Not too long ago, we were impressed if a GPS application successfully got us from point A to point B without leading us off a bridge or taking us a dozen miles away from a more direct route. But then some apps started to nail it. Google Maps was good enough to sell Android phones on its own. Alternatives like HERE maps have proved themselves as competent. Read More
Nokia, in their continuing withdrawal from the mobile phone and software industry, appears close to selling off their best remaining asset in that market: HERE Maps. According to a report by Bloomberg, Nokia will sell their mapping technology and know-how to Germany's three biggest automakers, BMW, Audi (owned by Volkswagen), and Mercedes-Benz. Though they typically compete against one another, each shares common concerns about Google's market position and privacy policies.
The report estimates the asking price of HERE to be nearing $4 billion USD, though the final offer may be closer to $2.5 billion. While that sounds like a big number, HERE is a product of Nokia's acquisition of NAVTEQ for $8.1 billion in 2008. Read More
Nokia's HERE Maps application continues to be a popular alternative to Google's own maps, thanks to wide availability and an easy-to-use download feature. The latest update adds a few new bells and whistles in the name of accuracy, especially if you happen to live in sub-Saharan Africa: according to this blog post, the downloadable maps in the regions of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe, Cape Verde, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, and the Seychelles have all been considerably improved.
The updates are specifically for HERE's downloadable maps, not the Android app itself - if you're a regular user of the compartmentalized maps in Africa, you should get a notification to re-download the relevant files. Read More
Update 10/2/14: The initial beta APK (1.0-124) started showing an expiration message and stopped working, but a newer beta APK (1.0-172) has popped up. We've validated its legitimacy, and it indeed no longer shows the expiration message. Download it here (thanks, Branko Kostic!).
Last month Nokia announced that it would release a version of its highly-regarded HERE mapping and navigation app for Android, but only to licensed partners, starting with Samsung. Late last week an APK for a beta version of HERE, labeled as 1.0, was posted to MediaFire and spotted by Spanish language Android enthusiast site El Android Libre. Read More
Nokia is generally regarded as the best maker of Windows-powered phones on the market, which is probably why Microsoft snatched them up. While most of that attention is focused on the Finnish company's solid hardware, Nokia's custom HERE mapping platform has also received rave reviews, with many saying it outperforms Microsoft's own maps. Now Nokia is bringing a beta version of HERE Maps to Android... but strangely, only on Samsung hardware.
The announcement was made on the official HERE website, highlighting the app's capability of turn-by-turn navigation without the need for an Internet connection. It achieves this by downloading cached maps for entire countries and regions for use offline. Read More