As everybody knows, Apple’s release of Maps for iOS6 was more problematic than expected. So much so that Google announced a short time later that it would develop an app for its famous Google Maps specifically for iOS devices. Nonetheless, we don’t know if Apple will allow the Google application to be published on their online store.
But while a battle between the guys at Cupertino and those at Mountain View was close at hand, a new actor walked onto the stage: Nokia, who already had in operation a maps service with a high quality geospacial data base, took advantage of the empty seat that Google Maps had left as a native application for iOS6 to rename its service as Nokia HERE Maps, and made it available for users via the AppStore.
Nokia HERE Maps is a service that may appear basic, but in reality is not–it carries some surprises. Among the features it offers are map view, satellite view, offline view, in addition to real-time information about traffic and public transport. The application covers data on 200 countries, and the amount of content can vary considerably depending on the area that the user is in.
It offers voice navigation to guide users on their journey, although it is currently only in English. Also, it lets you search for and provide information about places of interest, from touristic areas to gas stations and restaurants. The Community View feature, which displays a layer of maps with hiking routes and trails marked by other users on the Nokia platform, stands out among some of the main features it offers.
The app’s main setback appears to be the map’s lack of image sharpness in satellite view and some problems with the layering of information labels. It is lacking 3D maps, and currently it doesn’t even come close to the boundless volume of information available on Google Maps.
Beyond the comparison of quality of the Maps by Apple, Google Maps, and Nokia’s maps service, what’s certain is that its HERE Maps appears to be a tempting alternative for many iOS users while they wait for the Google Maps application to make it to Apple’s online store, as Apple’s Maps haven’t ended up convincing anyone.
Evidently, there are conflicts of interest among Apple and Google, two of the computer giants that compete in various sectors of the market, hence why Google Maps still hasn’t been approved to be published on the App Store, and who knows if it ever will. When the company at Cupertino announced that they would abandon Google Maps and venture into making their own maps, many had said that it was a mistake.
Later, the dismal failure of the maps that Apple introduced in iOS 6 caused, among other consequences, the laying off of Scott Forstall, one of Apple’s most important directors.
Apparently, Google Maps for iOS will be ready by December, and it is speculated that both computer giants are in talks to reach an agreement that will allow Google Maps to return, in the most convenient way for everyone, to iOS.
Because of all this, Nokia’s HERE Maps are here to stay as a new player on the field of maps service. Let it be said that the Finnish company made it so its maps will soon be available for Android also, which is why it may soon become a battle between three contenders: Apple’s Maps, Google Maps, and the newly added Nokia. However, speaking realistically, it is Google who will leave them all in the dust because it has the best data base of places and photos in existence.