Apple Maps move over... Nokia is Here, for iOS
Plenty of iOS 6 users will know only too well the tale of Apple Maps-gate. And while so many of us have been crying for Google Maps to make its return, it looks as though Nokia could be the company to come to the rescue.
The financially troubled mobile manufacturer has a long history of developing mapping software - which it already provides to four out of every five in-dash car satnav systems, as well as Garmin, Yahoo! Maps and many more - cumulating into today's announcement that Nokia Maps is evolving into Nokia Here, a cloud-based mapping service that's available for multiple operating systems.
Yup, that's right: Nokia Here will be available for iOS. It's not quite ready yet, but at the Here brand launch in San Francisco, California, the company confirmed that it will be rolling out the HTML5-coded app, subject to approval, in the coming weeks.
What does this mean for iOS users? The usual search, directions and views will all be available, albeit sourced from Nokia's richer database. Fingers crossed that this will mean Tube stations reappear in London, for example.
But it adds more too: real time interactive content such as traffic views and driving directions that update based on this information will be available. Voice-guided walking navigation, as well as personalised favourite locations called Collections also make the cut. Perhaps this is a slice of Nokia-flavoured humble pie for Apple?
UPDATE Unlike the Nokia WP8 and Android SDK versions which can store data offline, the iOS version is unable to do so and requires a data connection.
As the application runs in the same fashion as a web browser would, hence its HTML5 construction, it is therefore forced to limit how much data can be cached and presented at any one time.
This means that the application is unable to store large map areas in detail - though Nokia has written in a four-deep zoom that can be saved to the device and re-accessed via the application.
Presumably for the sake of data this means no 3D mapping experience is available and it is unlikely that such functionality will be available in the near future. It looks as though Apple users will be getting the shortest straw when it comes to Here's cross-platform rollout... It's good, but it's not the full-on experience that other platforms will run.