Nokia is prepping for the launch of its iconic mapping service Here on Android and iOS platforms, it told Wall Street Journal. The mapping service will be completely free and will launch before the end of the year. Here maps is part of the mapping division that wasn’t acquired by Microsoft. This gives Nokia the ability to bring its mapping service to platforms Microsoft might not have approved otherwise. “We will go where the scale is,” Sean Fernback, an executive at Nokia’s Here mapping unit told the publication.
Last week Nokia inked a deal with Samsung to bring Here maps on Tizen-based smartwatches and Android-powered Galaxy smartphones.
Nokia is also planning to reintroduce its mapping service to iOS. The Finnish-technology giant had released a mapping app
for Apple iPhones in 2012, but citing poor demands and unimpressive reviews, the company pulled the app from the Apple’s app store. “It was a rushed product that was never thoroughly proven,” Fernback said. “Honestly, it went horribly wrong. But we’ve regrouped now.”
The company is convinced that people want more functional mapping services. “I’m convinced people are looking for alternatives,” he said. “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.”
One of the biggest advantage Here has over Apple’s Maps and Google’s Maps is its offline functionality. The service unlike the Apple’s and Google’s works just fine – allowing you to navigate and search for places – even when there is no Internet connectivity using GPS technology.