Here Maps by Nokia arrives on iOS for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

Here Maps by Nokia arrives on iOS for iPhone, iPad and iPod touchFor a long time, Nokia's excellent mapping service was a secret few outside of the Symbian space really knew about, but how things have changed.

Today sees the launch of Here Maps by Nokia for iOS, optimised for the Apple iPhone 5 but compatible with any iPhone, iPad or iPod touch running iOS 4.3 or newer.

The timing is excellent too, as Apple's badly flawed in-house solution is still a long way from perfect, while Google Maps – the default iOS option until Apple went home-brew with iOS 6 – is still the wrong side of Apple's approval process, and is hardly likely to be fast-tracked through either.

In the meantime, then, grabbing a free download of Here Maps from iTunes is your best bet on iOS. We covered the basics of the service's launch a week ago, but at its heart is mapping data from Nokia-owned Navteq, the strength of which has established Nokia's mapping products as arguably the second-best rich mapping service out there behind Google Maps.

You can overlay maps with traffic and public transport information, get voice-guided navigation and even download mapping data for a set geographical area to be used offline.

The iOS version of Here Maps is fully integrated with Nokia's Collections feature, which sees personalised favourites linked to your account and usable from another device on another platform.

The biggest downside for iOS users is that as an HTML5 web app it's not quite as polished as a native iOS service, but it still beats Apple Maps hands-down at this stage of the game.

If you've given Here Maps a whirl on your iDevice, why not give us your thoughts? Does it make a decent case for not going back to Google Maps at all, or is Nokia simply taking full advantage of the sore lack of decent alternatives for iOS users at present? Let us know what you think in the Comments below!

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JanSt / MOD  Nov. 20, 2012 at 20:21

Tried for 45 minutes on an iPhone 5. Here in the West of Ireland total rubbish. Sluggish.
An satellite view looks like some psychedelic idea of geography... Found no business in the same area where Nokia maps on my N9 and Apple's own maps work perfectly. Uninstalled.

(I wasn't in need of a maps app anyway, tbh. But I had to try, didn't I)
Gist on Twitter wasn't positive, either. A few folks posted, Here actually makes Apple's 1st attempt seem better....

Pondlife  Nov. 20, 2012 at 22:10

Fast enough here, but satellite view is a cloudy mess. Finds businesses at least, not many but wouldn't use it for that anyway. Traffic doesn't seem to work or maybe there's just no traffic problems nearby. Public transport mode doesn't seem to do anything either.
All in all so far so meh.
Why the weird name for Nokia anyway. (Nokia gate5 GmbH)

JanSt / MOD  Nov. 20, 2012 at 22:38

Ironic how Nokia said, "you can't build a great mapping app overnight" during "mapgate"...
seems the satellite view was built overnight... a cloudy night.

Stelph  Nov. 21, 2012 at 15:11

Comparing nokia maps and apple maps, apple maps is better in my region (berkshire), apple maps has seen a marked improvement since launch especially the satalite view which origibally had a ruddy great big cloud over most of berkshire


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