Nokia’s Here maps have moved out of beta with a number of improvements, as it sets out to prove itself a worthy contender to Google Maps.
I was noting the other day that Nokia had gone quiet and it appeared that we were heading into a largely 2 horse race between TomTom and Google for serious global development of map data. It looks like I was wrong. Nokia appears to be back and not just for Windows Phone it would appear.
One of the things that we have been wanting for a long time is 3D maps for the inside of buildings. There are so many buildings that are complex to navigate, whether it is a super mall, a hospital, airport, concert hall, or sporting arena, I’ve even been asked to map university campuses, a real trial for first year students.
Another feature that I’ll be interested to try out is the ability to navigate offline, for example to download an area you are going to be traveling while you are on your lower cost Internet connection at home.
The phone connection to Points of Interest will be welcomed. Given we are talking mobiles, I think the ability to look for Points of Interest, see reviews and then phone them from within the application will be a plus.
They are also entering the field of travel information including journey times by mode on one screen and real time traffic information, although the article doesn’t explain what that means.
Sometimes developers forget that we are talking about an app on a mobile phone. This isn’t new but it seems to have been forgotten by some. When I had my Palm with a Navman sleeve one of the first things it did was populate the coordinates of people in my contact list so that I could navigate to them. I often think the main reason Palm isn’t still here is that they were just too far ahead of the customers. It’s interesting to think back and then see Samsung and others innovate with the introduction of a stylus. I wonder who patented that.
I wonder if I am going to have to do another run of road tests to see what the best nav is for 2015. My 2013 test remains the most popular blog ever for me with 10’s of thousands of reads. Are you planning on buying a nav unit or app soon? How will you decide what is best for your needs? I’d love you to leave a comment on how you will decide. Review, Word of Mouth, Listen to the retail assistant read off the packaging?