After launching on Android as a Samsung exclusive back in August, Nokia has finally released Here maps on Google Play as a free download, allowing for much broader access.
Nokia’s HERE maps is one of their main areas of focus after selling their devices section to Microsoft last year. HERE is a worthy competitor to Google Maps, offering a more refined offline experience, and admittedly some fairly nice 3D building renderings in their mobile apps. There are some inconsistencies in some of their maps though and we’d love to see some Material Design in their app, although when we asked, they seem to want a consistent experience across both iOS and Android rather than a ‘Google specific’ design:
@JM77 thanks for the feedback! Material Design is very Google specific. Our focus is to bring the HERE experience to both Android and iOS ^J
— HERE Technologies (@here) November 25, 2014
Jason did a comparison of the two platforms earlier and showed them off :
Another part of the mapping that Here seems to be missing is the extensive ‘Street View’ information which Google Maps provides for almost every street in Australia. To their credit though, HERE Maps cars are currently hitting neighbourhoods around the country as we speak.
Note: A month after taking this shot, the Street View information STILL hasn’t been added to Nokia HERE maps.
The HERE Beta: Offline maps & nav application includes :
Nokia have released a video to show you how to use HERE Beta Maps, which you can view below:
HERE Beta: Offline maps & nav is available for devices running Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) and above. It’s a free download, so if you’re interested, check it out now in Google Play.