message and you end up in Bing Maps. You can get text directions, but you don't get spoken directions and no way to get to Drive without cutting and pasting. If Nokia Drive is supposed to replace Bing Maps, it should be better integrated than this.
    Also, I still say that Nokia Drive is not as good at using fuzzy search on addresses. If you give it too much information, it fails. Let's say you give it the full address including city, st and zip code. In my experience, if you give it the wrong city, it will fail in cases where Bing would not. There are too many suburbs around large cities where the Suburb name and the City name are used interchangeably due to post offices. I technically live in the Fort Worth, but my post office is out of Keller.
    I definitely think that Drive should be a superset of Maps. You have no satellite view in Drive. I can pin a spot on Maps, but I haven't found a way to pin a spot on Drive. The two don't share favorite locations either.
    It just seems very disjointed with both the OS and between the Nokia apps.
  • @mr brown, same thing for me. I updated and then it told me there was another update. Now I am on the old version and I don't see 2.1
  • I still don't see the update today. Can't see it on my wifes phone either. We have a Lumia 920 on ATT and a Lumia 822 on Verizon.
  • Cannot get to install. It errors out with a error code. I cannot access the "Beta" tagged app either. 
  • How long before we can remore that "Beta" word on the app? Missing lots of features you can even find on Symbian. Thinking to return my Lumia 920 and go back to Symbian while waiting for that Beta to go away.