If you have an Android phone chances are you use Google Maps to get around, and if you have an iPhone you’re probably using either Apple Maps or Google’s iOS app. So is there any interest in third mapping app? We’re not so sure there is, but Nokia is getting ready to find out with a version of Here Maps that’s headed to both Android and iOS in the near future.
The news comes from The Wall Street Journal, which reports that Nokia is preparing to expand past Windows and Samsung devices with a new app meant to compete directly with Google and Apple’s own mapping services. Speaking to the paper, Nokia Here exec Sean Fernback says the goal is to offer something fresh, arguing that popular mapping apps have grown increasingly stale over the past few years.
Nokia Here’s biggest selling point may be the ability to download maps for offline. Basically, you’ll be able to find a map and save it to your phone. Then later on you can load up the map and ask for directions even if you don’t have an Internet connection. Google and Apple Maps both offer similar features, but neither company advertises offline directions as a key feature.
Even so, we’re not convinced that Here Maps will stand a chance on either Android or iOS in the face of competing apps that are so deeply completely ingrained into their respective operating system. To be honest we’re still a little surprised Microsoft didn’t snatch up Here when it bought the rest of Nokia’s mobile business earlier this year, but at least now you’ll have one more option if you’re looking to experiment with a new maps app.