We’ve been teased on its return for quite some time now, and finally Nokia HERE Maps is back on iOS and it’s better than ever!
After the company restructured itself into three main businesses, Nokia kept its mapping business that it’s invested so much money into over the years. Now that the company is no longer tied to Microsoft, Nokia began releasing its mapping application on other OSes. Android came first though initially as a beta, a status that it recently shed. Now after having teased us about a return to iOS, the application is back with much needed improvements from its predecessor.
For those of you who remember, the first attempt to penetrate the App Store was back when Apple was dealing with the failure of its own mapping solution after deciding to move away from Google. Nokia took that opportunity to try and step in as the savior with a better alternative to Apple’s buggy and inaccurate service. Well unfortunately that didn’t quite pan out so well, as the app was sup-par at best, not nearly offering the experience that Windows Phone and even Symbian users were used to. For starters, the option to download maps offline, a feature that Nokia always had over its rivals, was missing, instead only letting users cache certain areas for a limited amount of time à la Google Maps. After a while, Nokia decided to pull the app as it didn’t quite live up to their standards.
This time, Nokia seems to have gotten it right. On my first impression the app is clean, smooth, highly responsive and works similarly to the Android version. It provides traffic updates, turn-by-turn navigation, and yes you can now download full maps to your iOS device. Downloading the map of my home state of California only took up just under 500 MB. You can also download different languages such as English, German, French, Spanish and Italian. The Nokia Drive features are also bundled into the app, as opposed to being separate application like on Windows. You can either swipe to the menu and head straight into Drive, or you can punch in a destination which will offer three navigation options, walk, transit, or drive. HERE Maps offers transit data in 950 cities within over 50 countries, which is helpful for someone like me who relies on taking the bus everywhere. You of course get reviews and guides as well as points of interest locations.
Nokia HERE Maps has been my go-to navigation app on Windows Phone and Android, and now I can finally use it on iOS as well (yes, I use all three simultaneously). Of course Nokia will have to work hard to compete with Google, whose mapping solution tends to offer more overall detail. Still, Nokia is hard at work improving its mapping business, using state-of-the-art LIDAR technology and even foraying into augmented reality. Hopefully it’ll be enough to get iOS and Android users on board. Offline maps is a must-have, after all.
Source: iTunes App Store