Whether they admit it or not, Nokia can’t avoid the reality that it is still struggling to get its feet back in the smartphone business. Even with the help of Microsoft through the Lumia brand, it seems a bit difficult for Nokia to penetrate the market dominated by iPhones and Android smartphones. This doesn’t stop the company though from trying out other facets of the smartphone business to explore, and the latest of which is the mobile mapping service. What with Google struggling to get its native Google Map app into the iOS App Store and Apple’s struggle to get its own native mapping app right, Nokia feels it but the opportune time to join the fun. And so enter HERE, Nokia’s own brand of mapping service based on the cloud.
According to Nokia, HERE is the first location cloud to deliver the world’s best maps and location experiences across multiple screens and operating systems. For starters it’s going to be iOS. Nokia’s HERE is aimed at inspiring a new generation of location services and devices that make the mobile experience more personally significant for people everywhere.
And so HERE, the iPhone app will be based on HTML5 and will include offline capabilities, voice-guided walk navigation, and public transport directions. All features that both Apple and Google have for their respective map apps. The Nokia HERE iPhone app is on schedule to be delivered as a free download from the iOS App Store in the coming weeks. Additionally, Nokia is also forging ties with Mozilla that will see them introducing a mobile web version of HERE Maps for Mozilla’s Firefox OS due for next year. And an Android version of the HERE app is also planned in the future.
Having said all that, it will be interesting to find out how Nokia’s cloud-based mapping service fare out. Nokia’s own mapping service embedded on its smartphones seem to be pretty capable used by many. Will Nokia be able to bring the same success to its upcoming iPhone and Android mapping apps? We will find out soon enough.