For those of you disgusted with Apple Maps, Nokia has very kindly come along with a new mapping solution of its own. But is HERE Maps a sure-fire route to superior navigation?
It’s impossible to forget the hoo-hah that surrounded the launch of iOS 6 a few months ago. The main issue surrounded Apple Maps – Apple’s controversial replacement for the abruptly outgoing Google Maps app. Apple’s alternative handles nicely enough, but it just doesn’t feel anywhere near the finished article.
Nokia’s got a bit more experience with this mapping lark, so this HERE Maps app has been greeted with open arms by iPad users.
Unfortunately, it’s not what you might have hoped it would be. Rather than a dedicated app that matches those found on Nokia’s own smartphones, we essentially have a lightly adapted version of the HERE Maps mobile web page.
And when we say lightly, we mean lightly. A few weeks ago we ran an article on the alternatives to Apple Maps. One of these involved pinning a Nokia Maps web app to your home page through Safari. HERE Maps is pretty much identical to that tool.
Searching for restaurants brings up some handy reviews
The only difference is that you don’t have the Safari navigation bars taking up extra room, and you also have the Collections option in this dedicated app. This is essentially a favourites list that lets you store groups of locations. You might have one for ‘favourite restaurants’ or ‘pubs I intend to visit the next time I’m in London’
While you can save a portion of the map to your iPad’s memory, it’s not the full offline map facility that Nokia provides on some of its own smartphone apps. Turn by turn voice navigation is also a no-no here unless you’re walking, which seems utterly pointless.
It’s not all bad. As web-based map apps go, this is a lot nicer to look at and use than Google Maps’s equivalent. The interface is tidy and stylish, and we like the extra detail pages that appear when you search for a particular point of interest.
HERE Maps is a nice accompaniment to Apple Maps, then, but it’s far from the knight in shining GPS-equipped armour many iPad owners were hoping for.
Tidy interface; ability to save map areas to memory; public transport view
It’s just a glorified web app; no true offline maps; no turn-by-turn car navigation