Just yesterday, HERE Beta sent out an update with a few minor improvements. Today, they came out like gangbusters by dropping the beta label and adding some serious polish to the app. This navigation app, perhaps the most serious challenger to Google Maps, is developed by once-ubiquitous OEM Nokia. Now, they think they are ready for showtime.
It's really a quite nice looking app and has become popular for its solid international support. Another differentiating feature is how easy it makes offline use, which is still a pain on Google Maps.
Here are the changes since the last beta update:
- New, interactive 3D maps of shopping centers and airports in 70 countries
- The route planner shows driving, public transit and walking routes on one screen so you can compare options at a glance
- You can now tap on any place icon on the map to find out more about it and how to get there
- Traffic incidents show you what's causing jams before you have to find out first-hand
- You can now download maps in the background — no need to wait around for them to finish
- You can also download voices to your SD card
- Turn-by-turn voice-guidance volume has been adjusted, so you can hear directions more clearly
- You can now use HERE on devices with 64-bit processors
The 3D maps seem really cool, but time will tell if there are enough that you'll make use of them. The background map download was really a must for a stable release, but welcome nonetheless. Overall, HERE is a legitimate player now and you should consider it if you have any issues with Google Maps. You can download it on the Play Store.
- HERE blog