back to article HERE: We're still, er... HERE

HERE has provided the best, and some say only real mobile competition to Google Maps, but this week it dumped its biggest fans: people who own a Windows Phone. So we were keen to hear more about HERE’s strategy - to find out whether we have any part in its future thinking. HERE says Microsoft’s impending shift to Windows 10 …

  1. RockBurner
    Coat

    No re-routing?

    I need this app. I am fed up beyond description with every sodding navigation system having re-routing functionality that can NOT be turned off.

    Fine if you don't know where you're going nor how to get there, but when I DO know where I'm going, and I HAVE planned an 'interesting' journey, I don't want to be guided back to busy motorways every sodding junction!

    Mine's the one hanging under the motorcycle helmet.....

    1. Christopher Slater-Walker

      Re: No re-routing?

      If you already know where you're going, why do you need maps?

      1. RockBurner

        Re: No re-routing?

        You've obviously never tried to memorise 400 miles of French backroads that you've never been on and only looked at on a map....

  2. gtallan

    It still seems odd that there is no live rerouting since that feature was present in the symbian version of Nokia Maps.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      The Android version has live traffic info which it takes into account when calculating the route. I suppose what's missing is the app deciding to recalculate the route on its own, you'd have to mess about with the screen.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    reporter likes the routing and presentation of HERE Drive

    I agree, it is far better than the Garmin I used to have. The other thing I like is the pre-loaded maps - especially when driving across America with Vodafone's extortionate US roaming charges.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was sitting in my car

    waiting at some temporary traffic lights on a rural B road. I turned on my Here Drive app as its useful on the commute home when I get to the city to warn me of holdups.

    And lo and behold it shows the stretch I'm currently sat on as red, meaning very slow traffic. Now this road has none of those clever traffic flow monitors, and I realise the only place the traffic speed info can come from from is all those mobiles and satnavs in cars sharing location data.

    Just felt like sharing. It's Friday.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: I was sitting in my car

      That's why they're still maintaining the Android and iOS apps. I suppose if they're interested in developing for Android Auto or CarPlay there are some code sharing that could be done there too.

  5. Bill 2

    Alternatives?

    I've always used Here Drive + to get me around - due to the fact I'm - more often than not - in the middle of nowhere and don't have any sort of signal let alone a data connection. Here Drive + was the only reason I went to Windows Phone from Android - I liked my old Nexus 4 - but it was useless without a signal. The Lumia 635 has navigated me around Europe and beyond without any fuss, bother or expense and I have felt very smug about not having to buy a dedicated sat nav unit - which would cost more than the £69 I paid for the Lumia.

    Has anyone got any suggestions for what might make a good replacement for the Lumia 635 / Here Drive + combo?

    1. toughluck

      Re: Alternatives?

      Get a Lumia 640 as long as stocks last and upgrade to Windows 10, the final version of which is now officially confirmed to be available and being distributed.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Alternatives?

        Or grab the 640, and don't upgrade to Windows 10.

        1. toughluck

          Re: Alternatives?

          Fair enough, but no updates to HERE maps come August. I presume that offline maps will follow suit later.

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Alternatives?

      I run HERE on a Samsung Galaxy Tab A, both in the car and on the motorbike*, works just fine and I enyoy the big display. Tried it out just for fun, but liked it better than the Garmin Quest I have.

      *It fits neatly in the pouch intended for maps on top of the tank bag**. It's also in an Otterbox.

      **Is that the right word? PONS online kinda let me down on this one.

    3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Alternatives?

      Checkout CoPilot

      https://copilotgps.com/uk/

      https://www.microsoft.com/en-US/store/apps/CoPilot-GPS/9WZDNCRFHVTK

      Free/feature limited option available

    4. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Alternatives?

      Wileyfox Swift (5") or Storm (5.5")?

      But the Nokia Symbian phones still have Maps and they still have map updates. So I wouldn't change your phone now just because of that.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice satnav

    HERE is my preferred Android satnav, with a much more functional display than the likes of Google Maps or Waze. However, lack of re-routeing is a PITA, and if they carry on crippling the consumer product like that it'll end up left in the dust as the others improve. Wouldn't hurt to add cycle route options either.

    Incidentally, I've found the Nearby feature to be all but useless - it doesn't seem to know about half the petrol stations near me, nor pharmacies, nor ATMs. I didn't have the patience to try the other categories.

  7. fishman

    With Audi/BMW/Daimler buying HERE, it's understandable that they would reduce Windows whatever efforts. Microsoft has no equivalent effort to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay so they won't be a player in car infotainment systems.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      I don't think that's the issue.

      Each OS needs a dedicated team of developers and QA. The "free" Android and IOS versions are interesting because of the data they can help provide. There just aren't enough Windows Mobile users to justify continued development. And MS already has Bing Maps.

      1. cambsukguy

        Bing uses HERE maps data and will continue to do so.

        When Drive disappeared switching to WP10, I almost switched back to 8.1 but then realised that the nav was built in to the maps.

        It includes multiple route choices based on traffic at the time. It re-routes when I miss the turn of course but I don't know if it changes the route based on traffic as one drives - haven't used it much.

        Since the 1020 may not get WP10, I will have to plump for a 950 now. Although, since the 920, 925 and 1020 all got left in the cold at the first cut but all use the same subsystem, I think it may get a second chance, there are a lot of 920/925/1020s (by WP standards anyway) and the owners are the zealous type often.

  8. GlenP Silver badge

    I've gone back to TomTom on the iPhone now. Had Here on the Windows Phone but I'd already paid for TomTom ages ago so when I changed the work phone to Apple thought I might as well go back to that.

    Only thing is they've just changed to a new version, although the old one still works. Not quite convinced yet.

    1. D@v3

      Tom Tom on iPhone

      The new version (TomTom Go) seems to be garbage compared to the old one.

      They have taken out loads of features (being able to navigate to a contact entry for one) and have moved from a pay once to a subscription model. The only benefit is being able to download the maps for use off line.

  9. DougS Silver badge

    Quite an uphill battle on iOS and Android

    Both come with their own map application, and even if HERE is superior Apple Maps and Google Maps only have to be "good enough". I've used Apple Maps on my iPhone since introduction and found it worked very well for the areas I've used it (in the US) so I had no need to install Google Maps when it became available for iOS as a separate app. Likewise I'm sure most Android users are perfectly happy with Google Maps and would see no need to switch.

    I think HERE's future will be built into the nav systems of the automakers who own them, but I have never and will never buy a car with a Nav system - why spend $2000 on something that comes for free with my phone?

    It is too bad because I hear good things about HERE (no pun intended) but I don't see it having much of a future.

    1. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: Quite an uphill battle on iOS and Android

      Google maps are still at best a pain forcing you (at best) to jump through hoops if you want to use maps without a data connection - and a huge bill to use them internationally.

      I'd call that a killer advantage for Nokia maps as was. I still have an old Symbian 'phone which I take with me abroad just to have decent maps which I know won't slurp data unbidden. Using it on the android 'phone would leave me vulnerable to launching google maps accidentally in a "senior moment".

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Quite an uphill battle on iOS and Android

        The problem is, that's a very very easy advantage for Google and Apple Maps to copy if they wish.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Quite an uphill battle on iOS and Android

          Not easy for Google, they'd need to reduce the amount of offline data by an order of magnitude compared to Here.

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Quite an uphill battle on iOS and Android

      even if HERE is superior Apple Maps and Google Maps only have to be "good enough"

      Hell, they only have to be "supported", in my case. I thought I'd give HERE a try, but the Play Store just says "this version is not supported on your device".

      A dozen other navigation apps are. Sure, HERE don't have unlimited development resources; but supporting older devices ought to offer decent ROI, since each customer is likely to purchase it again when they move to a new device.

  10. Neil Alexander

    The navigation system in my Volvo already uses HERE maps, I wonder if other manufacturers do too already.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      1. bob, mon!
        Pint

        Thanks for that link

        I now know that my Subaru Outback uses HERE maps.Outdated ones...

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. MarthaFarqhar

    I've had a 930 for over a year, and loved the here suite, as if I was driving, the offline maps was invaluable, as on holiday last year in California and Nevada with very patchy data coverage, and when I was using public transport, Here transit was great for showing you the different options available (bus, train, tram where available) and made getting round an unfamiliar city a doddle.

    The Windows Map application doesn't have train or tram support for its route planning for non-drivers, so isn't as useful to me as here is, which is a shame.

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