Nokia adds integrated Groupon deals, route planning to maps app

Owners of Lumia smartphones in the U.S. will see Groupon offers directly on the map

Nokia is updating its Maps application with integrated Groupon deals and a route planner, as the company tries to find ways to differentiate its smartphones from the competition.

Along with camera functionality and further price reductions on its Windows Phone-based products, mapping is a key area for Nokia going forward, and working with Groupon is an example of that.

The integrated Groupon Now! offerings consist of things that users can buy and use the same day, and most are only valid for a few hours, according to Groupon's website.

When searching for something -- for example, a restaurant -- on Nokia Maps, users that have version 2.5 of Maps will be shown relevant offers marked with a green G among the usual search results, according to a Nokia blog post. After users have chosen an offer they are interested in, they will be redirected to the Groupon mobile site, it said.

The feature is currently only available in the U.S., Nokia said without elaborating on when it would be able to offer it to consumers in other parts of the world.

Cities where Groupon Now! is currently available includes Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami, New York and Seattle.

Version 2.5 of Maps also includes a new route planning feature.

After having set the starting point and the destination, users can select to travel on foot, by car or by public transportation. Users can also pin a route to the start screen, or share it with friends, according to Nokia.

Nokia Maps 2.5 runs on all of the company's Windows Phone-based Lumia models. The new version of is called as, and it may take 1 or 2 days before it's available in all countries, according to the blog post.