Nokia to take on Apple, Google maps with new cross-platform navigation app

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2014
Following the sale of its handset division to Microsoft, Finnish telecommunications company Nokia on Wednesday announced that it would expand its consumer offerings with the release of a free navigation app -- based on its Here mapping service -- for Apple's iOS and Google's Android platforms.

Here Maps
Nokia's previous iOS mapping app


The mapping division, which now focuses primarily on the corporate logistics market, was not included in the Microsoft deal despite being a tentpole feature for the Lumia line of Windows Phone devices. Nokia executive Sean Fernback told the Wall Street Journal that the company would begin leveraging Here maps more in the consumer space as it seeks to grow its service offerings.

"We will go where the scale is," Fernback said, though the company is not planning to turn consumer mapping into a profit center.

"I'm convinced people are looking for alternatives," Fernback added. "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."

Nokia famously pulled its previous Here-based iOS mapping effort from the App Store following the release of iOS 7 and complaints from consumers. At the time, the company said that Apple's newly-redesigned mobile operating system "harmed the user experience," though Fernback seems to have revised Nokia's stance on that issue in the most recent interview.

"It was a rushed product that was never thoroughly proven," Fernback said of the previous application. "Honestly, it went horribly wrong. But we've regrouped now."

Nokia's regrouping will apparently include strong offline navigation capability, allowing users to "fully download" maps to use when no mobile data connection is available. Google lets users cache specific map areas, while Apple's maps cache a wide area but do not grant control of that cache to users.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    Nobody cares
  • Reply 2 of 15

    Even if they hit the mapping functionality out of the park, displacing Google is going to be tough due to their integration across services.

     

    The offline bit could bring some users in temporarily for certain needs. Might be cool if you're leading some Scouts at Philmont, for instance. Not sure how it's going to support trails though. Maybe useful for cross-country car trips if you go on an impromptu off course adventure w/out service? Sounds like the start of a bad horror movie.

  • Reply 3 of 15
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,406member
    "It was a rushed product that was never thoroughly proven," Fernback said of the previous application. "Honestly, it went horribly wrong."

    That is a refreshingly honest response ... If only Google and Microsoft were so honest. Over the last three decades Microsoft should have adopted that as a slogan to cover all products. :D
  • Reply 4 of 15
    "I'm convinced people are looking for alternatives,"

    Really?
  • Reply 5 of 15
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,406member
    gregquinn wrote: »
    "I'm convinced people are looking for alternatives,"

    Really?

    It is a collective Finnish prayer I guess. "Please Lord, may the masses be looking for something ... anything ... Nokia makes .."
  • Reply 6 of 15
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,673member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post



    "It was a rushed product that was never thoroughly proven," Fernback said of the previous application. "Honestly, it went horribly wrong."



    That is a refreshingly honest response ... If only Google and Microsoft were so honest. Over the last three decades Microsoft should have adopted that as a slogan to cover all products. image

     

    He had to say that since he attempted to blame apple for their miserable product.

     

    What I find interesting and Google has become the master of this, they put out sub par products and let the consumers test it for them and provide feedback how they screwed up and they attempt to fix it let consumers test and tell them how to improve their products. Google does not hire tester or QA people, they let you all do it for them and tell them how they got it wrong and people are more than willing to do that since it was free in a sense.

  • Reply 7 of 15
    "Fernback added. "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."

    Whoa, what did he mean? The maps shouldn't look the same and do the same? Would it still be a "map" if it changed?

    ;)
  • Reply 8 of 15
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,187member
    This won't make a blip. The vast majority of people stick with defaults, and that will be Google maps for Android devices (or whatever Samsung switches to) and Apple maps on iOS devices.
  • Reply 9 of 15
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

     

     

    What I find interesting and Google has become the master of this, they put out sub par products and let the consumers test it for them and provide feedback how they screwed up and they attempt to fix it let consumers test and tell them how to improve their products. 


     

    There are many users who would prefer to have a 90% experience right now and a 100% experience later, rather than just the 100% experience later. Google has found them.

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

     

    Google does not hire tester or QA people, they let you all do it for them and tell them how they got it wrong and people are more than willing to do that since it was free in a sense.


     

    Yep, none at all. Other than 32 pages of jobs...

    https://www.google.com/about/careers/search#t=sq&q=j&d=test&li=10&j=test&;

  • Reply 10 of 15
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,393member
    slurpy wrote: »
    This won't make a blip. The vast majority of people stick with defaults, and that will be Google maps for Android devices (or whatever Samsung switches to) and Apple maps on iOS devices.

    I really wonder what Samsung might change to???

    http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-24608285
  • Reply 11 of 15
    Hi everyone, I'm Pino from the HERE team... and iPhone user ;-)

    I'm reading with interest all your comments and I'm happy to collect your feedback and reviews in case you will try HERE for iOS at some point.

    Offline maps are definitively our strengths and I'm sure you will appreciate their power as soon as you enter the NYC subway or the London Underground or when you leave a US urban area and suddenly your iPhone doesn't have 4G anymore but just Edge, if you're lucky.
    We think that you should be able to know where you are and how to get to a destination, even if the internet coverage is spotty or absent.
    But also when you're online, having maps stored in your phone makes the app run super fast and smooth. When you pan or zoom the map, you don't have to wait for it to load again.
  • Reply 12 of 15
    maestro64 wrote: »
     
    <span style="line-height:1.4em;">Google does not hire tester or QA people, they let you all do it for them and tell them how they got it wrong and people are more than willing to do that since it was free in a sense.</span>

    Yep, none at all. Other than 32 pages of jobs...
    https://www.google.com/about/careers/search#t=sq&q=j&d=test&li=10&j=test&

    Then how come their software is such crap? I really think Maestro64 was spot on.
  • Reply 13 of 15
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,393member
    philboogie wrote: »
    Then how come their software is such crap? I really think Maestro64 was spot on.

    There is nothing wrong with Here Maps on Windows Phone, it was the version for iOS that was crap, please don't get confused.
  • Reply 14 of 15
    jfanning wrote: »
    There is nothing wrong with Here Maps on Windows Phone, it was the version for iOS that was crap, please don't get confused.

    Read my reply again; I was referring to the jobs @ Google. I think Google makes inferior software. I wasn't referring to software from Nokia at all.
  • Reply 15 of 15
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post





    Then how come their software is such crap? I really think Maestro64 was spot on.

     

    I don't know, because you don't know how to use it? Is there an Apple solution for my photography signups, where I can write 500 lines of JS and end up with a hosted online solution that auto-generates a Google Form to sign up for photos, stores all the entries in a Drive spreadsheet, creates a PDF of the release they need to bring to the session, emails it to them, and sends them a calendar invite with a Google maps link to the site?

     

    Here's a starting point too, so you really don't even have to write the 500 lines of JS -- just massage it a bit. https://developers.google.com/apps-script/quickstart/forms

     

    I don't have any problem believing that you don't like their UI direction or feature sets, but that's subjective. You probably don't like their favorite band either.

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