Nokia tries maps again, confirms free iOS navigation app coming based on Here Maps

By , Sep 3, 2014

nokia here maps ss

Nokia executive Sean Fernback told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that the Finnish telecommunications company will be releasing a brand new cross-platform mobile navigation app for the iOS and Android platforms later this year.

Nokia, which sold off its handset division to Microsoft, kept its Here mapping service. The forthcoming GPS navigation app would be unique in that both the maps themselves and searches would work without an Internet connection.

As map navigation works through satellites, users will be able to download maps to the device in order to navigate without an Internet connection, according to Fernback.

Nokia won’t make any revenue from the ad-free app and instead plans on using crowd-sourced data to improve its location database.

Last month, the Finnish company cut a deal with Samsung to use Here maps on Galaxy devices, another proof of the South Korean company decreasing its dependency on Google’s Android software and the underlying services such as Google Maps.

Nokia currently licensees its maps to corporate customers like auto makers and logistics-dependent businesses such as FedEx and Amazon.com, the Jorunal noted.

Nokia Here (Maps, Lumia)

Nokia is convinced there’s a room for yet another big-name mapping service.

“I’m convinced people are looking for alternatives,” Fernback said. “Google Maps is a good solution for many, their maps work very well, but it has looked the same and done the same for a long time.”

The free app is based on Nokia’s beleaguered Here mapping service which launched as an HTML5 web app in November of 2013.

Soon after, a native iPhone and iPad client for Here released in the App Store (pictured top of post) with maps for around 200 countries, voice-guided walking navigation, public transportation directions and offline capability.

Nokia Here (Maps, web browser)

However, Nokia in December 2013 pulled that app from the App Store due to a wide range of compatibility issues with iOS 7.

“We have made the decision to remove our Here Maps app from the Apple App Store because recent changes to iOS 7 harm the user experience,” the Finnish company said at the time.

Fernback now admits to WSJ that the app was “a rushed product” that “went horribly wrong” because it was “never thoroughly proven”.

Will you give Nokia’s navigation app a whirl when it arrives?

[The Wall Street Journal via AppleInsider]

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  • InfinitePlusOne

    What’s next? Messenger?

  • Frank Anthony

    Dear NOKIA, can you give me reason to believe you again? You know?, I always respect and admire you a lot but now, I don’t even know what to think. Anyways, i will wait for your map services to arrive, maybe, maybe i will love it. No Promises. For now, finger crossed.

  • Domodo

    Here maps are on par with Apple maps, but nowhere near as good as Google maps. Many people are butthurt because competition. Deal with it already, people, please…

  • Marvin

    Good … I hate the Google Universe

  • Rowan09

    Here maps looks horrible. They need to work on the GUI. I very confuse because Samsung signed the open alliance headset contract which means they can’t choose to use Android and exclude Google maps. Maybe they are going to have Here Maps as well.

    • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

      From the article pics, I think it looks much better than the stock iOS 7 maps app and Google Maps.

      • Rowan09

        I’m speaking of the old Here maps which I can still download from the purchased section. It looks like a baby made it.

  • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

    Hmm, would be cool to get a non-privacy invading alternative to Google Maps with support for bus routes…tech reviews of Windows 8 Phones say it’s great, but I have yet to see that.

  • Álvaro Morales Navarro

    A free alternative. Of course they will have an opportunity.

  • Someshwar

    Awesome !! I use Here maps on my Lumia and it’s much better than apple maps ( at least here in india).

  • Tommy

    Bring it on. I’m willing to try anything new.

  • Jerry

    nothing will beat waze :)

  • coLin

    Dear Apple, please let us choose the default Maps app for the iPhone. Google Maps is far better than any maps app on the iphone

    • mav3rick

      apple + choose = undefined

  • Kako Holder

    Good news. Here Maps is better than mostly popular apps for maps in my country (Brazil) include Apple Maps.