Nokia Maps rebrands as ‘Here’, promises applications for iPhone, Android and Firefox OS
Nokia has renamed its Nokia Maps service as ‘Here’ and plans to release mapping applications for iOS, Android and Firefox OS.
The Finnish manufacturer claims that Here is “the first location cloud to deliver the world’s best maps and location experiences across multiple screens and operating systems,” and wants to encourage developers to develop applications using the platform.
Nokia Maps has been included in a number of Nokia smartphones, most recently its Lumia range of Windows Phone-powered devices, and is also available through a web browser.
Nokia Maps becomes HERE
“People want great maps, and with HERE we can bring together Nokia’s location offering to deliver people a better way to explore, discover and share their world,” said Nokia President and CEO Stephen Elop. “Additionally, with HERE we can extend our 20 years of location expertise to new devices and operating systems that reach beyond Nokia. As a result, we believe that more people benefit from and contribute to our leading mapping and location service.”
The HTML5-based iOS application will be released on the App Store in the coming weeks. It will include offline capabilities, voice-guided navigation and public transport information. An Android-based reference application will be released in early 2013 for developers, while Nokia has also agreed a strategic partnership with Mozilla.
The two companies will work together to create a map application for the web-based mobile operating system Firefox OS, which is expected to become available next year.
Nokia will hope to take advantage of the negative reception given to Apple Maps, which replaced Google Maps as the default mapping service for iPhones and iPads with the release of iOS 6 in September.
Apple CEO Tim cook took the unprecedented step of apologising for the less than brilliant application and encouraged iOS users to seek out alternatives, such as Google Maps and Nokia Maps. However with now Google app on the horizon, Nokia will hope to position itself as the primary alternative.
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