Home opinion-and-analysis Fuzzy Logic Nokia’s iOS HERE Map: cool or crap?

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Nokia's Here Maps app for iOS Nokia's Here Maps app for iOS Image Credit - iTunes

Nokia’s “Here Maps” for iOS has arrived, but with lower res graphics for maps and satellite imagery than was expected, and a lack of detail like house numbers, some think Nokia’s Here Map is crap, while others think it’s better than Apple’s Maps app.

If you’ve been waiting for an official Google Maps app to return to iOS devices, rather than being forced to use the Web app version, you’re still waiting.

However, some iOS users have decided to give Nokia’s new Here Maps app for iOS a try to see how it fares against Apple Maps – and the well known Google Maps experience.

According to eWeek and to a litany of reviews for the app at iTunes, it appears that a great many people aren’t impressed by Nokia’s latest effort – especially as it seems different to Nokia’s own Lumia Drive navigation app.

Some users report the maps being “low res”, rather than the sharp and clear Retina-resolution that many iDevice owners now expect (especially if using Retina-class devices), others say the maps and satellite images are old, others complain there are no street numbers.

I can see, when I take at look at the app myself, that these comments appear to be true – things could indeed be sharper, there don’t appear to be any street numbers, and POI (point of interest) info appears to be slim.

Yes, it is possible to find business and other locations with the maps, it’s possible to switch on a “live traffic view”, you can easily search for destinations (although I didn’t see an option to choose from a range of routes when I tried one destination) and despite the called-out fuzziness, the maps app seems to work.

And yes, while there are a stack of low-star reviews, there are happy people there too, who say it works better than Apple’s Maps.

So, while Nokia’s NAVTEQ division may well power “90%” of the world’s GPS mapping devices, according to Nokia itself, it looks like getting a maps app right – even for one of the world’s biggest mapping companies – is still a much bigger challenge than anyone would have originally imagined.

At least, however, Nokia’s HERE Maps is now out, and will undoubtedly be going through much updating and improving as time goes by – and as the launch of an official Google Maps app for iOS navigates its way to the platform and all those hundreds of millions of end-users ever closer.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

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One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks, including stints as presenter of Ch 10’s Internet Bright Ideas, Ch 7’s Room for Improvement and tech expert on Ch 9’s Today Show, among many other news and current affairs programs.

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