HERE Maps returning to the App Store with offline support and more

While the previous version of HERE Maps for iOS was built around HTML5, the new release is a completely native app, designed for iOS 7 and iOS 8. The new app also features an offline mode, allowing you to save maps to your device, according to the official HERE 360 blog:

You can save maps to your phone so that the whole HERE app can be put into 'offline mode' and it won't use any data. Even if your iPhone is in flight mode, you can still see where you are, search for places and navigate there on foot, by public transport or by car.

Offline car navigation features full turn-by-turn audio support, including spoken street names, for both driving and walking. HERE Maps also lets you save destinations ahead of times with Collections, and you can create and view your collections on iOS, Android, Windows, and the web.

HERE Maps is rolling out on the App Store right now, though you may have trouble downloading the app due to the extended iTunes Store outage.

Source: HERE

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.

  • Sadly, not available yet on the US App Store. I'm assuming it's filtering its way down, but maybe this morning's iCloud services outage is delaying it further. I've been eager for this app since the Android version was announced, can't wait to try it out!
  • Unless something has changed that I don't know about, the GPS receivers on iPhones are part of the cellular radio that gets turned off when one uses Airplane mode, so the company quote above is in error...
  • I don't believe so. I'll test it out once HERE Maps is available for me to download.
  • Just did a little test... IPhone6, airplane mode on.... Navigon app... Unable to resolve location... Can't imagine the HERE app would be able to...
  • Apparently Apple's support page agrees: I suppose the workaround would be to just turn off cell data as opposed to turning on airplane mode in a situation where you don't want to use cell data but retain GPS, for travelling internationally for instance. I shall test (if I remember to once the app is available :P)!
  • Another workaround is an autonomous GPS receiver that the iPhone or even a wifi iPad can use via direct connection through the Lightning port, or, Bluetooth if turned on after Airplane mode is turned on.... Such things exist... One I know of is BadElf.
  • Airplane mode turns off everything "wireless" including the GPS receivers. The GPS in the iPhone is aided by the cellular radio, but is fully capable of working perfectly without cellular reception. When using only GPS, it can take a very long time to figure out the approximate location. That is why Garmin units can take 5 minutes or longer to figure out where you are if you turn it off and then move a long distance (such as taking it on an airplane). Once the GPS receiver knows approximately where you are, it can refine that location very quickly to figure out where you are with amazing accuracy. Smartphones have the clever additional ability of querying Wifi networks and cellular towers to pin point your location within a few hundred meters. This information is used to assist the GPS in calculating your location very quickly. Often, when I start Apple Maps, it will show a very large circle (maybe 1km in diameter) showing my approximate location. Within a few seconds, it usually narrows this down to my location within 10m or so. I believe that the first large circle is calculated using cellular towers while the GPS works in the background to get a more accurate location estimate.
  • I read your comment more carefully, and I think that you were just referring to the "offline" mode remark in the article. In the company quote above, I think that "offline" mode is referring to a way of running the app such that it depends only on GPS, and not having an internet connection. It is not referring to "airplane mode". I am about to travel to Mexico, and this time I am not going to bother paying Verizon for their crappy global data plan. It will be extremely useful for me to be able to use maps without having to have an internet connection.
  • Yes that's correct I loved that about my lumia phones. With constant traveling with work I never not had my maps signal or not! Sent from the iMore App
  • "The GPS in the iPhone is aided by the cellular radio..." the autonomous GPS receiver is one component of the cellular radio as a whole that gets powered off when one enters Airplane mode is my understanding...
  • Yes ... GPS is turned off in Airplane mode. However, I don't see why you would want to use maps in Airplane mode. The "offline mode" of the app is designed to be used either in places where there is no cellular connection, or for people who don't want to use a lot of cellular data (either because their plan does not support it, or they are traveling internationally and don't want to pay roaming data fees). When I am traveling internationally, if I have not paid for a global data package, my cellular is left with roaming turned off (but not in airplane mode) which means that I have no internet connection. In my opinion, this is an extremely useful feature. Other apps (Google Maps) for instance, can do this. What makes this an even better solution is that apparently even turn by turn guidance will run without an internet connection.
  • One more thing ... I think it is important to read the above article thinking that "offline mode" means using maps without an internet connection. The article above never mentions airplane mode, and I don't think it meant to imply airplane mode.
  • THIS: "Even if your iPhone is in flight mode, you can still see where you are, search for places and navigate there on foot, by public transport or by car." -- is simply not possible in Airplane mode. Even with all the map and point of interest data stored on device... without GPS data, the app won't have a clue where the phone is... It could work with the phone in airplane mode, and wifi turned on, and the phone able to get wifi assisted GPS data... or via an external GPS receiver.
  • Mea culpa ... you are correct - I missed that part of the comment. GPS is indeed one of the things that is turned off in airplane mode. But ... I think they meant to say that without internet the navigation app is still fully functional. I don't know of any other free app that can do this (paid apps like Garmin and Navigon will work in offline mode). Assuming that it works well, it seems like another nail in the coffin of the apps from the Garmins and Navigons of the world. Now I can't think of one reason to recommend them.
  • I've used the CityMaps2Go app with airplane mode turned ON in Costa Rica and it definitely showed where I was on a map. So I'd say the quote is correct. Sent from the iMore App
  • No usa still. Sent from the iMore App
  • Because the AppStore is having issues...
  • iTunes tells me it is not available on my Store.. Is this app USA only?
  • App Store has been having issues all day. Give it some time and it should be available. It just now became available in the US App store at almost 2pm CST.
  • Almost there! :-) I can see it in the USA app store now, but when I click on "Get", it gave me some sort of internal error.
  • Just became available in US store. Downloading as we speak.
  • I'm surprised that the entire United States is only about 4.5GB to download offline. Impressive.
  • This is pretty awesome. Having just jumped over to iOS from Windows Phone, this is one of the best GPS mapping programs out there. Now if we can just get Here+ Drive over to iOS as well.....will make things a lot nicer.
    The Interface is simple and easy to navigate, 3D mode is pretty nice and you can't beat the Offline mode. The Locations Collection pulled from the cloud is a nice bonus. ** Update** Looks like Here Drive is now included. All in one app.....even better !
  • OK, mini-review time after one day of use: Pro's:
    - Downloaded the entire US for 4.5GB, nice. Got a 128 phone so space is not a concern.
    - The included speedometer and customizable alerts for going over is pretty neat Con's:
    - The voice guidance does not recognize common highway/street abbreviations and sounds ridiculous in the process. For example, it pronounces highway US-30 as "turn on us 30". It also spells out abbreviations for Ct, St, etc as opposed to saying 'court', 'street', etc. It even tried to pronounce 'pkwy' as it's spelled. That's pretty bad. I have the hi-fi voices downloaded so I don't know if the stock voice does it as well.
    - Adding favorite places, and navigating to favorite places is not as intuitive or quick as Google/Waze/etc. I have to add my home and work address to a collection. Quickly enabling navigation to those locations takes more steps than the competition as well. On Google/Waze, I simply hit the navigate button and home/work are 'stickied' options to choose from. Two taps and I'm done (a third tap needed on Google to actually start navigation). With HERE, tapping the navigate button from the main map screen only gives recent search results to go to, cannot select Collections. I have to go hit the hamburger to bring up the main menu, tap Collections, tap the collection category I had to create for my favorite locations, and then tap the bottom bar to actually bring up the list as it shows my places on a map (hard to click on if locations in different states), and THEN I can finally tap on Home or Work. Then I have to tap two more times to select the 'navigate' icon, then tap the traffic route, THEN I can finally hit Start. That's EIGHT taps just to start navigation to home/work compared to two on Waze and three on Google Maps. Good luck if you need to find an alternate route to work while already driving. That's just plain TERRIBLE. Let's hope that these issues can be fixed with future updates. Otherwise if I don't need speed alerts or offline maps, I'll stick with Google/Waze/Apple.