Maps are important, just ask Apple. There is superior mapping software though, and it belongs to Nokia. Nokia’s new mapping product HERE is not yet “here”, but it is a GPS app for iOS and Android, made the Nokia way.
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Nokia says, HERE is the “first location cloud” software and is going to be a free download when it lands on various Android and Apple products later in the year, or Q1 2013.
Nokia HERE is an HTML 5 app with voice-guided walking, an offline mode and a guide for public transport. All very handy for those wanting to explore their surroundings, as Nokia is keen to point out.
If HERE is a success, it could be attributed to its purchase of Earthmine, a 3D mapping system that will hopefully have more clout than Apple’s efforts. Hell, it may even perform better than Google Maps, as Nokia has been in the mapping game since 2001 with Ovi Maps. Google Maps launched in 2004.
LiveSight may even be the killer HERE feature. According to Nokia, it’s “the most precise and intuitive augmented reality experience and uses a phone’s camera viewfinder to make discovering the world as easy as lifting up a phone.” This is what Nokia Lens does, and it’ll be a real treat to have this on non-Nokia devices.
HERE will mix social media information with topographical data, as last seen in Waze. What does this mean for Apple though? Android users have one of the best mapping services to date, Google Maps, built into supported devices and it’s a cracker. Apple has the TomTom-powered Apple Maps, which as regular readers know, is not the greatest mapping software on earth. Don’t believe us? Visit Nokia Maps and gauge for yourself.
If given the choice, we can see many users migrating to an accurate GPS app which for navigation software, is pretty much the only thing that matters. So disrupt away Nokia, we support you.