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Nokia's HERE Maps finally lands on Google Play, offers free offline navigation with audio prompts

Posted: , by Peter K.

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Nokia's HERE Maps finally lands on Google Play, offers free offline navigation with audio prompts

Rejoice, Android users, as HERE has just found its way to Google Play, where it's available for free. "What is HERE?", you might ask. Well, it's the famed mapping service that is still under Nokia's wing, which provides its users with completely offline navigation, has a wide array of available maps, up-to-date info for public transportation, as well as turn-by-turn voice guidance - all of this free of charge.

Up until now, the app was only available for Samsung devices on one of Samsung's online app repositories (though tech-savvy Android users found certain ways to sideload it on their devices). Apart from arriving on Google Play, HERE Beta also adds navigation support for plenty of new countries (Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Iraq, Libya, Mauritania, Mauritius, Nepal, Paraguay, Saint Helena, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Zambia, Zimbabwe), though these countries have not been fully-mapped just yet.

The team behind the app also revealed that its much-anticipated iOS version will be available on Apple's App Store sometime in early 2015. Have in mind that Here for Android is still rolling out and might not show up inside your phone's Google Play app, yet you can get it by following the download link right below.

Download: HERE (Android)


source: HERE Blog via GeekOnGadgets

46 Comments
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posted on 10 Dec 2014, 10:22

1. mdroid (Posts: 48; Member since: 15 Mar 2013)


le me try this.

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 10:24 12

2. Manti123 (banned) (Posts: 207; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)


Welcome the best mapping service.
We hope we can enjoy your great smartphones soon, Nokia!

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 13:39 4

17. Pattyface (Posts: 1524; Member since: 20 Aug 2014)


I agree.. I have been using it for a while and like it better than maps

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 15:53 2

26. omar300 (Posts: 209; Member since: 24 Jun 2012)


seriously google/android fans. dont be offended when people call this best service. you may dismiss this because you all already have google maps but you guys need to try this map. i first used it on windows phone then found beta version and installed it on my android phone a while ago.
This map service is great for offline. very small map for entire province/state.

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 17:09

28. JC557 (Posts: 1321; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)


I would say that HERE loads quicker than Google Maps in standard viewing mode. Switch on Satellite view and they both take around the same amount of time. Transit routing is the same though Google does give a little more options or views on a stop... though with each new update they manage to screw it up a bit (like time table listings for schedules further down the timeline).

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 17:40 1

29. joey_sfb (Posts: 5428; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Yes its better than Google Map. I have been using it since Nokia Symbian days. Its better because it does not need data connection during navigation.

Google still make the user load portion of the map via 3G/4G and with a moving vehicle. Good Luck to that.

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 19:22 3

30. VZWuser76 (Posts: 3918; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


There hasn't been any people offended by anyone calling this the best app posting in here. The benefits for each app are subjective, each has good and bad points. So it's not like one app trounces the other either.

But no one here has said HERE sucks or anything of the sort. So why are you acting like they are? Having more options is never a bad thing.

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 21:50

33. omar300 (Posts: 209; Member since: 24 Jun 2012)


of course. but its safer to warm up people for a better conversation than let everyone go into crazy fanatic mode.

and to yea google maps does over better transit timing and is more frequently updated with new roads. but at the end its not google doing that itself. google has hired other agencies to do that.
Here has still managed to do almost similar task as google in a lot smaller budget.

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 23:48

35. VZWuser76 (Posts: 3918; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


Warm up people for a better conversation? You mean you're trying to start an argument. You posted 6 hours after the first post, and there still wasn't anything of the kind of fanaticism that you were asserting by that point. If anything, your way of "warming people up" was more likely to start something than stop it.

You've been on PA for over 2 years, you could know that fan rage doesn't need to be incited, it happens on it's own just fine. No need to try and jump start it.

posted on 11 Dec 2014, 07:08

39. omar300 (Posts: 209; Member since: 24 Jun 2012)


jesus man calm down. you have some serious issues. stay away from your keyboard.

posted on 11 Dec 2014, 09:34

41. VZWuser76 (Posts: 3918; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


The point I was trying to convey was that by trying to head off fanatic rambling, what you did might instead cause it.

Do you know the difference between anger and calm? If I was raging, their would be expletives and exclamation points.

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 10:25

3. Zack_2014 (Posts: 377; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


Has anyone tried this? How does it fair against Google Maps.

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 10:43 7

4. Settings (Posts: 1501; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)


Better than Google maps in offline mode.

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 12:56

14. VZWuser76 (Posts: 3918; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


Yes and no. It seems to be more accurate in terms of how close it gets to my actual location. Although we're talking about a variance of like 20 feet.

But when viewing with the satellite layer in place, it's apparently a very old capture, at least in my location. Judging by the changes made to our area, I'd estimate the satellite picture to be taken around 2011. Whereas the Google Maps pictures looks to be about a 1/2 - 1 year old. I don't know if that'll affect the accuracy of HERE Maps aside from the satellite picture or not. I'll have to test it to be sure.

Other than that, it seems like a great alternative and possibly a better option to GMaps. It'll definitely help with the newer phones not allowing simultaneous voice and data unless you're set up for VoLTE, at least on Verizon.

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 13:33

16. VZWuser76 (Posts: 3918; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


Digging a bit deeper, it appears that only the satellite pictures are old. HERE was able to find a business that started about a year ago and showed the location on the map, even though the satellite picture only showed an empty lot. So all good.

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 14:21

21. SemperFiV12 (Posts: 944; Member since: 09 Nov 2010)


Variance of 20 feet could just be the difference between your phone or many other variables unrelated to the software (not counting it out.)

But I've tested HERE on two different phone models and there was a minor variance.

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 14:35 1

22. VZWuser76 (Posts: 3918; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


I was referring to the difference in accuracy between GMaps and HERE on the same phone, which I checked just before I posted. I wasn't commenting on different devices, but the difference between HERE and Google Maps.

posted on 11 Dec 2014, 14:18

43. SemperFiV12 (Posts: 944; Member since: 09 Nov 2010)


good stuff!

posted on 11 Dec 2014, 03:41

38. Cicero (Posts: 861; Member since: 22 Jan 2014)


You have to consider in your comparative talk the Maps.me app. I used this for about 1 year, domestic and abroad, and I found this a good one. Abroad I use Maps.me and my wife used Here. Both was accurate.

posted on 11 Dec 2014, 09:35

42. VZWuser76 (Posts: 3918; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


I'll have to check it out, thanks.

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 10:44

5. abhilashpro (Posts: 17; Member since: 25 Jun 2012)


I've used Sygic + Google Maps for many years. Then tried Nokia HERE on my Android with my Samsung phone. Typically, you'll need one online and one offline solution on your phone all the time. For online, of course, Google Maps is the best. But for offline, Nokia HERE and Sygic are equally excellent. I used Nokia HERE a lot, then removed it just to make use of my purchased Sygic maps. If I hadn't paid for it, I would definitely go for Nokia HERE>

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 12:19

11. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


I tried Sygic but the HERE is a lot more stable and simpler IMO. Sygic looks like something cheap from 2010. Not nice :(

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 10:46 2

6. rsiders (Posts: 865; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)


It was one of the things I really missed from Windows Phone and went to download maps from Google maps and could only save a small portion of the city let alone trying to save the whole state for offline use. Here has a huge advantage if you need it.

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 11:46 1

9. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


I think this is better than Gmaps even in online mode. It still needs some improvement to get smoother but it's already very good.

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 12:05 2

10. sprockkets (Posts: 1611; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)


It isn't as nice as GM, but that's just subjective. But with it being on the play store now, Nokia is slowing becoming the company it used to be, free of the crap that MS put on it.

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 14:18

20. SemperFiV12 (Posts: 944; Member since: 09 Nov 2010)


I believe that's why he started with "I think".

It is subjective, and I also happen to think it is better than gMaps.

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 10:58

7. SaintHelena (banned) (Posts: 397; Member since: 05 Nov 2014)


If I Remember Correctly, a couple of year back, some m0r0n (or trojan horse) said that Nokia can't differentiate if Nokia use Android instead of WP, because google prohibit anything that google has, such as Maps.

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 11:26 2

8. fzacek (Posts: 2486; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


I just wish Google Maps would offer online navigation like this app. It's hugely useful...

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 12:49 1

12. hellbread (Posts: 309; Member since: 21 Nov 2014)


Great app, using it for some time now as main navi. Download everything you need and go offline.

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 12:55

13. roozbeh101 (Posts: 93; Member since: 31 Mar 2012)


it says it is incompatible with my nexus 7 2013

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 13:08

15. Spedez (Posts: 441; Member since: 29 Aug 2014)


That's cool. Already had it for awhile for Sammy.

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 14:16 1

19. SemperFiV12 (Posts: 944; Member since: 09 Nov 2010)


Had it for a LONG while on my Lumia.

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 19:26 1

31. VZWuser76 (Posts: 3918; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


That's because it was exclusive to Lumia phones, Google Maps were not exclusive to any OS, so what's your point? I would've welcomed having it sooner, but I'm also not going to change from the OS I've got paid apps in just for one app either.

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 14:14 1

18. SemperFiV12 (Posts: 944; Member since: 09 Nov 2010)


"Up until now, the app was only available for Samsung devices on one of Samsung's online app repositories"

......hmmmmmmmm.

And before that..? Oh right, it was a Windows Phone exclusive.

One quality app may only count as ONE app as an APP COUNT in the store... But it is worth more than 10 poorly made apps that FLOOD the Play Store.

So to all people that rely on App Count arguments... this is a BIG and WORTHY plus one for Google Play store - but one Windows users have had for a while.

I know this is ONE example and there are many examples out there with the inverse properties... I just want to differentiate the App Count argument for the younger audience (and also fact check for the author.)

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 14:38

24. VZWuser76 (Posts: 3918; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


I think everyone here already knew that it was always available on WP. This article was about HERE availability on Android. And as far as Android, it was up until now only available officially for Saumsung devices. The apk file has been available for sideload for a month or two now.

posted on 11 Dec 2014, 14:26

44. SemperFiV12 (Posts: 944; Member since: 09 Nov 2010)


Oh, trust me. I am very aware of everything you just said... And having used Android and Windows Phone extensively - as well as Here and Google mapping systems EXTENSIVELY... quite aware what was available on what.

Also being a frequent visitor of this site, I know that the agenda for almost all authors is pro Android and then pro iOS and 99% bashing on Windows Phone.

Whether it is relevant or not, PA authors LOVE to bash on Windows Phone. And yet when it IS RELEVANT (or somewhat relevant) they omit the positive points of the OS.

In a very rare case, an quality/official app is available on WP and not on Android or iOS. HERE maps has been available on WP for a long while... Yet there is no mention of that on a HERE related article. But when any app becomes published on the Windows platform, please check the tone of those articles.

Just pointing out the differences.

posted on 11 Dec 2014, 19:54

45. VZWuser76 (Posts: 3918; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


So that rant was all about giving credit to having HERE maps on WP? Well that kinda makes sense considering that HERE is a product of Nokia, and Nokia was producing WP devices. HERE Maps wasn't available on non-Lumia devices until late February 2013. So for most of their time with WP, HERE maps was exclusive to Nokia's Lumia handsets. That isn't a positive point of the OS if only one OEM has access to it, and that was the case until a year ago.

So no, for most of WP's lifespan, it wasn't a WP exclusive, it was a Nokia Lumia exclusive.

http://m.windowscentral.com/nokia-releases-here-transit-and-here-maps-non-lumia-devices

For using WP so extensively, I would've thought you knew that. I remember reading about that fact last year, and it took a few seconds to do a search to find the proof.

posted on 12 Dec 2014, 15:48

46. SemperFiV12 (Posts: 944; Member since: 09 Nov 2010)


I did know that... I also know that Lumia handsets were a majority of the WP pool - take a few more seconds of research and you could find exact numbers.

And also Feb 2013 is quite a while to have had it (not really a year, if you wanna revisit the math).

If you, like many of the "writers" here, do not want to give credit where credit is due... BUT LOVE to take credit on the other side... it's fine.

I'll just be looking at the articles and comments and just smirking.

ALSO taking all the comments into consideration... Lumia then WP then Samsung and now Android was the order of operation HERE landed on. The article only states the latter two. "it's an Android specific article" you would say. MY ONLY ISSUE is that if things were reversed... And it started on Sammy then Android then Lumia then WP.... Do you not think that there would be a WP lags behind Android reference? Subtle shots in not-so-clever and not-so-cute ways of getting at WP platform in its entirety? Or do you think that it would be WP focused and make no mention of Android? If you really think the latter, I would not believe you.

And that was my original point.

posted on 11 Dec 2014, 02:36

36. microsoftnokiawin (Posts: 1178; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


but before that it was on Symbian and meego phones under nokia maps !

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 14:37

23. rocky46ruet (Posts: 13; Member since: 23 Jun 2014)


not accurate as google maps

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 15:09

25. JayBEE (Posts: 113; Member since: 03 Apr 2014)


Is it written in Qt?...

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 16:51

27. fervid (Posts: 183; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


Another cool Nokia app with unnecessary permissions ruining it. No thanks.

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 21:15

32. Settings (Posts: 1501; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)


Who needs your data anyway.

posted on 10 Dec 2014, 23:20

34. laughmi (banned) (Posts: 283; Member since: 28 Oct 2014)


I installed it on my Galaxy S Advance from Nokia's site and it was an aweful experience. It hanged like anything. Even I use offline navigation on my Google Maps. I think HERE is terribly overrated. Im happy with Google Maps!

posted on 11 Dec 2014, 02:48

37. Metamorphosis (Posts: 15; Member since: 20 Oct 2014)


Is it compatible with Gingerbread (Android 2.3.6) ?

posted on 11 Dec 2014, 08:28

40. balu25int (Posts: 10; Member since: 11 Dec 2014)


The UI is different from when I used it in N8. This lags a bit in i9505. It's not surprising as its only beta version (hope they improve it). Anyway its the best in offline maps & navigation, at least in India.

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