Nokia launches HERE maps for iPhone and iPad

Nokia launches HERE maps for iPhone and iPad

Nokia has launched a new, free maps app for iOS, called HERE maps. Since Nokia owns NAVTEQ, one of the world's very few sources of comprehensive mapping data (the other's being Tele Atlas, owned by TomTom and licensed by Apple, and Google), and they've been producing mobile maps apps for years, formerly on Symbian and now on Windows Mobile, the quality will likely be very good.

Maps are available in 200 countries and can be presented in map view (standard line art), satellite view, public transportation view, and live traffic view. Where available, you can also access community view, that includes crowdsourced data that hopes to be even more current. Like any good maps app, you can search for locations, get search suggestions, and share locations you find.

There's routing, of course, and you can get step-by-step voice navigation... for walking directions. But not for driving directions, which is really odd. You can also get public transport directions.

While the app itself uses HTML5 with off-board maps downloaded as needed, you can save maps locally for when you may be in areas without data coverage. You can also group places you frequent, or simply like, into Collections.

The interface is very flat, filled with sold colors, and while not Metro-esque (or whatever Microsoft is calling the Windows Phone design language these days), it does stick to similar basics. The controls are different enough from iOS maps that they'll take some getting used to.

Nokia HERE maps for iOS is also nowhere near as fleshed out or fully featured as Nokia Maps for Windows Phone 8 (check out WPCentral's full Nokia Maps for Windows Phone 8 preview to get a better sense of just what the differences are.) But that stands to reason. This is a 1.0 and it's on a competing platform. Baby steps. For now.

Yet, while Apple continues to struggle with mapping quality and Google continues to posture, dissemble, and fret about the state of their own iOS Maps app, Nokia announced and shipped.

Take that.

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Nokia launches HERE maps for iPhone and iPad


Again another map crap that is useless! It is actually worst then the others for me. It shows my location at lease a mile from where I actually live. At lease Apple and Google maps showed me at lease a 1 block form where I live.

Slow and ugly. I hope google builds maps with native components instead of just an html 5 layer. Nokia maps sucks.

The maps are really terrible. Furthermore, take a look at Cyprus. There are no maps at all. No Nokia! If you mix politics with business you have no future. As far as I am concerned you can take Microsoft's hand and walk into extinction.

Ok this graphically, looks much worse than Apple Maps and Google Maps, and it does have voice guided turn by turn directions, unless you are walking? No thanks!

Hey Nokia, I want my 3 minutes back that I wasted on downloading, opening, and deleting your map app. It's HORRIBLE.

It's free so I guess I shouldn't complain but...the app is horrible. The maps are seriously out of date. The house next to me that's been finished for three years still shows as being under construction.

I've already deleted the app.

Wow! What's with the anger towards Nokia? It's free app for f sake :D Nokia maps does have coverage in some places where apple and even google doesn't, so its great for those people living in those areas. Sure it's a pretty lame attempt by Nokia to capitalize, and the app is not topnotch, but why would you get angry about Nokia bringing a free mapping app to iOS. Jeez, with the hostility...