Perfect Offline Navigation Solution For Jolla?

After some comments on the previous article regarding an offline navigation solution for Jolla, I went ahead and did some further research into the topic and think I have found the perfect companion for your Jolla phone.

A few of you may be coming from Nokia phones which always excelled with free mapping/navigation solutions with the ‘HERE’ line of options.  Jolla in fact comes preloaded with HERE maps, but this has always served as a directions-based mapping solution in a list format without the power of a true Satnav with offline maps.

I had tried a number of ‘Android’ alternatives in the past including Navfree, but recently in the Google Play store stumbled across what seemed – on paper – to be an excellent alternative for all us Jolla owners.

The app is called “Mapfactor: GPS Navigation” and can be found here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mapfactor.navigator&hl=en

MapFactor is also available from Aptoide and 1mobile android stores if you do not have Google Play installed and does not require Google services to function.

After some early testing, this Mapfactor app would appear to be an excellent option.   Not only does it offer free offline maps via OpenStreetMap but it also offers a paid TomTom option both of which can be downloaded from within the app.

MApfactor

So far, I have downloaded the UK map and the postcode search via the free, OpenStreetMap option, and initial tests look good + GPS signal locks quickly (indoors) with WiFi/mobile internet turned off.

There are also most country maps available FOR FREE(!) via the OpenStreetMap download option or of course you can purchase a TomTom map for your chosen country if you prefer.

Here is a video of Mapfactor in action:

I will be doing some further “in field” testing with this app, but as I said, from preliminary tests all seems to be present and correct.  I will update further once I’ve had a chance to put the app through its paces.

In the meantime, feel free to download the app and let me know what you think in the comments below – does it tick all the right boxes for you ?

Sail On!

 

 

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JollaTides

Chief Editor at JollaTides
Here to spread word about Jolla and Sailfish OS.
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  1. Can it be downloaded directly from the developer, or from alternative stores? Or does it require google play services and a google account? That would be an instant dealbreaker…

  2. I would quite happily pay good money for the full offline HERE! maps on Jolla as purchased software.

    Jolla, please have a quiet word with your old friends at Nokia.

    • @203 – Just so you know, my mission was to find a replacement for the HERE Drive satnav on my Nokia as that was the only thing holding me back from selling it as I only use it as a satnav now since Jolla is my main phone.

      I suggest you try this app because a) it’s completely free + maps are free (or paid for TomTom if you prefer) and b) I want to see people completely make the jump to Jolla without missing any features and as I am in the same ‘boat’, that is my number 1 mission. ;-)

      Of course it would be nice if we had the full HERE suite on Jolla, but Mapfactor may be more than an interim solution for most and to me seems (from early tests) to at least hold up to what I got accustomed to on HERE drive.

      Out of interest, are there any other HERE apps aside from Drive/Maps that you are missing from Jolla?

  3. I would love it if any other Jolla community guys and gals who have now tried this app would let us know how it performs in ‘real world’. Comment here, make a video and post a link – do whatever. Obviously all countries will have different mapping experiences so some real world usage data would be really useful for the community at large.

    So far I can say this from using the OpenStreetMap free UK map and postcode finder download:

    -Used it to plot 3 routes via postcode search
    -Locked on to GPS within seconds (inside the house) using phone in airplane mode with only GPS turned on (ie. no internet locating possible)
    -Plotted the routes perfectly (as I know them from before)

    Now I am sure the TomTom maps will be even better and reliable but they will cost 14 Euros for a single country map or 20 Euros for eg. the whole of Europe continent. If you’d rather not use the free open maps, that’s still a relatively small price to pay in order to stay with an amazing open source, community driven platform like Sailfish.

    I remember a few years back when for official satnav maps, you would have to pay something like 80 Euros just for a map and that wasn’t always free to update after a few years!!

  4. Moreover, OpenStreetMap map packages for Mapfactor Navigator are updated nearly once a month, and no other vendor reflects road state (new roads, traffic lights etc) at this rate. If you find something that you think doesn’t match the current reality, just go to openstreetmaps.org and edit/add your findings. Make a map better for yourself and everybody else. Works pretty much like wikipedia.

  5. I also tested a bunch of offline navigation apps for Android. And I found two that work for me:

    1) Mapfactor Navigator. With only 1 little problem, sometimes the Jolla virtual keyboard blocks key parts of the interface, and I can’t get it to go away, but I found a simple workaround when this happens: Simply minimize the app by swiping from the side, when you re-maximize the app, the keyboard will be gone.

    2) OsmAnd~. This even has a Danish speaking voice, but I had to play around a bit with the sound settings after installing the Danish voice before the sound started working.

  6. why I have to use an android app?? Would be better if jolla make own maps app useful without recourse to third party apps!

  7. Goooood app jollatids it mako jolla phone strong and work fast and good even better than Nokia drive!!!!!!!! I make more jorneys next wek too chk reliblely but thanks man its porfect

  8. Personally i use tomtom on my Jolla.
    But no matter what app i use even the native here based one the GPS is never right.
    According to my GPS i often drive at the side of the road or on a parallel street.

  9. I have tested mapfactor and other nav apps under android, and it was my second choice.

    The cons:
    I found the user interface not intuitive, and the labeling of the streets to be in too small print. One can modify the text size, but not enough to make it easily readable.
    Downloading of large maps repeatedly caused an error, even with a strong wifi signal, and that meant I had to start over again, which is annoying with a file size of a few hundred MB. I saw some other users complain of this in the feedback as well, but the developers always threw it back on the user. (Clearly some other users have not had this problem.)
    Mapfactor requires fewer privacy intruding permissions than most navigation apps, but still more than I would prefer, and includes “read phone state and identity”.
    Finally, I found files on the device which appeared to log the routes that I had taken.

    My top choice was Osmand, which has just come out with a new version, 1.8.2, with significant improvements.

    I thought that I had read recently that Jolla had commissioned a Swedish company to port its navigation app to native Jolla?

  10. Over time, I followed the AtariPF, Psion SIBO, Psion EPOC and (Nokia) Symbian path of transitions.

    And every transition resulted in apps with less functionality, the Agenda and Data being perfect examples.

    Nevertheless, my latest device, the Nokia N8 is a perfect companion, especially when talking about the Nokia Maps + Nokia Transport.
    Nokia Maps (Drive and Walk) being used from time to time, Nokia Transport (which integrates with Nokia Maps) is used several times every day.

    And the point is, that it seems I’m stuck. No other OS offers that (free) functionality on which I’m depending while on the go. Of course, I know, I could opt for the WP path with HERE, but really, WP, that’s a no-go.

    As it seems Nokia Maps + Transport (now called HERE), could be ported to WP, I wonder if there would not be a way to have it done for Jolla too ? AFIK the Nokia Navigation (NAVTEQ) division has not been sold to MS.

    Actually, my Nokia N8 still survives, despite some hardware-problems (Jack / MemoryCardSlot / …) but one day I’ll need a replacement, and to be honest, I’m desperate to find a replacement which fullfills
    – the Maps/Transport needs
    – an user-replaceable battery

    • @ walter

      I had the N8 as well and it was a great phone with camera ahead of its time! Unfortunately after time I started getting the dreaded ‘low memory’ message and the phone would freeze up occasionally. Also the lack of some must have apps after development on Symbian ceased lead me to Jolla.

      Jolla has a derivative of ‘HERE’ maps out of the box and while not as fully featured as the Nokia versions, it’s quite useful. It provides written directions (good for walking) and maps (but not offline).

      For a transport app, I’m sure there are a multitude of android apps available and also there are already some native apps appearing in the Jolla store.

      Of course the Jolla phone has a user replaceable battery too which I favour over the N8’s locked approach.

      Good luck with finding a replacement!

  11. When post these kind of suggestions for the best Maps/Navigation options in #Jolla, you should atleast try to list the pros/cons of your prefered solution to other existing ones. Im this article you are just promoting Mapfactor without giving any explanations on why is it better than e.g. OsmAnd. The Mapfactor might be best for you, but don’t asume that the rest of us agree. I find the OsmAnd much better, cause it is based on OpenStreetMaps, it’s free, the UI is intuitive, and it has all the features that the navigation app (Nokia Drive and Maps) in my old #N9 had. I don’t believe that your only choice for native @Here Maps alternative is any better than OsmAnd. You have given no reasons why anyone should start using Mapfactor. Only that you personally happen to lile it. It is also indicative that you didn’t even know OsmAnd exists, so it’s advisable that you do some research on the topics that you write about.

    Cheers for now, and please don’t get upset for some comstructive critisism ;)
    -jukka

    • 3 points:

      1/ I tried/used OSmand before I even owned my Jolla – not sure why you assume I don’t know it exists? Maybe they’ve updated it since then because I found the UI very unintuitive back then.

      2/ Mapfactor also uses Openstreetmaps if you actually read the article and it’s free too.

      3/ The whole point of the article was presenting a new map app I discovered and thought worked well on Jolla… it’s only an opinion and actually it was more of a question as I was more interested to see if other people had tried it (in their country) and what they thought of it. Unfortunately I don’t have so much time to make an in depth comparison.

    • be-on-road requires 12 permissions, including dangerous ones like:

      • read contact data
      Allows an application to read all of the contact (address) data stored on your phone. Malicious applications can use this to send your data to other people.

      • read phone state and identity
      Allows the application to access the phone features of the device. An application with this permission can determine the phone number and serial number of this phone, whether a call is active, the number that call is connected to, ect.

      …which other navigation apps such as Osmand do not require.
      I do not know what be-on-road does with this data, but every app maker I have contacted about this has some supposed justification why they need it for their app’s features to work. On the other hand we know that many apps sell this data on. It’s their business model.

      I do not know how Jolla handles these permissions.
      (and frankly I would like to know, because privacy and security are one of the key attractions for me of a non-android, non-ios, non-WP OS.)

  12. Pingback: HERE Offline Maps on Jolla (Android App) | Jolla Users Blog

  13. I tested MapFactor this summer in Germany, Switzerland and France with free OSM maps in an Androidphone by car.
    Until I arrived the Cévennes. Here I should drive a mountain hiking path. The path was not possible for Mountainbikers.
    You can check it, if you try to go from Switzerland to Le Salzet, 30450 Malons-Et-Elze.
    The village is reachable by car only from North!
    This is a killing bug.
    Apart from that one bad event it takes a good job.