Nokia’s brand new HERE Maps app has arrived for iOS and promises to deliver features such as turn-by-turn navigation, public transit directions and detailed traffic reports. Nokia hopes that this could be considered a sound replacement to iOS 6’s native navigation app, Apple Maps, which was received with criticism when it launched with iOS 6.
The free app, which was unveiled last week, will be available across mobile operating systems.
“People want great maps, and with HERE we can bring together Nokia’s location offering to bring people a better way to explore, discover and share the world,” President and CEO of Nokia Stephen Elop said last week.
However, while some may hope that Nokia’s HERE map will act as a substitute for Apple Maps, which Apple CEO Tim Cooks has vowed to improve, it may be a while before iOS users get a solid Google Maps replacement.
The layout of Nokia’s map alternative is similar to that of Apple Maps, and Nokia’s HERE Maps does encounter some issues when retrieving addresses. As PCMag notes, when typing in an address without a space (i.e. E28th St. rather than E 28th St.), Nokia’s Maps showed no results.
In terms of providing public transportation directions, some have reported that the app has delivered lackluster results. The folks over at The Verge “were left a little disappointed” by Nokia’s navigation experience. In London and Amsterdam, the app missed crucial transportation services such as above ground trains and buses.
The Verge ran a test to challenge Nokia’s maps by requesting directions for two different commute routes: one that required a single bus and another that required a single train. During both trials, Nokia’s Here Maps instructed the user to take at least four buses and subways to reach the destination.
The report also says that the app came with some minor bugs for iOS, such as the search box’s cancel button not working. The iPad version, however, does have some advantages when it comes to Nokia’s Maps. The tablet version’s user interface scales well to the screen and includes a Points of Interest bar at the bottom of the screen’s display.
Nokia’s Maps app also fails to show landmarks in the neighborhood that users are trying to navigate, according to MacWorld. Google does this with its Street View images of a user’s destination, and Apple Maps has its flyover feature to address these types of needs.
Despite these reported shortcomings, Nokia’s HERE Maps comes with several views including map, satellite, public transport and live traffic. The live traffic view shows accidents, construction congestion, and other factors that may affect traffic patterns.
The “Collections” section of the app gives users the ability to “collect places to remember” for future reference. Users can also save a certain area of a map if they choose to do so.
Nokia’s HERE Maps currently runs on versions of iOS 4.3 and higher and is available in the App Store. Google’s Play Store is currently offerings an unofficial version of the app.
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