Nokia Here: A new navigation app for iOS, Android and Windows Phone
Nokia has launched a brand new mapping and turn-by-turn navigation app for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and PC called ‘Here’, which it hopes will encourage users to ‘switch’ to a Lumia device.
Naturally, Here will be built in to Nokia’s Lumia Windows Phones as a replacement for Nokia Maps, but it will also be offered as a free app download for rival platforms iOS and Android, and on PC. On the face of it, Here is a maps and satellite navigation service, but look a little deeper and it offers much more.
Here can be personalised to the user, with the option to save favourite destinations and locations in an area known as ‘Connections’. It’s also been very cleverly made to use less data and even work offline, meaning that you can easily load up a route at home and use Here to get you there without needing a 3G connection on your phone. To give a rough idea, saving an offline map of the entire United States would take up 2.5GB of storage, compared to the traditional mapping method with would account for an insane 122TB – that’s terabytes.
With Here you can save chunks of a map offline to be used at any point without a data connection, and you’ll even be able to use four degrees of zoom to suit your method of transport. The different way in which Nokia has created Maps for Here doesn’t mean a sacrifice in quality either, with stunning 3D visuals that show major cities just as Apple’s own Flyover system does. Here is also a web-app using HTML5, and at the moment you can check out some of the awesome 3D rendering at here.net.
The app itself uses HTML5 technology which is designed to work quickly and smoothly with the latest smartphones – it’s a technology that’s been designed purely for mobile devices.
Unfortunately, and for reasons we don’t understand, Nokia has decided to only implement voice guidance for pedestrian directions. The company says the app has been designed for urban use, but surely people also drive around cities!
The Finnish company makes up for that with real time travel information that integrates with public transport systems in over 500 cities worldwide. From inside the app you’ll be able to view traffic updates, incident reports and public transport timetables that update immediately. You’ll also be able to see how long your route will take, should you choose to opt for public transport.
Places will also be integrated, with the option to view top places to eat, for example, within your area. Users will also be able to review restaurants within the app using Nokia’s Around Me system.
An Android version of the app will be launched in 2013, as will an iOS app that is effectively a mobile version of the website, provided Apple allows it of course. Windows Phones will be able to get the app in the very near future.