Nokia HERE Maps app launches on iOS for iPhone and iPad
Launched last week, Nokia’s new HERE Maps app is now available to download free of charge on iOS from the App Store, featuring compatibility with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
Provided your device is running iOS 4.3 or later the app should work without a hitch, and its minimal 3.7MB size makes it a speedy download. Overall the app has a typically Nokia theme to it, with their classic font and colour scheme making it almost feel as if you’re using a Windows Phone or Symbian device.
As we found out last week at the launch, HERE Maps offers an alternative to the problematic Apple Maps on iOS that Nokia is hoping many users will welcome with open arms. However, from our early experiences with HERE Maps, it’s not as fluid or as easy on the eyes as Apple’s offering, or Google’s for that matter.
The user interface is fairly simple – a search bar at the top to find places along with a menu icon that reveals a drop down, and two small icons in the bottom left and right corners for pinpointing your location and map settings respectively. While we’re on the subject of the search bar, we’ll point out how it seems nigh-on impossible to delete a previous search query using the cross icon. On our iPhone 5 we’ve pressed this icon no fewer than 20 times and still not had a response, and even when the app did respond there was a delay between touching the icon and the text disappearing.
The latter gives you a pop-up menu for changing the map view – Map, Satellite, Public transport and Life traffic views are all available – and the option to turn on Traffic Incidents. This option will filter in accidents, construction work, congestion and other traffic related news as you use the app. Satellite view gives you a very Google Maps-style look at the world, although we found that rural areas and smaller towns around us were merely a blur with darkened roads that were difficult to read. Our nearest major city of Bath on the other hand was fully mapped and looked pretty decent.
For what’s essentially a HTML5 web app, Nokia HERE Maps isn’t too bad. However, we think that Nokia could give the maps themselves a little polish to make them easier on the eye and more importantly, easier to read.