HERE Maps by Nokia vs Apple Maps vs. Google Maps apps update

HERE Maps by Nokia was just released for iPhone and iPad and aims to take on Apple's own iOS Maps for a place on your Home screen. The real question is, does it stack up to offerings that are already available natively or in the App Store?

We recently took a look at native mapping solutions for iOS including iOS 6 Maps, iOS 5 Maps, and We stacked them head to head and determined what the strengths and weaknesses of each were. We also took a look at alternative navigation apps including Navigon, Scout, and TomTom and figured out which were the best solutions.

HERE Maps offers driving, walking, and transit information on both iPhone and iPad. The first thing you'll notice is that voice guided navigation is not available for driving, which doesn't make a lot of sense. You can, however, obtain audible walking directions.

The interface of HERE Maps is very slimmed down and only provides you with what you need on the screen at any given time. As far as map views are concerned, you can choose between regular map, satellite, public transport, and live traffic views. Community views is also available which are maps that are updated by the people around you regularly. Depending on where you live will depend on whether community views is a useful feature. In my area, I couldn't find anything on community views within 50 miles of me.

To find a place, you can simply tap in the search field and start typing. HERE will try and auto suggest what you are typing. If it finds it you can simply tap on it. It will show you the location on the map. Tapping on the place will bring up more information on it including the address, phone, an option to share it, and the route button. Tapping on the route button will then allow you to choose between driving, walking, and transit directions.

Underneath the location information you'll see a list of nearby places. You can toggle between food, shopping, nightlife, sights, and public transport. It's a nice feature while traveling and something tourists will appreciate when walking around.

HERE Maps won't be taking over as my main navigation app anytime soon but it will remain on my iPhone when I'm traveling. The main reason is for the walking and transit support as well as the nearby places feature. It isn't much use to me while stuck in a car since it doesn't support voice navigation for driving, it's a nice app to have when exploring new areas on foot.

Any other time, I'll stick with either iOS 6 Maps or Scout by Telenav.

Additional resources:

Allyson Kazmucha

iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.

  • I tried HERE on my ipad 3rd gen, and it's awfully choppy and slow, compared to iOS' native maps - both running on the same wifi connection, so it's definitely the app's problem.
  • I believe the only reason apple allowed the app to get through so painlessly was because after they reviewed it they saw that it was a laughingstock.
  • Like the iphone 5 with lack luster upgrades and their maps. It's funny because apple maps Suck so bad they have to give you competitors options. No maps will beat Google ever. That would be the day apple would drive or hike all of northern America or anywhere in the world for that matter. Iphone 5 was a joke.
  • Google Maps on iOS sucked. Navigon is much, much better... and iOS6 Maps app is nowhere near as horrible as the Android fanboys make it out to be.
  • You're comparing Google Maps on iOS which had no turn by turn directions in their pre-iOS 6 native app, with Navigon which does have turn by turn, and was designed for GPS in mind.
    Right... You are an idiot. Besides, it's not the Android fanboys saying iOS6 maps is horrible. It's iOS users themselves.
  • Well you're an even bigger idiot because not having turn by turn directions was one of the problems and why people are saying it sucked. Yes you do look stupid right now moron. And this is from an iOS fan.
  • Where i live (India), iOS maps still shows vacant brown fields, while Nokia Here is still doing a much better job than it. So i would tend to disagree with that. However, both are still no comparison to the iOS 5 google maps.
  • Most of the time I need a navigation app is when I'm driving. So, voice guidance is important to me. And I live on a very tight budget. The best apps I've tried so far are waze and mapquest.
  • The name of the website indicates that it is only made for apple products. Obviously you can see this clearly on this page