Skift Take

Nokia's app brings real-time traffic data and detailed public transport information for major cities. Can it gain enough ground among users to keep them interested after Google updates its own map product?

Nokia releases its ‘HERE’ Maps app today for iPhone and iPad as Apple counts the cost of its failed maps experiment in September.

The mapping and location-based service allows users to save maps for offline viewing and obtain public transport routes, a tool lacking from Apple’s Maps, and also includes voice-guided navigation.

In a blog post, a Nokia spokesman said that mapping products were “integral” to the Finnish telecoms giant’s future and “a key way that we stand out from the crowd.”

Standing out from the crowd may be a subtle reference to Apple’s disastrous foray into mapping in iOS6, which left central London unrecognisable to most iPhone users, reinstating underground stations closed more than a decade ago and warping bridges.

HERE includes the ability to save locations and groups of locations onto a phone or tablet and into a Nokia account, and allows for step-by-step navigation of pedestrian routes and driving directions.

The spokesman added: “Today’s digital mapping has amazing potential to grow into what we call computational cartography, the ability to produce maps on-demand and tailored to their actual use cases.

“We also believe that this game-changing evolution in mapmaking should be available to more businesses and more people around the world – it should expand beyond cars and beyond Nokia devices.”

The Nokia app will rival Google’s new Maps app for iOS, currently in final testing before submission for approval to be distributed via iTunes.

The decision by Apple to impose its software and remove Google’s in September proved highly embarrassing for the company, which was forced to issue a public apology. 

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Tags: ios, maps, nokia, smartphones, tablets

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