If you are in India, and have a Nokia mobile, you probably have Navigation in your device by default (for free) via Ovi Maps. If you have a phone on any other platform (iPhone, Android or Windows Mobile), you might struggle to find a good Navigation program. Fortunately, there’s one MapMyIndia to the rescue. The one which I use and will review is Sygic App version 10.82 and Map My India Maps 4.1. If you have already purchased this pack, you may see the Sygic Mobile Maps Activation process.
The first important thing to look in a Navigation program is obviously the Maps and POI’s. I have to tell you that MapMyIndia has far more mapped places in India than those you’ll find in the Ovi Maps of Nokia. I could even locate (just locate, not travel; see update below) my tiny Villages, much to my pleasure. The Point of interest’s too are very good. Before you purchase the Navigation program, you can just visit Map My India site and check their Map coverage to see if the places you need are covered, which in all probability should already be covered.
Now the Sygic App on the phone. The App has too many options to set, so you might want to go through every setting before you set out on your first trip. One place where the App needs to improve significantly is the ‘Search feature’. Say you want to navigate to a small place and you type in its name. Even though that place exists in the Maps data base, you may not find that in your Search. Instead, you have to first search for the District in which it exists and then search from all the places that are present in that district. The same is applicable for POI searching.
Other than that, the entire Navigation experience is smooth, mainly due to the excellent mapping provided by Map My India.
Update: I’ve never been to any place that is not a city after I installed MapMyIndia until yesterday. As soon as I was out of the far boundaries of a city (Hyderabad) in my car, the maps started acting weirdly. Although I’m cruising on a National Highway, the maps showed me somewhere in the green grasslands with the road no where near. I had to take out my Wife’s Nokia N8 which then routed us perfectly.
So I believe the roads outside cities and few second grade towns are not properly mapped in MapMyIndia maps.