This article introduces the Sailfish Maps application to you. It is available for Jolla Phone and Jolla Tablet. This article instructs the use of the app in general, providing some hints and tips. It was written with SailfishOS 2 in mind but it keeps working for Sailfish 3, too.
The Maps app is not included in and available for Sailfish X products and Jolla C. Android apps should be used - we recommend Here WeGo and OsmAnd. See this help article about installing Android apps. There are also some Sailfish-based map apps in Jolla Store and in OpenRepos but they may not be ready for fluent everyday use.
1 Necessary preparations
You will need to enable the location service of your device to see your location on the map. This is done in menu Settings > Location. Turn on "Location". This will make the device receive signals from GPS and GLONASS satellites and calculate the coordinates of your position.
We recommend turning on the other option, "High-accuracy positioning", or "Custome settings" with "Faster position fix". While calculating the initial position, the device will now use assisting data from the device and from Nokia Here service. The latter will cause some data to be received and sent between your device and Nokia Here service, so consider this option with your mobile subscription in mind. Some additional cost may incur to you, depending on your contract.
Select the distance units you prefer at Settings > Apps > Maps.
2 Viewing maps and finding a location
In the first view after launching Maps app there is the list of places you have recently been looking at (for easy reuse) and a thumbnail map. Tap it to get to the proper map view.
The map view shows your current location with a colourful dot (in the ambience colour). If the dot has a shaded circle around it then your device does not yet have your exact location - you might be anywhere in the shaded area.
In case your location is missing from the map view, tap the black button at the bottom right corner - it is the "Locate Me" button (2nd picture, below).
Use the pinch gesture (two fingers) to zoom in and out the map. You can drag the map by moving your finger tip on the display.
If you touch the map it will show the touch point with an open circle (3rd picture, above). This view has some information about the touch point, including the street address, distance and buttons to create a route to the touch point and to find points of interest (POI) nearby it. Tap the open star to make this point your favourite. Tap the half map to make it full screen.
The bottom left corner has a button for toggling the day and night modes. Tap bottom middle to change the type of the map (street/satellite/transit/pedestrian).
2.1 Searching for a street address
Maps app has the search tool in the pulldown menu but it does not appear if the map covers the whole display. In that case tap the map first to make it half screen. Then pull down in the upper half of the display (in the information part) to make the menu visible.
Start typing a street address (or a place name) and the app will show some candidates from the current area. Pick a candidate or type the complete address. Tap on the address in the search results to see the location of it on the map (black marker in colourful ring). Zoom in to see more details. Tap exactly on the black marker to see the split view with information about the target in the upper half.
2.2 Favourite places
You can save the places you will need again. They will appear listed in the end of the home view (see picture below).The recently visited places will automatically appear in the home view, too.
In addition, you can make the most frequently used places to your favourites by tapping the star icon. The favourites appear at the top of the home view as thumbnail pictures.
3 Offline maps
The SailfishOS Maps app does not, unfortunately, support the so-called "offline maps", i.e. it is not possible to download maps to the device in advance by country (before a trip, for instance). The maps are downloaded from the Here server on-the-need basis, only at the zoom level, you happen to have and kept temporarily in device memory. An Internet connection is required for the download.
The Maps application maintains a cache of map tiles that has a maximum size of 100 MB. The least recently used tiles in the cache will be removed to make room for new tiles when viewing new areas of the map.
Map tiles are versioned by the supplier of the maps, Here. Once a new map version is released Sailfish Maps will download the new tiles removing the old versions from the cache.
4 Searching for places of interest (POI) nearby
Pull down "Search" or tap on "What's near", and you will be shown places (points) of interest arranged first to a list of categories. Tap a category to see some individual POI's. Tap any of the POI's to see it on the map and information on it. You have four buttons available:
- "Directions" for the route
- "What's near" to consider options
- "Call" to make a phone call to the POI
- "Open website" to check their web pages.
5 Navigating to places
After finding the location to which you need the directions for, tap the "Directions" button (see the previous picture) - the view of the next picture will appear. Select if you drive a car or walk, and the preferred type of route (shortest or fastest). Tap "Show directions".
You will be shown the route on map in the lower half of the display and turn-by-turn instructions (SailfishOS does not have voice-guided navigation), distance and estimated travel time in the upper half of the display.
By tapping one of the written turning instructions the corresponding point will appear with a bigger bubble on the map.
By tapping the map at the lower half you can make it full size.
You will see your location on the route (or near it) when you start moving towards your target.
6 Practical advice
Helping the device to determine the location faster
- do not move
- be under a clear sky, outside of buildings
- be connected to a mobile (GSM) network
- keep WLAN on
How to check if the phone has found its location
- install app GPS Info from Jolla Store
- open it
- as soon as you have more than 4 satellites at "Satellites in use/view", the phone can calculate the position - the more satellites in view, the better
- after this, the map app should be able to show the position, too.
Using Maps abroad
- Note that your device is "roaming", i.e. using services of a foreign network; the serving network operator may charge a lot of money for their service
- Although SailfishOS does not have offline maps, the previously viewed maps remain in the device for some time (even days). It is good to view maps in advance while connected to a free WLAN access point.
7 Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Q: Does Maps app require an Internet connection to work?
A: Yes. No map data can be shown in the application unless it is downloaded from the Internet first. Maps app saves some temporary map data to your device, which explains why you might see some map tiles in Maps even when in Airplane mode.
Getting a location fix without data transfer is possible, although it might take a long time, anywhere from a few to tens of minutes. If you enable “Faster position fix” in Settings > System > Location positioning will be faster, but data is transferred over the Internet.
If you need offline navigation, you could try for e.g. HERE Maps for Android, which is available from the Aptoide AppStore.
Q: Can I get voice-guided navigation into Maps?
Q: Can I get a location fix faster if I have WLAN on when using Maps?
A: Yes. The HERE Maps service has data on known WLAN networks, which could speed up the location lock. Also, if you have "Faster position fix" enabled a WLAN connection will speed up data transfer and therefore gaining a position lock.
Q: Is there any way to download maps before a trip, so I wouldn't have to risk roaming fees when using Maps?
A: Unfortunately no. If you need offline navigation, please consider downloading Here WeGo for Android from Jolla Store or from other app stores (e.g. APK Pure). Another good alternative is the OsmAnd app.