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.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • Best thing for me is that it works with directions in the Middle-East :D !!!!!
  • 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.
  • Initial reaction: unimpressed.
  • 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.
  • He said no voice navigation for driving? I'll stick with apple maps. Haven't had one problem with it.
  • I really think Apple approved Nokia's app just to make their own maps look SO MUCH BETTER.
  • I have used Apple Maps many times now, not once I had any issues, I love the SIRI integration.
  • this is what nokia came up with? Absolute garbage
  • 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. I had to apologize to my 4S for wasting space for this steaming pant-load of an app.
  • Public transportation directions are limited to only a few cities. Google has over 500.
  • Pretty weak. Deleted.
  • 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...
  • I have a Nokia and I have Here Drive which gives information of the state of the traffic on London roads shows red for very busy green for go etc. ( not sure on rest of UK as only used in London). My girlfriend has an Iphone 6 and I can only download Here maps as cannot find Here Drive for IPhone.
    Is it available and where can I download it ?
    Thanks Robert