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back to article Nokia HERE today with decent mapping on Apple devices

iPhone users struggling with Apple's substandard maps app can now get a decent alternative in the shape of Nokia's Here. Here is free, and available now for iPads and Android devices of all shapes and sizes as well as the Jesus mobe. For Apple users, Here is a sensible alternative to Cupertino's disastrous satnav-like app that …

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Meh

Worthy but sluggish

It took HERE about two minutes to identify my location and was painfully slow at loading the map tiles. Apple's Maps is not perfect but is very much faster and accurate in determining my location. Walking and public transport links are a definite bonus, though.

Like Maps, it needs work.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Worthy but sluggish

Apple's Maps is not perfect but is very much faster and [more?] accurate in determining my location.

Odd. Shurely location services are provided by the device OS, and so should be consistent between apps...?

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Re: Worthy but sluggish (@Steve Knox)

Nokia's app clearly eschews the built-in APIs. The inertial scrolling has the wrong inertia, double tap to zoom is painfully forced and clearly using the wrong animation curve, and all other controls are obviously custom (eg, on an iOS button you can put your finger down, drag outside, drag back inside and release and the button activates; in Nokia's app it activates only if you finger up without leaving the box).

It's therefore a safe bet that Nokia's app is a cheap web wrapper. I'm unable to see any difference in accuracy determining my position but a speed difference wouldn't be surprising given the different APIs the two things are likely to be using. The Objective-C API is slightly different from the Javascript, especially when it comes to things like desired accuracy, and the system is going to be converting from the former to the latter rather than vice versa.

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Re: Worthy but sluggish (@Steve Knox)

That would explain why the maps are so fuzzy compared to other mapping solutions...

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Amazon?

I have to install the bloated, slow and terrible piece of software known as the Amazon App Store in order to get this? Oh well, it was a nice thought.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Amazon?

On Android yes, but then you love Google so much you wouldn't be interested in an alternative anyway.

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Re: Amazon?

Alternative is fine, I embrace choice, something I'm guessing you have no concept of.

I also appreciate software which is well written, well designed and easy to use. The Amazon App is none of those.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Amazon?

Well you would if you were desperate for a map app.

But oh look, Google Maps is installed by default - how interesting.

and the world continued to turn.

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Stop

Overly harsh

Maps may have its faults, but I'd hardly call it disastrous. The data needs work, but then Google's data is far from perfect in some areas also.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Overly harsh

Ah the shoplifters and mass murders are both criminal defence. Yes google maps do have some problems but apples maps problems are an order of magnitude worse and can't just be cancelled out by saying 'well google still have some problems'.

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Stop

Re: Overly harsh - @AC

So Google's data is just one order of magnitude short of disastrous?

You seem to have failed to comprehend my post. No one has perfect mapping data (the world changes, and its a big place). Apple's data is not yet as good as Google's, but that's not to say that it's completely hopeless.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Overly harsh - @AC

Never said Google maps was perfect as to your original post it appears to me that you attempted to equate the problems with apples maps with problems with google maps when in fact the level of the problems are greatly different.

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Re: Overly harsh - @AC

I recall the day the new iOS maps were released - fancy 3D view over city of New York and absolute rubbish mapping.

Having a town (50k pop) in the middle of the barley fields w/o any roads towards is inexplicable. Having one town mapped twice and both the locations are around 20-30km away (one of the site NE, the other S) from its real origin is dumb. That's not just bad data, it's bad data from multiple unsynchronized sources.

No need to excuse the crap Apple delivered.

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jai
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Obvious choice?

Is Here really such an obvious choice? Considering I drive in London perhaps once a year and the rest of the time I use a map app it's usually because I'm driving down b roads and country lanes in Leicestershire and Lincolnshire? (which, btw, Apple's Maps app handles perfectly well).

Or was this whole article just trolling?

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Trollface

Re: Obvious choice?

Ah, the old favourite:

"I don't need/like what the author is suggesting so therefore he's a troll"

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Street name problem

Just looked at the web version of HERE and it names the street opposite after the flats it is next to not the actual road name it should use. Same happens on the station road where the according to HERE station road detours around a road that is the name of building on station road.

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i'll stick with Maps thanks

After all the good things I have heard on this site over the years, about Nokia's maps offering, i was looking forward to see what they could do for iOS. to say I'm not impressed is an understatement.

It's slow, has out of date maps and satellite images, (even more so than Apples offering) has no access to the address book, so can't be used to navigate from "here to Bob's house". I tried to run the turn by turn and it asked me to download the audio, which failed. While i was scanning around it kept snapping me back to my current position, i could go on (but i wont)

Yes it's new, maybe it will get better, but for now it's not as useful as either the native Apple version, or the short-cut I have to Googles online version.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: i'll stick with Maps thanks

"to say I'm not impressed is an understatement.

It's slow, has out of date maps and satellite images"

Probably needed to be like this to be accepted in the app store.

Hopefully the first update, which fixes everything, will slip past Apple.

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Re: i'll stick with Maps thanks (@AC)

And Nokia's master stroke was ensuring that all the errors cited are present not just in Apple's app but also on the website, in the Android app, etc?

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FAIL

Missing "This post sponsored by Nokia" somewhere?

Not sure where the author found that this app offers "decent mapping" but for all places I tried in the UK it's rubbish and far inferior to Apple's maps.

Really crap satellite imagery, slow to use, wrong locations, missing streets, no turn-by-turn, no options at all for public transport.

Is this the best of what Nokia/Ovi/etc been doing for the past 11 years?

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Re: Missing "This post sponsored by Nokia" somewhere?

I cant really check out how it is on the Iphone(well I used the old version on my dads G3S) but on the N900 it is quite a good navigation app. Although it has quite a few contenders in free alternatives that all can atleast match it on features.

It wouldnt surprise me if they dropped the ball though. Given the recent course of Nokia nothing does anymore..

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Re: Missing "This post sponsored by Nokia" somewhere?

Same here in Italy (where even Google's mapping data is woeful). The main road here is not only mislabelled in Nokia's maps data, and the photographic imagery is so poor, I can't even see my town, let alone my street!

Say what you like about Apple's mapping data, but it's a hell of a lot better than Nokia's. If Apple's mapping data is "disastrous", what the hell does that make Nokia's?

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I'll stick with iOS4 and Google maps until my Nexus 4 arrives...

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Free?

If it is anywhere near as good as it is on an N8, why the hell is it free?

If\when I move to Android, I would quite happilly pay £20 - £30 for something that works the same as Nokia maps on the N8. (Free updates, free downloadable maps, works offline or with only wifi).

Giving it away is a stupid move, as far as I can see. (Though less stupid that killing your cash cow, of course.)

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Re: Free?

It's not as good as the one on the N8. For a start:

- The mapping is bitmap based, not vector.

- There's only limited storage offline.

- The turn-by-turn navigation requires mobile data.

If you want something "as good" as your N8, you'll have to go to Windows Phone, I'm afraid: the WP8 app has finally caught up with Symbian (and seems to have added the Public Transport stuff into the main app).

The most impressive thing about the iOS app is that it's actually HTML5, not native code. However, one of the problems with this approach is that Apple give app developers a second-class WebView compared to the one that the native Safari uses. Just another gentle encouragement to write ObjectiveC/Cocoa code on iOS. Nice smooth,non-portable, locked-in code...

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Re: Free?

"If you want something "as good" as your N8, you'll have to go to Windows Phone, I'm afraid: the WP8 app has finally caught up with Symbian (and seems to have added the Public Transport stuff into the main app)."

Can the WP-version also (seamlessly) detect and navigate to addresses stored in the address-book and calender? Because THAT is it's stronghold on Symbian! Especially when you have +600 contacts with addresses stored on your phone.

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Amazon - don't pay corporation tax so - NO DEAL

I pay, and have paid, a vast amount of tax in the UK.

I am trying to avoid dealing with those companies which have a substantial turn-over in the UK, and pay no tax.

It appears that Amazon.co.uk, generated sales in excess of £3.3bn in the UK last year but paid no corporation tax on any of the profits from that income.

In these circumstances I will not be dealing with them, or for that matter Starbucks, Google & similar companies who do not pay their fair share of tax.

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Re: Amazon - don't pay corporation tax so - NO DEAL

Add Apple to that list. They're credited with inventing the Double Irish with a Dutch Sandwich wheeze.

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Re: Amazon - don't pay corporation tax so - NO DEAL

You might have trouble then, all big international corporations do that. Amazon, Apple, Google, Starbucks, Microsoft, Yahoo etc.

So, you may find it somewhat troublesome if you're avoiding those companies if you want to say do a search for something on the net. And before you mention something like duckduckgo, they use bing.

The only way it will stop is if politicians grow some balls and legislate to not allow tax avoidance schemes like the ones these corporations have been using so far. But the reality is, the politicians won't.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Amazon - don't pay corporation tax so - NO DEAL @Kristian

Should we let Google slip through the net, are are we too much of a fanboi to acknowledge that they do do 'evil' things?

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Bod
FAIL

Re: Amazon - don't pay corporation tax so - NO DEAL

They do pay their taxes, they just pay limited Corporation Tax *IN THE UK*

Remember also Corp Tax is only due on *profit*. £3.3bn but little to no profit on the UK based business equals no *Corp Tax* tax due. Sure they have profit in another country instead... there they PAY their Corp Tax equivalent. It's likely a lower Corp Tax rate, but then the UK has a high rate so of course they'll go to the cheaper country. The tax is still paid fairly and legally as per all EU laws.

As per EU law and the open single market of the EU they are entitled to set up shop anywhere in the EU and pay their taxes where they make a profit, which they do. They like any sensible business look to minimise their tax bill legally (quote from Lord Clyde, 1929: "No man in the country is under the smallest obligation, moral or other, so to arrange his legal relations to his business or property as to enable the Inland Revenue to put the largest possible shovel in his stores").

To have our capitalist system and open free competitive market in the EU they have to be allowed to do this. How else does one country compete for business against another?

And by the way... Amazon pays their VAT bill on all purchases consumers make in the UK. They pay PAYE and NI on their employees in the UK. Amongst numerous other taxes they do pay in the UK.

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"Re: Amazon - don't pay corporation tax so - NO DEAL @Kristian"

If I said I didn't like cheese, would you automatically assume I love bacon?

I've been called many things, some of them NSFW, but you are the very first one to accuse me of being a Google fan. I can only guess that you haven't seen my other posts...

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FAIL

"iPhone users struggling with Apple's substandard maps app can now get a decent alternative in the shape of Nokia's Here."

have you even bothered trying it yourself? I guess you haven't otherwise you wouldn't open this article with such rubbish - HERE maps on iOS is pile of shit, slow, laggy, UI is horrible and it doesn't look retina-ready

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Anonymous Coward

Not much better than Apple Maps here in Edinburgh

Just looking at the area near my house, Nokia mis-name several of the streets and they show the two bridges over Cowgate as crossroads. This is not quite as bad as Apple Maps who show much of the area near the Scottish Parliament as parkland and plonk buildings in the middle of the roads.

Google maps, OpenStreetMap, and OS OpenData are all much more accurate.

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No Japan. No Korea.

Go to Tokyo, Japan, or Seoul, Korea using Nokia maps. There is no detailed mapping of either city. Main highways only, and even then only sparsely. Two of the largest and richest cities in the world are essentially *not covered* by this product

I can only assume that Nokia has only made an effort in countries where they sell phones - they have never sold even a small number of phones in either Japan or Korea. Still, though, WTF?

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Re: No Japan. No Korea.

Checked it on the maps app for the N900(former payware app from nokia!) and indeed, no Tokyo or Seoul in detail...

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Anonymous Coward

So in short

a make-do, until Google Maps arrives for iOS...

Or just get an Android phone and not be a second-class smartphone citizen.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So in short

IMHO Google Maps is barely if any better than Apple Maps - the other day I had to rely on Apple Maps as I tried Google Maps first and it failed to to find the place I was going - Apple got it right away. Also Apple Maps is noticably quicker (even when Google was an app rather than web page), the 3D is great in cities and the satellite data is newer pretty much everywhere I checked (sometimes by years).

Problem is Android users (who probably don't even use iOS) like to moan on iOS users behalf.

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Don't you just love how people complain about some minor inaccuracy in a peice of FREE software as if without it they would never find their way to work and would end up walking round and round in a field.

It wasn't that long ago that you would have had to pay a fair amount to buy a TomTom, Garmin etc and then pay again down the line to get upto date maps and not that long before that you would have to carry around a stack of road atlas and A to Z's to get anywhere near as accurate as you get from the free maps software you can now get included with your phones.

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Silver badge

I think the problem is more that when compared to Apple's app the Nokia effort is slow, blurry, responds incorrectly to user input and is in some areas barely functional. When compared to Google's data, Nokia's is noticeably incomplete and often inaccurate.

I think those flaws plus the puff piece this article amounts to are leading to the negative tone.

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Anonymous Coward

@ mark l 2

"...as you get from the free maps software you can now get included with your phones...."

Which cost in excess of 600 euro's...

Perhaps Apple and others should deduct 150 euro's of their phones and simply ditch mapping at all, or provide a separate TomTom/Garmin/Navigon and link to it via bluetooth. Wouldn't that be a solution. Also many cars already come equipped with satnav standard so.

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How good is the version of apple maps that's released for Symbian, wp and android?

It would seem dumb for Nokia to give it away for free. If you want decent maps, pay up and get a better phone - the nexus 4 is a great deal!

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Satellite data from 2008

In my area the satellite data is from 2008. There is one large construction site visible where I know the date of.

Right through our house goes a street according to "here". A two year old street is missing. Google has all streets around here correct. "here"/Nokia comes second, TomTom has several more errors and missing changes here. Apple based on TomTom has some additional errors on top of the TomTom errors.

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Meh

WIRED: Nokia’s ‘Here Maps’ iOS App Is a Buggy Eyesore

I guess Map Apps are, like beauty, in the eyes of the beholder.

The E; Reg write up has to be compared with Wired.com's evaluation - which has pictures. Check it our: < http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/11/hands-on-nokia-here-maps-app/ >.

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Re: WIRED: Nokia’s ‘Here Maps’ iOS App Is a Buggy Eyesore

The Wired article's complaints are mostly about UI and the resolution of the map tiles, and it also mentions the crux of the problem, but only in passing.

They say that Nokia's here.net website, viewed on iOS Safari is far superior to the Here app. Undoubtedly true (I use the site on my Mac, and it's way better than these reviews suggest, and Safari on iOS is a match for its desktop cousin), but it's a strange observation given that the Nokia Here app is just the same website, encapsulated in a simple Web-viewer application. The difference is that the web API that Apple expose to developers has significantly poorer performance than the one they use in their own browser.

This has been a perennial complaint from developers, but as the alternative is to write native Cocoa apps, tied to iOS, Apple have very little incentive to improve it.

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WTF?

Alternatives anyone?

Just use Navfree - it's the bollocks

Also on Android and iOS

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